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First Look

Hyundai Goes Wild With IONIQ 5 N

The first EV from Hyundai's performance division is a totally different animal.

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 has always been the kind of EV that'll win your heart, but it hasn't necessarily been the kind that would make your heart race. That is, until Hyundai's racing division got their hands on it. The result is this: the IONIQ 5 N, the first EV to wear the N performance badge and a showcase for a LOT of ideas about what it means to be a performance EV.

Let's be clear: this isn't just an IONIQ 5 with more power, although it IS an IONIQ 5 with more power. 641 horsepowers to be exact (when including its N Boost mode), and 545 lb-ft of torque. That's twice as powerful as the fastest non-N version, for those keeping track.

Speaking of the track, this car was built with them in mind, which puts it into a rare class of EV. The chassis, steering, brakes, suspension, battery, wheels, tires, axles, motors, radiators, aero and software have ALL been enhanced to provide a more exciting, confident, communicative experience for the driver. This car has a drift mode, as well as something called "N Pedal" which uses more-aggressive regenerative braking combined with a more sensitive throttle response to rebalance the weight of the car under braking. It has sharper and faster turn-in and - get this - a system that reads the road signs and when it sees a curvy-road indicated ahead, reminds you that it's time to play.

If you're the type to miss the noises of internal combustion, Hyundai has really gone the extra mile for you. Here they've introduced synthetic engine sounds (among other soundtracks like fighter jets), and even gone as far as to simulate the sensation of shifting gears - burbles on overrun included. It's not just sound effects either, the car will simulate the power band and red line of internal combustion and jolt you as if running through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

And so this IONIQ 5 N is unlike anything else on the road right now, and it might just prove to be regular at your local track day. Frankly, we can't wait to put it through its paces.


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