LOS ANGELES — High performance isn’t just limited to vehicles that burn dead dinos in some way, shape, or form. EVs can get in on the fun, too.
The 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N isn’t the first high-performance EV — there are several examples on the market. Instead, it’s another reminder that EVs don’t have to be boring commuter machines.
This one has an 84 kWh battery and a two-stage inverter, and Hyundai promises up to 641 horsepower when the N Grin Boost mode is engaged.
It starts with a stiffer structure and beefier axles that can handle more torque from the electric motors. Twenty-one-inch forged aluminum wheels reduce unsprung mass. The steering is stiffened and offers a quicker ratio than what’s found on the regular Ioniq 5.
Software is used to enhance the handling — the one-pedal driving system is setup for better cornering as opposed to energy efficiency. It also, through the magic of modern engineering and computing, uses the deceleration force and the weight transfer to the front axle to give the car sharper turn-in. This is called N Pedal.
Or so Hyundai says. As always with launch announcements, we can only report what the automaker claims, at least until we get wheel time ourselves.
A “drift optimizer” and a “Torque Kick Drift” system help maintain the preferred drift angle and even allow for some tail-out action.
Scandinavian flick via computing power.
The rear axle gets an electronic limited-slip differential, and the front and rear torque distribution is fully variable, with the driver having 11 different levels to work with.
Increased dampers and an electronically controlled suspension work to give drivers a performance range from “fun Sunday on the back roads” to “going to the track.”
The electric motors can spin up to 21,000 RPM and the battery gets enhanced cooling. The N Grin Boost mode gives you extra power for up to 10 seconds at a time (insert Fast and Furious joke here). Launch control is present and offers three different traction levels, and if you are taking this thing to the track, you can keep on an eye on battery consumption as you lap.
While the max power is 641 ponies when N Grin Boost is activated, most of the time it’s 601 horsepower — 223 from the front motor and 378 from the rear. Hyundai quotes a 0-60 time of 3.25 seconds.
You can pre-condition the battery for track driving, and a Race mode lets drivers marshal the car’s resources best for track driving — and things can be adjusted for both short and long stints.
Large mechanical brakes — the smaller rear rotors are over 14 inches — are onboard but the regenerative braking system is the primary stopper. Hyundai says the system has been specifically setup for racing and reduces brake fade while also reducing wear on the friction brakes. Hyundai has also set up the braking system to allow drivers to left-foot brake even if their right foot is on the accelerator.
This all sounds good, but the inclusion of systems that simulate the shifts of an automatic transmission (N e-shift) and the sounds of an internal-combustion engine make us roll our eyes a bit. Maybe it will work well when we get our chance to drive the thing, but color us skeptical for the moment. We will note that the simulated sounds are adjustable — you can hear what sounds like a four-cylinder, or a Hyundai racecar prototype, or a fighter jet. Yes, you read that last one correctly.
Other news? Like the car it’s based on, this vehicle has vehicle-to-load charging. Unlike the vehicle it’s based on, it has a rear wing-type spoiler and it’s lower, wider, and longer. There’s a front fascia with mesh, an air curtain, and air flaps for cooling to go along with a lip spoiler, and side skirts. The bumper covers are black.
The theme continues inside — the cabin is festooned with N badging, the center console has knee pads and shin support, and the seats have extra bolstering. Those seats are also lowered to balance weight better. You, the driver, can customize which buttons operate which drive mode, and there are paddles on hand to let you engage the N e-shift and N Pedal modes.
The pedals are also redesigned to make it easier to drive on a track.
Battery charging can go from 10 percent to 80 percent in 18 minutes when using the proper charger.
Hyundai is targeting an on-sale date of March 2024.
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