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[Test Drive] Hyundai Ioniq 5 N unleashes full EV power

Korean automaker’s latest high-performance electric vehicle can reach 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Sept. 24, 2023 - 15:59

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The Ioniq 5 N (Hyundai Motor Group) The Ioniq 5 N (Hyundai Motor Group)

TAEAN, SOUTH CHUNGCHEONG PROVINCE -- Hyundai Motor Company’s Ioniq 5 N, a high-performance vehicle based on the foundations of the automaker’s awards-winning all-electric sports utility vehicle, does not look like a typical car built for motorsports. To be fair, it is not a race car. Nonetheless, Hyundai has put together an everyday sports EV that boasts monstrous power with the Ioniq 5 N.

The Korea Herald got a closer look at the automaker’s first N-labeled EV and tested out the new functions and high performance of the car at the HMG Driving Experience Center in Taean County, South Chungcheong Province on Sept. 19.

At first glance, the Ioniq 5 N appears to be a slicker version of the Ioniq 5. With a length of 4,715 millimeters, a width of 1,940 mm and a height of 1,585 mm, the Ioniq 5 N is longer, wider and lower than the EV to improve aerodynamics. The high-powered Ioniq 5 N has also added air flaps on the front face for improved cooling. Still, the design and structure changes are just the tip of the iceberg. It is hard to comprehend the true value of the Ioniq 5 N until you have the chance to take the wheel.

The Ioniq 5 N (Hyundai Motor Group) The Ioniq 5 N (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai has installed seven new technologies specifically developed for the N lineup in the latest EV: N Active Sound+, N Drift Optimizer, N Pedal, N Torque Distribution, N Race, Track SOC (State of Charge) and N Battery Pre-conditioning.

N Active Sound+ offers three sound system types -- futuristic EV sounds, fighter jet sounds and the internal combustion engine’s ignition and exhaust sounds -- to bring sonic diversity to one's high-speed driving experience.

With the two electric motors under the hood, the Ioniq 5 N touts a maximum horsepower of 650 and a maximum torque of 770 Newton meters if the N Grin mode is turned on. The N Grin mode gives a 10-second burst of maximized power and torque for launch control and overtaking. If the N Grin mode is activated, the Ioniq 5 N can reach 100 kilometers per hour in just 3.4 seconds. The EV can also reach a maximum speed of 260 kph without much trouble. The accelerating power is incredibly forceful as if the driver were on a departing airplane and the car’s weight makes the driving experience feel stable and safe despite the high speed.

The Ioniq 5 N (Hyundai Motor Group) The Ioniq 5 N (Hyundai Motor Group)

N Drift Optimizer makes it easier for not-so-experienced drivers to drift by automatically optimizing the distribution of torque between the front and rear wheels. Even for this Herald reporter who has never succeeded in drifting using internal combustion engine cars, the Ioniq 5 N’s new function allowed for a few moments of drifting.

Of the new functions, N Pedal was what stood out the most during the test drive. Once the N Pedal mode is on, the driver does not have to worry about putting their foot on the brake when entering a corner at a high speed. N Pedal, which has three levels of decelerating force, uses a regenerative braking system and creates a quick weight transfer in the vehicle once the driver takes their foot off the accelerator to lead to a sharper corner entry. All the driver has to do is turn the steering wheel and lift their foot off the accelerator for fast cornering.

The price of the Ioniq 5 N begins at 80.05 million won ($59,800) in the Korean market.