Hyundai's first electric hot hatch puts out 641bhp in overboost mode
Hyundai's first electric hot hatch puts out 641bhp in overboost modeHyundai

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N electric hot hatch revealed

Hyundai attempted to create the ultimate EV for the enthusiast with the IONIQ 5 N, the first performance EV from its N-division.

The neo-retro looks of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 grabbed attention and plaudits the world over, but there was always one question on the enthusiast's mind. What would a hot hatch version of the IONIQ 5 be like? With the introduction of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N hot hatch, the first electric performance vehicle from Hyundai's N division, we now have an answer. The IONIQ 5 N takes the retro-futuristic design to a new level with a host of performance and design enhancements.

Luminous orange is the new accent colour for EVs from the N-division
Luminous orange is the new accent colour for EVs from the N-divisionHyundai

Hyundai IONIQ 5 design

Hyundai has given the IONIQ 5 N a more purposeful stance by increasing its width by 50mm, which is made possible by incorporating wider wheel arches to house the performance tyres and 21-inch wheels. It gets an aggressive V-shaped front bumper with a lip spoiler, as well as increased venting to guide air to the brakes and the battery's high-temperature radiators. The enlarged rear spoiler frames the back window and, along with the rear bumper and a prominent diffuser element, gives it a tarmac rally car vibe. It also gets a race flag reflector element made up of pixel dots, emulating the tail lamp design. Most of the visual enhancements, with the exception of the wheel arches, are painted black with touches of luminous orange, the N-division’s new accent colour for performance EVs.

IONIQ 5 N can pull up to 0.6g using regenerative braking alone
IONIQ 5 N can pull up to 0.6g using regenerative braking aloneHyundai

Hyundai IONIQ 5 interior

The cabin has been improved with an emphasis on driving performance and ergonomics. The redesigned steering wheel gets N-green boost buttons and switches to change drive modes. The bucket seats are contoured and upholstered in recycled alcantara to keep the driver in place. More thoughtful touches include knee pads on the central console and shin support to help the driver brace during spirited driving, as well as responsibly sourced interior materials such as sugar cane yarn. In keeping with the exterior, there are chequered flags made up of pixel dots and other N-design elements.

The buckets seats are covered in recycled alcantara
The buckets seats are covered in recycled alcantaraHyundai

Hyundai IONIQ 5 powertrain

The IONIQ 5 N has a dual motor setup with an e-LSD on the rear axle, putting out up to 641bhp when overboost is enabled, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 260kmph. The battery capacity has been increased to 84kWh, with intelligent software taking care of thermal management. It also allows the driver to adjust battery temperature via modes and pre-condition the battery to extract maximum performance before a track session. The N-race drive mode allows the driver to switch between maximum energy deployment in sprint mode and conserving the battery in endurance mode. Hyundai has addressed the lack of a soundtrack by replicating engine sounds that are played through eight internal and two external speakers. There are three different sounds to choose from, and it can also simulate pop and bang sounds during the downshifts. Speaking of which, the IONIQ 5 N features e-shift, which simulates an eight-speed DCT gearbox and can even create an artificial jolt in between shifts by momentarily disengaging the motor.

The IONIQ 5 N replicates engine sounds via speakers on the outside of the car
The IONIQ 5 N replicates engine sounds via speakers on the outside of the carHyundai

Hyundai IONIQ 5 chassis

However, this isn't just a straight-line weapon like most EVs. The body of the IONIQ 5 N has been reinforced, increasing body rigidity and torsional stiffness. To enhance steering feel, the steering column has been strengthened, and the steering ratio has been raised. The electronically controlled suspension now has a greater bandwidth, which heightens the distinction between comfort and N-mode. The 21-inch forged aluminium wheels are wrapped in 275-section Pirelli P Zeros specifically tuned for the IONIQ 5 N. It gets enlarged brakes on both axles with hybrid construction callipers and high-friction pads. Being an EV, the IONIQ 5 N can pull up to 0.6g under braking using regenerative braking alone. In normal driving, 80 to 90 per cent of braking force comes from regen, while in track driving, this is reduced to 40 to 50 per cent. 

Hyundai says the IONIQ 5 N has been a passion project for the engineers who wanted to create the ultimate performance EV for enthusiasts. They have given it the performance and handling to match its gorgeous looks, and if the N-division’s ICE cars are any indication, the IONIQ 5 N should be an absolute hoot to drive.

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