Hyundai has been hinting about a sportier version of the Ioniq 5, one of its best-selling vehicles, for some time now, but has been cagey about providing any concrete details. The corporation went as far as to imply that its clients didn’t care about the N version. If this whole thing has been Hyundai’s plan to throw us off and then surprise us with a new product release, they almost pulled it off.
At a recent, off-limits Nurburgring test session, an unmistakable Hyundai Ioniq 5 in the performance variant for which the manufacturer has designated the letter N was spotted. Even though we only have a few pictures, we can tell that this is no ordinary Ioniq 5 test vehicle.
For one thing, it has torque sensing equipment and four-wheel drive. Photos show that the vehicle is equipped with big wheels (at least 21 inches in diameter) and low-profile tires. Ioniq 5 N probably uses the same set of tires as the Kia EV6 GT, size 255/40 R21, because the two cars share a powertrain.
When we take a closer look at the wheels, we see that the fender flares are different, with a wider and more rounded design to accommodate the car’s wider stance. The front bumper has been lowered without any other significant changes or new features, and it is still completely covered in camouflage. Since the original rear spoiler was already quite substantial, no changes were made to it.
The seats are another tell that this is the N trim level of the Ioniq 5. It’s not just any pair of sports seats; these are the N sports seats from the Veloster or i30 installed in the test vehicle.
The motto written all over the car is the last and most obvious indication. The N in “Never just drive” is intentionally huge. We appreciate that Hyundai uses full camouflage to ensure that this Ioniq 5 is not mistaken for anything other than the high-performance N variant we’ve been anticipating.
The Ioniq 5 N will debut with the same twin-motor system (585hp/430kW) as the Kia EV6 GT. The same 77.4 kWh battery will power it, thus its range should be close to 400 kilometers. The Ioniq 5 N has 740Nm (546 lb-ft) of torque, so it should be able to go from 0 to 100kph in about 3.5 seconds. This is possible because the two cars are roughly the same size and weight.
Hyundai is certainly taking its time to ensure the final product is worthy of the title of “fastest and most powerful production Hyundai ever.” The Kia EV6 GT was intended to gauge consumer interest and iron out performance kinks, so the final product should be competitive with the top-tier performance vehicles of both the combustion and electric variety. The Hyundai brand. It’s the same business that brought us Pony (or Excel) barely 35 years ago.