The story contains independent illustrations made by CarScoops’ artist Josh Byrnes based on Hyundai Ioniq 5 N prototypes spied by our photographers as well as our own intel. The renders are neither related to nor endorsed by Hyundai.
Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 is fast becoming a conversation starter in the world of electric vehicles. Its 80’s throwback styling with hints of Lancia Delta Integrale has won many an admiring glance – even amongst the most loyal of petroleum-addicted car enthusiasts.
To capitalize on the hype, the Korean automaker is doubling down on the Ioniq 5 with an N performance version. Our spies first snapped a prototype version of the hot crossover with a hatchback flair testing at the Nürburgring late last year, but how are things shaping up before its official reveal? Let’s take an illustrated stab at what to expect.
The Ioniq 5’s Pony/Giorgetto Giugiaro-inspired styling is a fantastic basis for a high-performance variant. Hyundai’s N-division ups the ante with all the visual add-ons to match. It still features all the Ioniq’s best bits, including the neat parametric pixel LED lights, uber-crisp sheet metal and squared-off rear end.
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So, what’s different? Like other N-spec Hyundais, the Ioniq 5 receives a bolder frontal graphic, red-accented front splitter and side skirts, wider wheel arch moldings and a large rear spoiler. It also sits noticeably lower, with the larger wheels pumped outwards for a wider stance.
A Sportier Outlook
Don’t expect a massive amount of change within the interior, with the main emphasis on bringing a sporting pretense to the Ioniq 5’s lounge-like atmosphere. It will feature sports seats, steering wheel, red-accented highlights, darker trim colors, and a plethora of ‘N’ branding.
Personal preference, but we hope the white instrument cluster bezel of the base car is ditched in favor of a nicer black finish. Other goodies will include alloy pedals, illuminated sill plates, N-branded floor mats, and Hyundai’s steering-wheel-mounted, configurable N-performance mode buttons.
Weight reduction is vital in making a great handling car, and battery-electric vehicles carry a lot of weight. The Ioniq 5 N looks to get around this dilemma with stiffer, sport-tuned suspension, dynamic torque vectoring and sticky low-profile Pirelli P Zero rubber.
While the underfloor battery pack helps with a low center of gravity, stopping all that mass requires some serious, more substantial stopping power. Expect improvements in this area; for reference, the regular Ioniq 5 runs with 12.8-inch (325 mm) disks.
The regular spec Ioniq 5 offers up to 320 hp (239 kW) of power in its most potent guise. The N version will up the ante with a high-performance electric powertrain shared with its sister car, the e-GMP based Kia EV6 GT.
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While figures have yet to be confirmed, the 77.4 kWh battery pack will supply power to its dual electric motors, pumping out 577 hp (430 kW) and 546 lb-ft (740 Nm) of torque. This level of oomph should be enough to rocket the Ioniq from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in a blistering 3.5 seconds, making it the first and fasted electrified N-specification product ever.
Rivals & Reveal
Competition for the Ioniq 5 N includes Ford’s Mustang Mach-E GT, Kia EV6 GT, Tesla Model Y Performance, Polestar 2, Genesis GV60, and Volkswagen ID.4 GTX. We anticipate an official reveal later this year, likely as an MY2023 offering (unless it’s delayed, in which case it could launch as a 2024 model), with pricing to start north of $58,000.
Would an N-performance Hyundai EV tempt you away from ICE alternatives? We’d love to hear your views in the comments below.