Currently reading: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N electric hot hatch priced from £65,000 in the UK
Engine noises and gearshifts for Hyundai Ioniq 5 N - the firm's track-honed mega-hatch

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N has been priced from £65,000 in the UK, with the 641bhp hot hatch primed to kick-start the electrification of the firm's performance division. 

Orders are open now, with just one specification level available at launch. Standard equipment includes automatic LED lights, 21in alloy wheels and a heat pump for improved efficiency. 

Inside, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is equipped with interior ambient lighting, Alcantara and leather upholstery, an N-branded steering wheel, a head-up display, a wireless phone charger, a 12.3in digital cluster display and a 12.3in central touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available, as through the Hyundai model range.

The track-honed model boasts “race car DNA”, and is an aggressively styled reworking of the Ioniq 5 and is the first electric Hyundai to undergo an extensive reconfiguration by the firm’s N division, the team behind the acclaimed i20 N and i30 N.

Officially revealed at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the new EV “electrifies the passion of driving”, according to N division technical boss Tyrone Johnson, best known for being the brains behind the venerable final-generation Ford Focus RS. 

It sits on the same E-GMP electric architecture as the standard model but gets a larger, 84kWh battery, a bespoke all-wheel-drive powertrain and a suite of technological additions to “meld the driver with the car”.

Now developing 600bhp and 545lb ft of torque as standard, the N-badged Ioniq trumps the technically related 577bhp Kia EV6 GT, which shares its platform. Reserves are boosted to 641bhp and 567lb ft of torque when in ‘N Grin Boost’ mode – sufficient for a BMW M3-beating 0-62mph time of just 3.4 sec.

Extensive testing was undertaken at the Nürburgring, close to where the European arm of N division is based, but Hyundai highlighted that the Ioniq 5 N was also driven on UK roads in order to tweak its suspension and handling.

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Johnson said: “We insisted on going to the UK because its roads can really drive the ride and handling in an even stronger direction and, from my experience, are unique in pushing the limits of what’s possible.

“We put a lot of attention into expanding the bandwidth of the damper system because of the increased mass of the car.” The Ioniq 5 N is expected to tip the scales at more than 2000kg.

The brakes have been significantly enhanced to withstand greater forces on track, with Hyundai adapting its regenerative system to work in unison with the hydraulic brakes. On track, 40-50% of braking force is handled by the regenerative system, compared with 80-90% on the road.

“The brakes are the most important thing when you’re on track,” said Johnson. “Huge amounts of work went into merging the mechanical system with the electric system, as well as the thermal management. We’re using regen in a different and much stronger way to other EVs and it has really influenced the car’s dynamics.”

The development programme also focused on refining the sensory experience of driving an electric performance car and Hyundai N has added an artificial gearbox and engine sound in a bid to capture the spirit of a traditional petrol hot hatch.

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The gearbox simulates the behaviour of the eight-speed dual-clutch unit used by combustion N models, with an actual jolt between shifts to bolster its analogue appeal, and the engine soundtrack ‘revs’ to 8000rpm. Both can be deactivated independently of each other.

Inside, the Ioniq 5 N gets new bucket seats and a bespoke steering wheel, while the 12.3in digital instrument cluster and 12.3in infotainment display have been given the N treatment with performance-oriented themes and settings. Over-the-air updates will be available after its launch.

Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips
Title: Staff Writer

Sam has been part of the Autocar team since 2021 and is often tasked with writing new car stories and more recently conducting first drive reviews.

Most of his time is spent leading sister-title Move Electric, which covers the entire spectrum of electric vehicles, from cars to boats – and even trucks. He is an expert in electric cars, new car news, microbility and classic cars. 

Sam graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2021 with a BA in Journalism. In his final year he produced an in-depth feature on the automotive industry’s transition to electric cars and interviewed a number of leading experts to assess our readiness for the impending ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars.

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catnip 26 October 2023

I get that the simulated gearbox could add to the 'fun', but for me, the synthesised soundtrack is just naff. Why not just enjoy the other big benefits of an electric vehicle, the smoothness and silence?

The Apprentice 26 October 2023

It is optional. Take it or leave it.

Peter Cavellini 27 October 2023
The Apprentice wrote:

It is optional. Take it or leave it.

And at the moment who has the cash for one of these, great it maybe, still got to factor in your life and all that involves just now.

The Apprentice 26 October 2023

Having seen a track review this is apparently a very good drive and a very advanced design in its systems. The simulated gearbox works amazingly and would be a big help to a normal driver to adapt to an EV whilst also adding fun. Range is a tiny bit dissapointing but considering what they are trying to do with this version, the weight of bigger battery would be too big a trade off on handling.

Phewitt21 14 July 2023

I wonder if an estimated 200 - 220 miles range is poor value for a car at this price point, and might deter buyers,  250 to 300 surely is the standard.