► Hyundai’s first e-hot hatch snapped
► Could have 577bhp when it arrives in 2023
► Will square up to the Tesla Model 3
Hyundai has confirmed that it’ll launch a sportier, N-badged version of the Ioniq 5 in 2023 – and now it’s been teased in an official Hyundai video. The video, which talks about the N division as a whole, features everything from the new Ioniq 6 to the RN20e and N Vision 74 prototypes – but it also features a sneak peak at the spiced-up Ioniq 5.
You can watch the video at the bottom of this page, and read everything else you need to know about the Ioniq 5 N just above it.
What you need to know: Ioniq 5 N
Our spy photographers have spotted the 5 N tackling the latter stages of its development programme. When it arrives, it’ll serve as a fresh rival for the hottest versions of the Tesla Model 3, as well as combustion-engined super-hatches like the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A 45.
Because this Ioniq 5 N prototype is being tested on public roads, Hyundai has endeavoured to cover up as much of its bodywork as possible – but you can still make out the changes. The front splitter is lower and has broader vents than the standard car’s, the rear diffuser is more aggressive and there’s a larger spoiler poking out of the tailgate. The brakes are massive, too.
Thus far, Hyundai has been rather discreet about the Ioniq 5 N’s performance, but we expect it’ll feature the same 577bhp dual-motor electric powertrain as its sister car, the Kia EV6 GT. Both are based on the same e-GMP underpinnings, so the more potent electric motors and larger battery pack will just bolt straight into the Hyundai.
To take advantage of the extra power, Hyundai has made some changes to the Ioniq 5’s chassis. This prototype’s ride height is fractionally lower than the standard car, while its track is broader. Its alloy wheels are new, too – they’re wider, larger and shod in grippy Pirelli P Zero tyres. We’re also expecting some trick adaptive dampers to help keep the body under control in the corners.
What has Hyundai officially said about the Ioniq 5 N?
Just enough. The brand formally confirmed the project’s existence in July 2022, alongside a couple of concept cars (the retro-styled N Vision 74 and the radical RN22e four-door coupe which previews the upcoming Ioniq 6 N) that outlined how its future performance EVs will look.
A few months before Hyundai made the announcement about the Ioniq 5 N, Thomas Schemera, Hyundai Motor Group’s chief marketing officer, discussed his company’s upcoming hot electric vehicles with CAR Magazine. He said: ‘if you look at our strategy to offer more eco-friendly vehicles and moving ahead with BEV concepts, it seems realistic.’
Albert Biermann, the ex-BMW executive who launched Hyundai’s N department back in 2012 (and who still acts like an ambassador for the division today) added: ‘could you imagine we weren’t working on one already?’
When Hyundai designed its e-GMP architecture, it built a lot of flexibility into the platform. For months before it made the official announcement about the Ioniq 5 N, Hyundai’s engineers were stress-testing the chassis to find the limits of its use in performance applications – and they seem to have achieved some impressive results.
Back in 2020, Biermann delivered some of his team’s results to CAR Magazine, mentioning the platform ‘will go almost up to 600 horsepower in certain models.’ That claim adds credence to the assumption that Ioniq 5 N will use the same 577bhp all-wheel drive powertrain as the Kia EV6 GT.
We shouldn’t really expect anything less from Hyundai where electrified performance cars are concerned, though, because they’re not exactly uncharted waters for the brand. Before it started to push the limits of its e-GMP chassis, the firm’s engineers were extracting some impressive numbers from its dedicated performance EV test car called the RM20e (pictured below).
It’s a pure-electric track monster powered by a single 800bhp electric motor mounted on the rear axle, which the brand says can shove the car from 0–62mph in less than three seconds. Its 0–124mph sprint is equally impressive, taking a mere 9.8 seconds.
The RM20e is loaded with future-gazing technology, the most important of which is its super-duper-fast charging system. Hyundai says the car’s 60kWh battery pack can accept charging speeds of up to 705kW, which slashes its charge time down to mere minutes. For comparison, the Porsche Taycan (which is jolly fast-charging EV) can only accept a maximum charge speed of up to 270kW.
Hyundai calls the RM20e a ‘rolling lab’ – and the data its engineers have gathered during their time with the car will trickle down into future performance EV production cars like the Ioniq 5 N. And, If the concept is an accurate yardstick for how the company’s hot electrified vehicles will perform, we’re expecting very great things indeed.
Now have a scroll through our gallery to view all the spy shots we’ve gathered on the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 N so far. We’ve also produces a render of how we think the finished car will look once the camouflage is pulled off next year.