Almost a year to the day after announcing its new N performance line of EVs, beginning with the IONIQ 5, Hyundai has publicly unveiled the long-teased N version at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The IONIQ 5 N combines past and present as a nod to Hyundai’s performance arm’s design characteristics, reimagined for the new age of EVs built for track performance and not just speed in a straight line. Ever seen an EV specifically designed for high speed cornering?
At less than seven years old in its own right, Hyundai Motor Group’s N and N Line performance remains a young sub-brand that is already reimagining itself as an all-electric, enhanced performance arm.
We first learned that N brand IONIQ EVs were coming last summer during the global premiere of the IONIQ 6. The end of the 6’s launch video featured Hyundai’s first three E-GMP models flocking along a racetrack before suddenly being joined by two additional models. We would soon learn those were Hyundai’s conceptual “rolling lab” N models.
That same day, Hyundai confirmed the IONIQ 5 would be its first production EV model to don the “N” performance badge. Since then, the team at Hyundai N has teased fans with video updates every couple of months as we approach the performance EV’s full debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The day has finally come my friends, and the IONIQ 5 N is on full display for all to see, equipped with design and performance features inside and out that are not only synonymous with Hyundai N, but also present a new breed of electric vehicles specifically designed with advanced racetrack capabilities.
Oh, and it can simulate fighter jet noises too.
The IONIQ 5 N is a new breed of EV, not a grocery getter
Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 hatchback (it’s a hatchback no matter what its makers say) continues to help pave the way for the Korean automaker as a serious contender in the global EV market. The “crossover” and its 800V E-GMP platform offer consumers some of the most advanced tech out there right now at very reasonable prices – a reason why the IONIQ 5 was voted car of the year by several organizations.
Still, at its core, the IONIQ 5 is tame. It’s an everyday passenger EV, and a damn good one at that, but not something you’re going to take to the track. The IONIQ 5 N, however, is an entirely different story. The N version is lower, wider, and more aggressive, thanks to its larger wheels (forged 21-inch aluminum and high-grip Pirelli P-Zero tires).
Beginning with the exterior, you’ll notice a new N Mask mesh fascia above a front air curtain with three active air flaps to help cool the EV’s battery. Atop the rear, Hyundai N has added a wing-type spoiler, diffuser, and air outlet to optimize airflow and aerodynamics. The team isn’t sharing the drag coefficient just yet, but the N model is more aerodynamic than the standard IONIQ 5, in addition to being sportier and equipped with better braking capabilities.
These upgrades complement the IONIQ 5 N’s front and rear suspension, which was redesigned from the ground up. The overall exterior seen in the images above and below features Hyundai N’s exclusive colors – Blue Glossy and Performance Blue Matte – in addition to Luminous Orange Matte accents around the rear. (Looks red to me, but hey, still works.) Hyundai says the IONIQ 5 N will come available in 10 different exterior shades as well.
Next, let’s take a gander at the 5 N’s “racing concept” interior as well as its performance specs.
Low seats, racing steering wheel, and sustainable materials
Looking inside the new IONIQ 5 N, drivers will experience racing bucket seats, a fixed center console, knee pads, shin supports, and sustainable materials throughout the cabin. This includes recyclable paperette door garnishes, recycled poly Alcantara seat cover cloth, and recycled yarn from PET bottles.
A new “N” branded steering wheel houses four dedicated buttons, two of which are customizable. The other two control the EV’s four dedicated drive modes as well as toggle the IONIQ 5’s “N Grin Boost” (NGB) – which delivers instant thrust from the dual motors by maximizing the vehicle’s power output and torque for 10 seconds.
We already touched upon the unique performance pillars implemented in the new IONIQ 5 N, including features like N Active Sound + and N e-shift, so let’s dig into the actual performance specs:
|Top Speed||East. Range|
|AWD||84.0 kWh||609 PS (650 PS NGB)||740 Nm (770 Nm with NGB)||3.5 seconds (3.4 sec with NGB)||258 km/h (160mph)||TBA|
The team at Hyundai N says it fine tuned the existing E-GMP platform specifically for the IONIQ 5 to deliver optimized power, torque, and response. As a track car, the IONIQ 5 N has seen numerous body and chassis reinforcements, including 42 additional welds and another 2.1 meters of structural adhesives to improve its rigidity.
Its Integrated Drive Axles (IDA) were inspired by World Rally Championship racing vehicles and have been implemented on both the front and rear to endure the massive torque its dual motors put out. The EV’s steering column has also been revamped with a bespoke rack to deliver a higher steering ratio and offer enhanced response for drivers.
Additionally, the Hyundai N team is touting a technology it calls “N Pedal,” which increases the regenerative force that creates a specific weight transfer of the vehicle to enable sharper cornering entries, helping alleviate some of the added weight issues EVs with large battery packs are stuck with.
The IONIQ 5 N’s Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) system controls the dampening force and improves handling and stability – not to be confused with the EV’s Electronic Stability Control Sport (ESC Sport) system – which helps stabilize the EV during cornering maneuvers by sensing loss of traction and applying brakes to individual wheels. It can also be turned off for a “more authentic” racetrack experience, aka drifting.
There is so much more to unpack here as Hyundai N has put a lot of new and exciting performance technology into its first production EV model, so we highly recommend checking out the company’s full press release to learn more.
If you happen to be in the UK attending Goodwood this year, be sure to stop by the Hyundai N booth and see the souped-up IONIQ 5 in person – and send me pics, please!
Two huge factors we don’t know yet – range and price. That is sure to come later as Hyundai moves closer to getting this N version into scaled production and out to motor sport enthusiasts.
Who knows? Perhaps we can get this one out on a track and see what sort of trouble we can get into with it. Stay tuned!
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