Home » The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Is A 641-Horsepower Track-Capable EV That Can ‘Shift’ Gears

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Is A 641-Horsepower Track-Capable EV That Can ‘Shift’ Gears

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Topshot
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The eagerly-awaited Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is finally here, and it looks to be the insanely powerful track-focused electric car of our dreams. Combined output? A cool 600 horsepower, unless you’re in Boost Mode. Press a little button marked NGB on the steering wheel and, for a brief period of time, you have 641 horsepower at your disposal. That’s Lamborghini Huracan output in a Hyundai. However, to focus on power alone is to miss the point. The Ioniq 5 N is a serious exercise in thermal management.

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Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

When you’re giving an EV this much power and wanting it to perform on track, cooling becomes a serious issue. Without anything up to track duty in the parts bin, Hyundai want back to the drawing board and came up with a new 84 kWh battery pack. Independent cooling, including a battery chiller combine with a multitude of battery preconditioning modes, keeps everything happy on track. You can choose between Drag Mode, which is optimized for maximum quarter-mile burst acceleration, Sprint mode, which is optimized for short on-track stints, and Endurance Mode for extended lapping sessions. It shows a lot of thought, but then again, it needs to.

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Speaking of electronic gadgetry, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N sports three-level launch control for optimized traction on various surfaces that should rocket this oversized hatchback from zero-to-62 mph in 3.4 seconds, which feels somewhat conservative, and top speed sits at a respectable 161 mph, good enough to show most German machinery a pixelated set of tail lights.

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When building something this serious, it’s a good idea to sweat the small stuff. As such, the body of the Ioniq 5 N sports 42 additional welds and 2.1 meters of additional structural adhesives to enhance structural rigidity. The drive units adopt one-piece axle and hub assemblies like you get on the Elantra N, and there’s a proper variable e-LSD out back for both clean corner exit traction and hilarious oversteer. The dampers, bushings, and spring rates are new. A faster steering ratio, more rigid steering column, and fresh steering calibration are all said to boost feedback and confidence, critical for chucking a two-ton crossover through, say, Mosport’s turn two.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

For rolling stock, 21-inch forged wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero summer tires cover four-piston front calipers clamping 400 mm front discs, proper performance crossover sizing. Mind you, the friction brakes are less intriguing than the curiously strong regenerative braking system fitted to the Ioniq 5 N. While a Tesla Model 3 typically sees 0.2 g of regenerative braking force, the Ioniq 5 N can pull up to 0.6 g of regenerative braking force to mitigate friction brake fade.

Ioniq 5 N

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In addition to all the hardcore performance hardware you’d expect from a trackworthy EV, the Ioniq 5 N sports gizmos that should cause contention. N e-shift simulates the eight-speed wet-clutch DCT from the Kona N, finessing motor output to give the driver a shove between simulated shifts while piping in an artificial soundtrack for aural reference. You have a choice between a simulated two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a futuristic soundtrack, or jet noises. Truthfully, I’d just turn it all off, since external speakers will alert everyone in the vicinity if you’re ever driving like a bellend. I’m much more excited for drift mode, 11-step variable front-to-rear torque distribution, and clutch-kick simulating Torque Kick Drift mode anyway.

Ioniq 5 N

Slide inside the Ioniq 5 N and marvel at the N-specific digital instrument cluster layout with a friction circle and massive temperature readouts while you sit in heavily-bolstered front seats that feature a 20 mm lower hip point than the standard model. If those thrones alone aren’t enough for you, Hyundai has also fitted a fixed center console to brace against in the corners. Minor tweaks in the grand scheme of things, but then again they should be. This is still a practical, spacious family car with a flat floor and room in the cargo area for a Costco run.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N profile

On the outside, the Ioniq 5 N sports the cassette futurist styling we’re all familiar with, just butched up. From the black front bumper trim to the pumped arches to the orange lower body accenting, it’s all textbook hot hatch stuff. Mind you, most anything that seems excessive is actually here for a good reason. For example, the slats in the rear arches aren’t just macho posturing, they’re actually ducts that send cool air to the rear brakes. Oh, and here’s something pragmatic that regular Ioniq 5 owners will be jealous over — the Ioniq 5 N comes with a rear wiper. On a similarly light note, the color palette for this latest N-car might be the most diverse ever. The trademark Performance Blue paint gains a matte option, while matte gold and a bright orange both make appearances. Of course, you can still order it in greyscale shades, but why be boring? This car is all about fun.

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Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

Pricing for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N hasn’t been announced yet, but expect a dollar amount along with range figures to be released closer to the car’s on-sale date in early 2024. Previously, truly holistic track-capable EVs have largely been the domain of the rich, but the Ioniq 5 N should move that price barrier closer to Earth. Needless to say, we’re stoked to try it out.

(Photo credits: Hyundai)

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Anxious John
Anxious John
11 months ago

Looks nice. How much does it weigh?

121gwats
121gwats
11 months ago

And everyone thought the EV era meant the demise enthusiast cars. What a time to be alive my friends. Its exciting to see such a revolutionary set of performance numbers, even without the rumble of a V8.. err, v6.. umm finely tuned and boosted turbo 3 cylinder bouncing off the rev limiter. We all knew this was the next step.

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
11 months ago

I would like this more if it were actually the retro hatchback that we all thought it was originally, not the retro chonker that it is

Scott
Scott
11 months ago

I don’t disagree, but once you’re past 50, a chonker that reminds you of a rattly ’84 GTI is probably more livable than an actual hot hatch.

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