2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Preview: Track Ready And Packing 641 … – Forbes

The 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is the Korean automaker’s first fully-electric N model, and looks like a whole lot of fun. Hyundai

After teasing a tantalizing trio of electric “rolling labs” since 2020, the RM20E, RM22E and N Vision 74, the first fully-electric Hyundai N car is finally here, the 2025 Ioniq 5 N. Although it broke cover over the summer and prototypes have since been blasting around tracks from Namyang to the Nürburgring, the official U.S. debut happens tomorrow at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Ioniq 5 N builds on those race-oriented concepts and packs serious track-day hardware and up to 641 horsepower into the familiar shape of the workaday Ioniq 5.

All three of Hyundai’s previous N models, the now-discontinued Veloster N, the on-hiatus Kona N and the affordable Elantra N, were joys to drive but petrol-powered. The Ioniq 5 aims to translate the same kind of joyful experience they embodied but in electric form, something that hasn’t always been easy for EVs. While many EVs offer locomotive-like torque and blinding acceleration they often lack the steering feedback and chassis finesse enthusiasts crave, and apart from the Porsche Taycan, not many have been optimized for drivers who also want to track their street cars.

A comprehensive set of tweaks to the Ioniq 5’s chassis, battery system, suspension and brakes looks to change that. Because of its retro-futuristic shape, color palette, standard all-wheel drive (AWD) layout and what Hyundai refers to as “rally-inspired handling,” it also bears some resemblance to the automaker’s hybrid-powered i20N World Rally Championship (WRC) cars and a modernized version of a long-ago non-Hyundai WRC favorite, the Lancia Delta Integrale. That’s a lofty comparison, but Hyundai’s gone to pretty great lengths to earn it.

Ioniq 5 N: Engineering in the Whole Kitchen Sink

Hyundai calls the “three pillars” of N Performance “corner rascal, racetrack capability and everyday sportscar.” While the first might sound like a deleted extra from a Wile E. Coyote cartoon, a huge amount of engineering has gone into making this car into a genuine cornering rascal, maybe more than any previous N car.

When an automaker says that performance modifications start with the “body in white,” the phase at which a car’s metal shell is assembled but unpainted, you know they’re serious about speed, because that’s the best way to beef up a car for higher dynamic loads. For the Ioniq 5 N, the regular version’s shell gets 42 additional welds and 6.9 feet of structural adhesives. The motor and battery mountings, front and rear subframes and the drive axles themselves all get structural reinforcement.

Hyundai calls the N’s steering system an R-MDPS (Rack-Mounted Motor-Driven Power Steering),.which it says electronically adapts to torque output and offers more communicative steering and a quicker ratio than the standard Ioniq 5 setup. 

The Ioniq 5 N needs huge wheels to house its mammoth brakes. While the electric motors will provide most of the stopping power, Hyundai has fitted 15.75-inch front rotors and four-piston calipers anyway. Hyundai

Massive brake rotors, 15.75 inches up front and 14.20 inches aft, help stop the car, acted on by lightweight monobloc calipers (four-piston up front). Even with all that, the electric motors are optimized to do much of the stopping (minimizing fade from the friction brakes) and can generate up to 0.6g of decelerating force in N Regen mode, a selectable software-based optimization for the track. The lightweight 21-inch wheels come shod in Pirelli P Zero 275/35s.

In addition to N Regen, there are also lots of other N modes, like N Pedal and N Drift Optimizer. The former is meant to mitigate some of the weight of the battery and make turn-in and throttle response behavior more like that of the WRC i20N than the standard Ioniq 5. The latter simulates the clutch-kick action of gas-powered rear-drive cars for drifting. 

Another system, N Torque Distribution, allows the driver to set eleven different levels of front and rear torque distribution. There’s also an electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential (e-LSD). There are also a full set of options and settings for the car’s electronically-controlled suspension dampers, which theoretically allow it to be a relatively soft rider on the street and stiff as a board on the track.

Ioniq 5 N: Power, Battery Tech and Charging

The Ioniq 5 N’s dual electric motors, spinning at 21,000 rpm, make a combined total of 601 system horsepower (223 from the front axle, 378 from the rear). Hit the “N Grin Boost mode” button, however, and power surges to 641 hp in 10-second bursts, just like similar setups in Genesis’ GV60 and Electrified GV70 as well as Kia’s EV6 GT; which use some of the same grin-inducing hardware. With launch control and N Grin Boost modes on, Hyundai says it’ll hit 60 mph in 3.25 seconds.

Power is drawn from an 84 kWh battery, which is a little bigger than the long-range Ioniq 5. Like the base car, the 800-volt architecture allows for very rapid DC fast charging, which would be of great use on a track day, though 350-kW fast chargers are rarely seen at race venues today. Hyundai hasn’t released a range figure for the Ioniq 5 N, but given its performance bent, it seems unlikely to eclipse the longer-range regular versions.

Maximum range isn’t the point here, however, and the automaker has tweaked how the battery manages its electrons to suit track day warriors. There are separate radiators to cool the oil within the motors and to chill the battery pack. The pack’s thermal management system minimizes the heat transfer route from the battery cells to the cooling channel and the driver can pre-condition the battery to optimize battery cells to the most power-efficient temperature. 

The Ioniq 5 N’s cabin sees quite a few changes over the standard version, including an N-specific steering wheel and grippy sports seats. It’s still got all of its regular features, but the sporting intent is obvious. Hyundai

Once on the track, drivers can also select two modes of energy consumption, “Endurance” or “Sprint.” As the names imply, the former maximizes race track range by limiting the buildup of heat at the cost of immediate thrust, the latter is full-bore excitement but won’t last as long. 

There’s also what might be a more controversial setting for the driver, N e-shift. This is not, as Toyota is developing, a fully simulated manual transmission, but it is meant to mimic the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic of the gas-powered N cars, which the automaker says makes for a more interactive driving experience. The Ioniq 5 N also adds a simulated soundtrack to match, blending original electronic sounds and simulated engine noise. 

The N-tegrale Look

It might seem strange to compare the Ioniq 5 N and the Lancia Delta Integrale, but there’s some real design DNA linking the pair. The Ioniq 5’s overall design is heavily inspired by Hyundai’s first home-grown car, the 1974 Pony, penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro. He also designed 1979’s Lancia Delta around similar themes. Indeed, the Italian Maestro said this year that some of the elements of his 1974 Hyundai Pony coupe concept, which helped inspire the N Vision 74 concept, were re-used on another of his designs, the DeLorean. 

In the late 1980s, the middle-class but unexciting front-drive Delta grew into the turbocharged, AWD, WRC-champ Integrale and sprouted extensive body modifications in the 1990s, mainly spoilers and flares. In addition to the Ioniq 5 N gets a similar visual treatment. The Ioniq 5 sits 0.8 inches lower than the standard version. It’s also 2.0 inches wider and 3.2 inches longer overall thanks to its flared fenders and giant air-diffusing rear bumper. There’s also a huge rear wing, side skirts and a lip spoiler beneath the trademark blacked-out N front fascia. 

Inside, there are also changes. The center console is optimized for track driving with knee pads and shin support, and beneath the surface, the lower part of the console hides some structural reinforcement. The standard sports seats, which look like those in a BMW M4 Competition, are 0.8 inches lower than the standard Ioniq 5 chairs. There are also high-grip pedals and a footrest for the driver to brace themselves during hard braking.

The steering wheel is purposefully designed for Ioniq 5 N and not shared with other Hyundais, at least not yet, and there’s a multitude of menus for all the settings. All of the mod cons in the regular Ioniq 5, however, are preserved in the N, from the nice infotainment system to the wireless charging tray and the same roomy back seat. The back seat doesn’t get the same aggro bolstering as the fronts, however.

The Ioniq 5 is technically a crossover, but it looks every inch the WRC-inspired hot hatch in N form. Hyundai

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: When & How Much?

“How much” is still very much an open question, as there hasn’t been a model quite like this from Hyundai before even though the related EV6 GT bears some resemblance. The previous N cars were genuinely affordable, particularly the Kona N, but they did all command a price premium over the non-N models. In the case of the Ioniq 5 N, there’s even more specialized hardware than on the gas-powered Ns, and since the range-topping Ioniq 5 Limited starts around $55,000, it seems fair to predict an N price in the mid-$60,000 range.

We do know when, however. Ioniq 5 Ns will start arriving at dealerships in March of 2024, and they’re likely to be as hot a commodity on the lot as they’ll be at the track.