car news car tests

Review – Hyundai IONIQ 5 N, finally an EV for the petrolhead!

March 21, 2024

Hardest Hyundai N ever

Speaking to, Jean-Claude Martens, Head of High Performance Vehicle Department at Hyundai Motor Europe, said, “It was our most difficult Hyundai N ever to develop. This is mainly due to the different facets that the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N holds. Matching everything together took development time.”

Memory refresh

A Hyundai IONIQ 6 N is forthcoming, as well as some other still-secret N models. After a long development time, it is now time first for the IONIQ 5 N, a Hyundai with a whopping 650 horsepower! To refresh your memory, the N stands for Namyang, the Nürburgring and a chicane, a challenging corner on a circuit. An N model from Hyundai focuses on sportiness, but also everyday practicality. Has Hyundai succeeded in that mission with this IONIQ 5 N, still an electric car weighing 2,225 kilograms?

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Price Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

We’ll find out. First the price. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N has a price tag starting at 73,995 euros. That’s actually an all-in price. You can only choose a different color and a panoramic roof. A Kia EV6 GT starts at 69,295 euros, but is a completely different car underneath, even though both models are on Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).

Moreover, that Kia has 585 hp, versus 650 hp for the IONIQ 5 N. “The cars are not comparable,” Martens states. “The EV6 GT is a more comfort-oriented car, while our IONIQ 5 N is also really hardcore, a car that caters entirely to enthusiasts.”

HYUNDAI IONIQ 5 N: Finally an EV for the petrolhead! – REVIEW – AutoRAI TV

Key role

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is the first mass-produced high-performance N sports car with all-electric all-wheel drive. The car plays a key role in further accelerating Hyundai’s electrification plans. So in a sense, the car represents a blueprint for future N models. The question is: how good is that foundation?

The base is ge-wel-dig

We can answer that succinctly: the basics are ge-wel-dig. Hyundai’s N division has literally pulled out all the stops to make this electric car a celebration, but also an EV that is different. To give you a good idea of what this car has on board, we list 12 highlights. A sort of basic lesson in “All of this is also on a Hyundai IONIQ 5 N. Ready? Go!

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

N Grin Boost (NGB)

This system instantly unchains the power of the IONIQ 5 N’s two electric motors by increasing their output and torque for 10 seconds. N Grin Boost can only be done when the battery has more than 20 percent battery charge.

N Launch Control

This feature offers the best possible acceleration and maximum torque from standstill. It has three traction levels (low, medium and high) for minimal wheel slip and the fastest possible start.

N Race

The N Race feature gives the driver direct control over energy consumption. The settings can be changed with just a few button presses. The driver has the strategic choice to prioritize “Endurance” or “Sprint. The “Endurance” setting maximizes track range by limiting peak power. This results in a slower temperature build-up. However, “Sprint” prioritizes power and cooling to deliver maximum power for short periods of time. This helps drivers accurately manage their energy strategy and maximize performance.

N Torque Distribution (NTD)

This system offers fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear wheels on eleven levels. The slider on the AVN screen allows the operator to set the desired torque distribution.

N Drift Optimizer

This technology helps maintain the drift angle by balancing various vehicle systems using real-time inputs. The integrated Torque Kick Drift feature mimics the kick action of rear-wheel-drive fuel-engine vehicles for driving scenarios in which the driver wants to quickly engage a drift.

N Pedal

N Pedal was developed as a solution to reduce the weight and size of EVs like the IONIQ 5 N. Decelerating force on the rear axle creates aggressive weight transfer, allowing the driver to take an even sharper turn.

N Brake Rain

The N Brake Regen system offers a strong deceleration force of up to 0.6 G and further improves the IONIQ 5 N’s braking ability. The hydraulic brakes provide additional braking power as needed to ensure longer brake life on the track.


The electronic Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD) on the rear axle controls the amount of drive power at the rear wheels. Depending on driving conditions, e-LSD improves dynamics in fast cornering and optimizes wheel slip compensation. With up to 1,800 Nm of torque, e-LSD improves response control and guarantees optimum performance. Additional wheel sensors and increased damping power and larger dampers extend the performance range of the electronically controlled suspension. The electronic stability control (ESC) can be turned off completely! From that aspect, too, you notice that this is a car for purists.

N Road Sense

The N Road Sense (NRS) feature in the IONIQ 5 N takes the driving experience to an unprecedented level. NRS recognizes warning signs and advises the driver to activate N mode. This intelligent system allows the driver to fully enjoy every second of the ride.

Left-Foot Braking

Left-Foot Braking is a feature that enables the rally technique of “left-foot braking. By depressing the brake and power pedals simultaneously, the driver has optimal control of the IONIQ 5 N under intense driving conditions. The function is available only when ESC is disabled.

Then you also have N e-Shift and N Active Sound+. Both systems provide more feedback to the driver, making the dynamic driving experience even more intense. We explain these two systems in more detail, because these two systems in particular gave us the jitters, in a positive sense. With these two systems, Hyundai has thrown bulls-eye.

N e-Shift

N e-Shift mimics the behavior of an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) like those found in fuel-engine N models. The driver can choose between manual and automatic shifting. In automatic mode, there is even a kick-down function. Like the N dual-clutch transmission, N e-Shift also has a hard rev limiter. That is digitally at about 7,800 rpm, while the electric motors actually make about 21,000 rpm.

When shifting gears virtually, the IONIQ 5 N generates a slight interruption of drive power and associated noise, as with conventional shifting. A sensational experience because you actually feel like you’re shifting gears, exactly like in a fuel-engine car. Hyundai perfectly solves the lack of emotion in a BEV with N e-Shift. You actually have something to do now and have to shift gears seriously well to get the right gear. Delicious.

N Active Sound+

To complement N e-Shift, the IONIQ 5 N also produces actual engine sound, including “rumble” in the “exhaust speaker. This is what Hyundai calls N Active Sound+. The car has a total of ten speakers, eight of which are in the interior and two on the outside of the car. There is a speaker under the hood and Hyundai mounts a waterproof speaker under the luggage compartment.

N Active Sound+ has three sound themes: ‘Ignition’, which simulates the engine and exhaust sound of the 2.0 turbo engine of N models with an internal combustion engine, ‘Evolution’, which is inspired by Hyundai’s N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo Concept and RN22e, and ‘Supersonic’, which resembles the sound of a fighter jet. So you can decide what “engine sound” you want to hear. Evolution and Supersonic are exaggerated as far as we are concerned. Evolution fits the character of the car much better, only this sound above “6,000” rpm sounds a bit computer-like. One thing is certain: there is absolutely perception. Experiencing it yourself? Then be sure to check out our video review of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N.

Design Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

The design of IONIQ 5 N is extra distinctive. It has a gloss black front bumper, three active front air vents and airflow guides. The car also has black Hyundai logos. Extra striking is the new N accent color for electric cars: Luminous Orange Matte.

At the rear, we detect a substantial rear spoiler and a diffuser. The IONIQ 5 N is lower and wider and has an aggressive appearance due to its larger, high-performance wheels. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is 4,715 mm long, 1,940 mm wide and 1,585 mm high. The wheelbase is 3,000 mm. Thus, the car is 8 centimeters longer, 5 centimeters wider and 2 centimeters lower compared to a regular IONIQ 5.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Interior IONIQ 5 N

In the interior, Hyundai presents bucket seats with N logos. Those seats are great, but could have been placed a little lower as far as we are concerned. The car also debuts the new IONIQ 5 N steering wheel with multiple buttons, including two N-buttons and the N Grin Boost button (NGB).The upholstery of the sport seats is available in the Netherlands only in alcantara. Special knee pads to the left and right of the center tunnel offer extra comfort when cornering is attacked at high speed.

The interior

Technical specifications

Just a quick look at some technical specifications about the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N. They can safely be called impressive.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N has two electric motors

So, for completeness, the IONIQ 5 N has two electric motors. The front electric motor produces 226 hp and 350 Nm, but that is 238 hp and 370 Nm with N Grin Boost. The rear electric motor normally produces 383 hp and 390 Nm. With N Grin Boost, that’s 412 hp and 400 Nm.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Brakes and tires

The powerful braking system of this unique electric car consists of 400 mm diameter front and 360 mm rear brake discs and four-piston monobloc calipers. Special front and rear air guides increase the heat capacity of the brakes and better cool the brake discs. The car further features 21-inch forged alloy wheels with 275/35 R21 Pirelli P-Zero tires front and rear. Optionally, Hyundai provides two other rim designs, including a carbon wheel option for lower unsprung weight.

Driving the IONIQ 5 N

It’s clever how Hyundai manages to mask its 2,225-kilogram weight when you really pick up the pace. Even on beautiful asphalt stretches, this IONIQ 5 stands its ground. In fact, it turns out to be a true cornering monster, which even the petrolhead can feast on. Our favorite is N Torque Distribution in position 100% behind. In that case, a drift can be elicited in no time and a big grin is permanently on your face. This feature also feels much more natural than the N Drift Optimizer. But Hyundai also admits that the latter feature is mainly intended for those inexperienced in drifting. The car then does all the work. With N Torque Distribution, it’s up to you as the driver.

It is extraordinary in what ways you can fine-tune this car. There are plenty of possibilities, perhaps even too many. Because all positions almost require you to study. But after a few hours in this car, you know how to find everything pretty quickly and also learn to appreciate the character of this car. The car offers great steering feel, fine feedback on the brake pedal, and the suspension transmits all the information to your body excellently. It never gets scary. The car remains – even in an extreme drift – superbly controllable. He is honest, but most of all incredibly nice. Especially since you can shift gears yourself, the best invention since the BEV had its breakthrough.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

Conclusion review Hyundai IONIQ 5 N

In fact, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is a pleasantly deranged amusement park on wheels, full of interesting rides. You don’t have to use everything, but all the amenities are there. They are always open, ready for action. In this BEV, experience is of an unprecedented high level. Best of all, Hyundai has not lost sight of the IONIQ 5’s everyday practicality, as this extreme Hyundai can also serve perfectly well as a comfortable family car. It is a car with multiple faces. A cool blend of top performance with comfort. That makes us especially greedy! This is an EV for the petrolhead. We cannot think of a greater compliment.

The interior