First Drive

125: Hyundai Reveals N Concepts And Promises Ioniq 5 N, EVgo Network Expanding

125: Hyundai Reveals N Concepts And Promises Ioniq 5 N, EVgo Network Expanding

YEONGAM, South Korea - Albert Biermann, Hyundai's former head of research and development, once told me that the company's N cars were supposed to be "a little crazy." And if you've ever driven an Elantra N, Kona N, or Veloster N (RIP), you know exactly what I'm talking about. Hyundai's N cars are almost unbalanced and noisy at the best of times, perhaps not the fanciest or most sophisticated pocket rockets, but salt water candy, they are amazing.

 It's a spirit that has served the Hyundai N lineup well, and a spirit that I'm happy to report is alive and well in the company's first raucous electric steering: the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N. And while it's not a pretty sedan, it's a compact crossover the size of a Tucson that weighs 2.2 tons, which is enough for Biermann to call it "literally the elephant in the room".

I N-specific changes start with: What else? - More power. The Ioniq 5 N features a new 84 kilowatt-hour battery (versus 77.4 in the standard car) and two electric motors that combine to produce 601 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. Press the "NGB" button on the steering wheel (short for N Grin Boost) and power briefly increases to 641 horsepower, allowing the Ioniq 5 N to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in about 3.3 seconds.

Hyundai unveils N brand performance EVs ahead of IONIQ 5 N in 2023

The range of the Ioniq 5 N has not yet been determined and Hyundai does not offer rough estimates. The standard long-range dual-motor Ioniq 5 has an EPA-estimated range of 260 miles, but it also has the smaller 77.4 kWh battery. Perhaps the larger N pool compensates for the loss of runtime that accompanies the large performance increase. We will know for sure in a few months.

To better support the growing needs of sports driving, the Ioniq 5 battery has greater thermal management. protection. . You can precondition the battery for drag or track setups: the former provides an overall power increase, while the latter provides smoother performance over more laps. Also, don't forget that the Ioniq 5's 800-volt architecture allows for above-average charging speeds of up to 238 kilowatts. Hyundai also plans to install Level 3 fast chargers on selected routes around the world.

Ioniq 5 N allows you to manually adjust the power sending between the two motors . means you can transfer up to 100% of the available torque to the front or rear axle. This is also how you unlock N Drift Optimizer, a version of the technology offered by sister company Kia in the EV6 GT that makes sliding through tight corners much easier. This is the kind of thing you should save for closed-loop use, and definitely not for making donuts in the Walmart parking lot at 3 in the morning. M. For example

Regenerative braking also plays a role in the experience N. As with all other electric vehicles from the Hyundai Group, the i-Pedal mode increases sufficient regeneration during normal driving to enable one-pedal driving. The Ioniq 5 N takes the next step beyond the N pedal: move it while driving and recovery increases so you don't have to apply the mechanical brakes too hard. It feels like a one-pedal racing mode and is extremely well calibrated.

From there on out, it's more than you'd expect. The Ioniq 5 N rides on 21-inch wheels and 275/35 Pirelli P Zero summer tires on all four corners. The body is more stable and has greater lateral rigidity. The electric motors are housed in the WRC axles to better manage the increase in torque and, at the same time, reduce unsprung masses. Stiffer chassis components and a faster steering rack round out the changes, and the entire car is wrapped in an attractive shell with "Luminous Orange" accents and useful aerodynamic elements.

These predictable changes would be enough to turn the Ioniq 5 into a ripper, but what's an N car without a little madness? Without a doubt, the most interesting piece of the Ioniq 5 N puzzle is called N E-Shift, which imitates the driving experience of a car with an internal combustion engine and planetary gearbox by changing imaginary gears individually or simultaneously. The driver's request is made via the steering wheel-mounted shift buttons.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Debuts With Up To 641 BHP; Likely To Be First Full-Fledged

With N E-Shift, the Ioniq 5 does not move like an electric vehicle. Electric motors initially delay response to create a sensation of turbo lag. Power surges and pops like the turbo engines in Hyundai's other N cars. You can shift into any gear and the Ioniq 5 will swerve and cut power when the fake tachometer needle hits the fake rev limiter. The experience is truly incredible. And it's fun. Very fun.

I know the N E-Shift seems like another EV gadget. But after a few laps at the Korea International Circuit (the country's former Formula 1 circuit), I can't imagine driving the Ioniq 5 N without this technology. No, it won't trick your brain into thinking you're in a gas-powered sports car, but the sound of the "engine" and thrust of the "gears" emphasize the emotional nature of this car. This gives the Ioniq 5 that special touch and really helps create the exuberant atmosphere that is the hallmark of every N product.

I love driving the Ioniq 5 N in a much more interesting way. even public roads, even South Korean roads with strict speed rules. What I've always loved about Hyundai's N cars is that they're incredibly fun to drive around town or enthusiastically on highway ramps. Is the Ioniq 5 N too stiff for everyday use? It seems like everything will be fine, but the roads in South Korea are also perfectly paved. We'll tell you what it's like after driving the 405 in Los Angeles or almost anywhere in southeast Michigan.

Inside, the N doesn't do much. a difference. They're different from other Ioniq 5s, but there are some big changes, including a rear wiper, which is a bigger win than you might think. The 5 Series' elegant sliding center console is gone, replaced by a lighter fixed setup with wireless charger. The heavily padded sport seats provide enough comfort for long periods behind the wheel, and there are little Alcantara accents here and there, including on the steering wheel.

None of them above that, when switching to N mode, the internal technology of the Ioniq La 5 is lost; The 12.3-inch central screen runs an updated version of Hyundai's multimedia software, which is finally – finally! – allows wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections. The usual driver assistance functions are also offered. It won't be a cheap sports car. That shouldn't be the case either, considering the Ioniq 5 N is expected to be priced between $65,000 and $70,000 when it goes on sale next March, an educated guess based on the Ioniq 5's current MSRPs.

Everything good about the standard Ioniq 5 is alive and well in the N, with the added bonus that this car is truly bold and fun to drive. If Hyundai wants to bring its N brand into the electric age, we have a lot to look forward to.