Hyundai Motor Company’s IONIQ 5 N — N brand’s first high-performance, all-electric model — made its world premiere at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N | Dual-motor AWD with rally-inspired handling

IONIQ 5 N’s capabilities begin with enhancements to the body-in-white (BIW) structure with 42 additional welding points and 2.1 metres of additional adhesives. The motor and battery mounting are reinforced while front and rear subframes are enhanced for lateral rigidity. World Rally Championship-inspired integrated drive axles (IDA) are applied both front and rear and reinforced to endure stronger electric motor torque while reducing unsprung mass together with the 21-inch forged aluminium wheels.

To enhance steering response and feedback, IONIQ 5 N’s steering column has been strengthened for improved rigidity. Additionally, the vehicle features a specially tuned N R-MDPS (Rack-Mounted Motor-Driven Power Steering) system with a higher steering ratio and enhanced torque feedback. Hyundai says these enhancements result in a more direct and communicative steering experience that will instil greater confidence in drivers.

N Pedal was developed as a solution to address the inherent weight and size of EVs while aiming to achieve the responsive handling characteristics seen in Hyundai’s championship-winning i20 N WRCs. This intelligent software function, found in IONIQ 5 N, is designed to provide instant turn-in behavior and enhanced throttle sensitivity. Drawing on similar technology used in i-Pedal’s regenerative braking system, N Pedal prioritizes fast and exhilarating cornering over energy efficiency. By utilizing decelerative force, an aggressive weight transfer is created, resulting in sharper corner entry.

N Drift Optimizer helps to maintain the drift angle by balancing multiple vehicle controls responding to real-time inputs. The integrated Torque Kick Drift function allows the driver to simulate the clutch kick action of rear-wheel-driven ICE vehicles for driving scenarios that require more immediate drift initiation. This is a result of sophisticated electronic control technology.

N Torque Distribution provides fully variable front and rear torque distribution that can be adjusted to 11 levels. The e-LSD (electronic limited slip differential) at the rear axle optimizes cornering performance and control. Additional wheel sensors and broader damping capacity with increased damper size widens the performance range of the electronically controlled suspension.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N | Enhanced battery cooling and N Brake Regen

The IONIQ 5 N’s electric motors spin up to 21,000 RPM providing 478 kW with N Grin Boost engaged. This is a result of the two-stage inverter with increased energy efficiency for stronger power output from the new 84 kWh battery.

Several exclusive features aid track performance, says Hyundai. N Grin Boost maximizes acceleration by a power increment of 10 seconds and N Launch Control provides three different traction levels for the fastest possible start, allowing drivers to launch their vehicle like a professional race car. Track SOC (state-of-charge) automatically calculates battery consumption per lap.

The enhanced battery thermal management system, with increased cooling area, better motor oil cooler and battery chiller. The independent radiators for the battery and motor maximize IONIQ 5 N’s resistance to performance degradation before and during intense track driving.

Before driving, the driver can utilise N Battery Pre-conditioning to optimize the battery cells to the most power-efficient temperature by choosing between ‘Drag’ mode for a short burst of full power or ‘Track’ mode that optimizes the lowest possible battery temperature for more laps.

N Race feature further optimizes the EV’s endurance on the circuit, giving drivers more direct control over the car’s energy usage. N Race applies a motorsport-derived approach to maximizing resources for the fastest possible times. While this type of setting change would normally require a team of mechanics and equipment, IONIQ 5 N offers it at the convenience of a few button presses.

With N Race, drivers are given the strategic choice to prioritize ‘Endurance’ or ‘Sprint.’ ‘Endurance’ maximizes range on the racetrack. This is achieved by limiting the peak power, which results in a slower build-up of temperature. Comparatively, ‘Sprint’ prioritizes power and provides shorter bursts of full energy. This will help drivers accurately manage their energy strategy and create an ideal performance window to achieve their driving performance targets.

IONIQ 5 N boasts N-tuned brakes, which represent Hyundai’s most powerful braking system. It features 400-mm diameter front discs with four-piston monobloc calipers and 360-mm rear discs. These brakes are constructed with new lightweight materials and optimized airflow for improved cooling efficiency. In addition, the regenerative (regen) braking system typically used for enhanced efficiency has been reinterpreted in IONIQ 5 N to enhance braking performance. It serves as the primary source of brake force, while the mechanical brakes supplement additional braking force when required, ensuring enhanced endurance on the track.

To address the harsh braking demands of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Hyundai N engineers designed N Brake Regen, an N-specific region braking system developed specifically for IONIQ 5 N. It offers up to a maximum of 0.6 G decelerative force — an industry leading figure — through N Brake Regen alone and remains engaged under ABS activation with a maximum of 0.2 G. The risk of brake fade due to the EV’s relative heaviness is minimized by maximizing regen braking power, which results in lower brake force applied to the mechanical brakes.

The seamless blending between the N Brake Regen and hydraulic brakes creates a smooth transition that is imperceptible to the driver. Moreover, left foot braking allows the brake and accelerator pedal to work at the same time when driving on the track.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N | State-of-the-art technology

As an everyday sportscar, Hyundai claims the IONIQ 5 N delivers an engaging shift feeling and emotional driving through the integrated N e-shift and N Active Sound +. N e-shift provides a sense of control over power delivery and shift feeling while N Active Sound + works collectively to deliver not only a futuristic EV sound but also ICE-like engine and exhaust sounds that provide a more engaging experience behind the wheel. Together, they enhance the fun and joy of driving by simulating the jolt feel and sound of an ICE vehicle.

Many performance enthusiasts have been outspoken about the lack of driver feedback behind the wheel of many EVs. That’s why Hyundai N engineers developed the N e-shift and N Active Sound + functions to deliver greater driver feedback and therefore more precise driver control of IONIQ 5 N’s dynamic driving. The unique emphasis on precise power control differentiates N’s approach to EV sound from past applications.

N e-shift simulates the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) of internal combustion engine (ICE) N cars. It simulates a gearshift by controlling motor torque output and simulates the jolt feeling between shifts. As a result, it provides a more precise, interactive driving experience that feels closer to ICEs than previous EVs.

N Active Sound + is paired with N e-shift to enhance the driving experience of EVs by creating a more engaging and exciting sensory experience for the driver. It incorporates a 10-speaker system (eight internal, two external) that offers three distinct sound themes. The ‘Ignition’ theme simulates the sound of N’s 2.0T engines and ‘Evolution’ provides a signature high-performance sound inspired by the RN22e. The ‘Supersonic’ theme is a unique concept inspired by twin-engine fighter jets, featuring variable volume during cornering. The objective of N Active Sound + is to provide drivers with an acoustic reference to gauge the power being utilized.

Like the standard IONIQ 5, its N variant is equipped with Vehicle-to-Load (V2L), which allows the driver to use the stored energy from the EV’s high-voltage battery to recharge devices, such as an e-bike, electrical camping equipment or domestic appliances — even when the vehicle is turned off.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N | Performance-enhancing design elements

IONIQ 5 N’s exterior adds many performance-enhancing design elements, such as contrasting black trim parts and a wing-type rear spoiler, which emphasize the sporty aspects of the standard model and maximize its circuit driving potential.

The N model further distinguishes itself from the standard IONIQ 5 with a change of proportions. It is 20 mm lower overall, 50 mm wider at the bottom to accommodate wider tires and 80 mm longer due to the more prominent diffuser.

At the front, there is a N Mask graphic fascia with functional mesh along with air curtain and air flaps for extra cooling. A lip spoiler runs across the lower part of the bumper to emphasize the car’s low-slung stance and convey its performance intent. The EV N-exclusive ‘Luminous Orange’ at the bottom of the black front bumper cover continues along the side skirts, giving the IONIQ 5 N a racetrack-ready look.

This impression is further reinforced by the forged 21-inch aluminium wheels that are wrapped in high-grip 275/35R21 Pirelli P-Zero tires for improved ride and handling and better grip in track performance.

At the rear, the prominent, N-only wing-type spoiler, along with orange-accented rear diffuser and air outlet, help control airflow to support optimal aerodynamic performance, further highlighting IONIQ 5 N’s high-performance capability and adding to its aggressive styling. Integrated in the spoiler is a triangular N-only HMSL brake light. Below the rear hatch is an N-exclusive black bumper cover with checker flag reflector graphics. There is also a rear window wiper, unlike other IONIQ 5s which have none.

IONIQ 5 N’s interior neatly conveys the N family look with the application of N-branded elements, including the steering wheel, seats, door scuff panels and metal pedals, etc., and is optimized for track driving.

The newly designed N steering wheel prominently features the N logo for the first time, flanked by N buttons that set the desired drive mode, arranged to suit the driver’s preference. Driving modes can be customized and matched to each button in various combinations to maximize IONIQ 5 N’s fun driving spirit. N Grin Boost button positioned at 3 o’clock allows instant and intuitive access to maximize acceleration and driving fun. Paddles are optimally positioned at driver’s fingertips to engage N e-shift and N Pedal features.

IONIQ 5 N’s centre console is optimised for track driving with knee pads and shin support as well as a sliding armrest. An extension to the lower part of the console enhances rigidity to further support sport driving. For everyday use, it also offers a C-type USB, wireless charger and cupholders.

The N seats have reinforced bolsters, so that even if strong lateral acceleration occurs during sharp cornering, it firmly supports the upper and lower body to maintain a stable driving posture at all times. The N bucket seats are positioned about 20 mm lower compared to the basic specification, designed for customers who pursue high-performance drivability. N emblems are arranged front and rear of the seat with welcome lighting at front. The two-toned design theme of the bucket seats carries over to the rear.

Due to the nature of N driving, IONIQ 5 N’s pedals are optimized for foot contact in track driving scenarios that involve oversteer, drifting and power slides, reducing the risk of foot slippage in twofoot driving. The footrest is optimized to maintain a stable driving posture at all times, including strong deceleration moments.

The new checker flag theme — a track-inspired riff on IONIQ 5’s iconic parametric pixels — can be found on the door scuff panels metal pedals and footrest, representing N Brand’s motorsport spirit.

Much like the standard IONIQ 5, sustainable materials are applied throughout IONIQ 5 N, including recyclable paperette door decorative garnish, BIO PET yarn from sugarcane, recycled PET yarn from recycled PET bottles, BIO TPO from sugarcane and eco processed leather. IONIQ 5 N also adds recycled tire pigment paint and recycled poly Alcantara seat cover cloth.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N | Goodwood Festival of Speed 2023

IONIQ 5 N will take centre stage as the N brand makes its inaugural appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2023. N brand has constructed a dedicated stand that will showcase multiple vehicles, including i20 N WRC, N Vision 74, RN22e and the newly unveiled IONIQ 5 N. Additionally, the stand will feature various public activations, such as race simulators and photo booths.

The highlight of N brand’s presence at Goodwood will be the exclusive ‘N Moment’ held during the iconic Goodwood hill climb. The N Moment will showcase N brand’s motorsport models and rolling labs, culminating in the presentation of the new IONIQ 5 N and the world debut of N brand’s ‘IONIQ 5 N Drift Spec’ show car. Furthermore, a 2023 specification i20 N WRC will participate in the Forest rally stage.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N | Launching in New Zealand in 2024

Hyundai says it is thrilled to announce that the highly anticipated IONIQ 5 N will soon make its way to the shores of New Zealand, with a launch in 2024.

In order to ensure that our valued customers are kept up-to-date with the latest news and developments surrounding the IONIQ 5 N, they suggest buyers register their interest through their dedicated website at By registering, you will be among the first to receive updates and exclusive opportunities to experience the IONIQ 5 N firsthand.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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