Electric vehicles are often not considered fun machines to drive compared to gearshift gasoline vehicles, but Hyundai is doing its part to close the gap with the new performance variant Ioniq 5 N. As the name suggests, the automaker has delivered its popular EV crossover to teams in its “N” sub-brand and is giving it a virtual eight-speed transmission and up to 478kW (the equivalent of 641 horsepower).
The new “e-shift” dual-clutch transmission is designed to make the 2024 Ioniq 5N feel like an internal combustion engine vehicle without the emissions. It simulates gear changing by adjusting the torque output on the dual motors and includes fake engine bumps and noises to help you simulate firing pistons on the race track. You can also take “manual” control using paddle shifters, and the system will even punish you with the feel of a chop if you mess around.
The Ioniq 5 N’s motors can push a combined maximum of 478kW using its ‘N Grin Boost’ mode and can sprint from zero to 62mph in around 3.4 seconds. That compares to the regular Ioniq 5 AWD, which has a combined output of 239kW/320 horsepower and is about a second slower than the N. The new model is also technically more powerful than Tesla’s Model 3 Performance. , which makes about 450 horsepower.
The Ioniq 5 N looks a bit different than the regular model, including a deeper front bumper and functional mesh that allows for a bit more airflow. There is an N badge on the grille plus a red sport patch in the center of the front and rear bumpers. The vehicle’s apron features a red pinstripe that continues around the perimeter of the EV, and of course, there are 21-inch aluminum wheels for a complete look.
As the industry shifts toward more electric vehicles, automakers are trying to find more ways to entice motoring enthusiasts to embrace the future and put aside their enthusiasm for internal combustion engine cars. Case in point: Ford made a six-speed manual gearbox for a one-off electric Mustang, and Jeep’s Magneto EV concept is also engineered with the full-shift experience. And Toyota is actively developing its own “manual” system for electric vehicles that, like the Ioniq 5 N, also pretends the transmission isn’t happy if you lose controls.
Hyundai developed other electric performance N vehicles as concepts, including its RN22e “rolling labs” (a modified Ioniq 6) and N Vision 74. The automaker is also building a production Kona N EV running on a vehicle platform. Separate electrical compared to the E-GMP one in the Ioniq.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, despite not adopting the automaker’s recently announced Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA) EV platform, carries 84kWh of usable battery power compared to 77.4kWh for the standard. Hyundai lists the N as supporting 350kW charging; meanwhile, his other vehicles don’t actually load that fast even though the shared platform supports speed. The N’s battery can also charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in 18 minutes, according to the automaker.
As for other features, the Ioniq 5 N has all the features that the regular version has, including the Vehicle to Charge (V2L) system that turns your car into essentially one big battery bank. Mom’s the word on the Ioniq 5 N’s range, though, but if the surprisingly poor range of Hyundai’s sister company’s Kia EV6 GT performance trim is any indication, don’t expect to take it on long road trips.