Korean automaker Hyundai has pulled back the curtains and stripped the camouflage, revealing its all-new Ioniq 5 N high-performance EV at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The electric hot hatch-slash-crossover is the first EV to wear the automaker’s race-ready N designation and badge but based on the specs, it’s earned it.
Diving right into the performance upgrades, the Ioniq 5’s dual-motor electric all-wheel drive system has been completely retuned and overhauled for rally-inspired and track-focused performance. Together, its e-motors now output a combined 600 horsepower (up from the previous peak of 320 hp) or a 10-second burst of 641 hp after tapping the N Grin Boost scramble button on the redesigned steering wheel. With three driver-selectable launch control traction modes, the Ioniq 5 N sprints from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 162 electronically limited miles per hour.
Feeding the more potent motors via a new two-stage inverter is an also-new 84 kilowatt-hour battery, up from 77.4 kWh for the Long Range Ioniq 5 variants thanks to new chemistry and improved energy density. Hyundai hasn’t stated range estimates for this new configuration, but road and especially track estimates are likely to be highly dependent on how much on how hard the driver gives into the temptation to drive the Ioniq 5 N as aggressively as it was designed to be driven.
To boost the Ioniq 5 N’s resistance to overheating and power reduction under hard driving, Hyundai has outfitted the EV with independent cooling loops for the battery and motors. The N also features enhanced battery thermal management software to help the driver optimize performance for the type of driving they’ll be doing.
The N Battery Preconditioning system and N Race modes, for example, can optimize the battery pack’s temperature before performance driving with short-burst Drag sprints or longer Track mode sessions. A feature called Track SOC automatically calculates battery consumption per lap, helping drivers strategize their attacks and make it to the end of the heat without running out of juice.
Like many EV’s, the Ioniq 5 N features a sound generation system to fill the silence of an all-electric powertrain. However, the N Active Sound Plus doesn’t just try to sound like a combustion car, it also tries to feel like one. Combined with a feature called N e-shift, the generated motor sounds mesh simulated shifts and “jolts” of electric motor torque output to simulate the feeling of changing gears on an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Drivers can even trigger the “shifts” themselves via paddle shifters. Three sound themes distinct to the Ioniq 5 N are available, inspired by the automaker’s N 2.0T gasoline engine (Ignition), the RN22e touring car (Evolution) and twin-engine fighter jets (Supersonic).
Externally, the Ioniq 5 N features a more aggressive N Mask front bumper design which accommodates the increased cooling capacity and aerodynamic needs. Out back, you’ll spot a more prominent aerodynamic diffuser. Changes to the bodywork result in around a 3-inch increase to the Ioniq 5’s overall length, while a performance suspension squats the chassis around 0.8 inches lower over 21-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zeros sized 275/35R21.
Beneath the visual changes, increased body and chassis reinforcement give the upgraded suspension, wheels and tires a more stable platform to work beneath. Hyundai says it has added 42 new welding points and 2.1 meters of additional adhesives to the unibody, reinforced motor and battery mounts and enhanced the front and rear subframes. Rally-inspired drive axles are lighter and stiffer than the standard model, ensuring quicker and more direct torque delivery from the motors to the wheels.
Behind the wheels’ spokes peer upgraded 15.7-inch disc brakes with huge four-piston monobloc calipers partnered with 14.2-inch single-pot stoppers at the rear. Hyundai has also rebalanced the i-Pedal regenerative braking system to work better with the new hydraulic brakes, debuting its N Pedal and N Brake Regen technologies for improved weight transfer on corner entry (up to 0.6 G from regen alone) and more aggressive accelerator tip in on exit. Together, the brake tech helps the driver get around bends as quickly as possible.
And for drivers who prefer more dramatic cornering, the Ioniq 6 N uses Hyundai’s N Drift Optimizer, which helps kick the rear end out when stomping the throttle mid-corner and then maintain a smooth drift angle by adjusting the EV’s response to inputs and balancing rear torque distribution on the fly. Drivers also have 11 levels of manual front-to-rear power distribution control via the N Torque Distribution system to further fine-tune the performance.
The new Hyundai Ioniq 5 N arrives on your favorite twisty road or race track in early 2024. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but expect it to raise the Ioniq 5’s current fully loaded, destination-inclusive $58,835 price ceiling by a significant margin.