Hyundai’s hopped-up N lineup is likely one of the most attention-grabbing corners of the affordable-car universe. Every car underneath this banner carries all method of consumer adjustability, from damping stiffness to tailpipe quantity. These settings let house owners settle right into a groove that higher aligns with their preferences, and it helps units N other than much less configurable opponents. The Ioniq 5 N would be the first efficiency EV on this parade, and after spending a while sliding throughout a frozen lake or two, we’re completely satisfied to report that the way forward for N is about as vivid as may be.

At its winter proving grounds in Arjeplog, Sweden, Hyundai admitted it is not fairly able to disclose full specs. All we all know proper now’s that the Ioniq 5 N’s twin electrical motors mix for a web output of 600-ish horsepower. This is not any mere facsimile of the 576-hp Kia EV6 GT, regardless of the pair sharing the E-GMP platform. There are fewer underlying elements in frequent than you might assume—lots of its underpinnings have been tweaked only for the N division.

Aesthetically, the Ioniq 5 N retains the dedication to theater we see on the Kona and Elantra N fashions. Outside, there is a huge rear diffuser, giant wheels with a intelligent design, greater brakes, fatter fenders and tires, and a extra aggressive entrance bumper. Inside, the 5 N’s steering wheel picks up 4 further buttons for shuffling via its drive modes and enabling numerous options. The greatest change, although, is the inclusion of a hard and fast middle console; whereas the usual model could search to spice up inside quantity, the N variant would reasonably offer you a spot to brace your physique because the lateral g’s ramp up.

Atop a slick, largely frozen lake amid unseasonably delicate climate, with Pirelli Sottozero winter tires sans studs, slipping sideways is all however assured. Hyundai had us try to carry a drift within the sharpest N driving mode with none digital interference, and like every other car, the Ioniq 5 N prototype demanded intense quantities of throttle and steering enter to stop a pirouette. Switching to its devoted drift mode adjusts torque distribution at every wheel to higher maintain a drift after initiating it with a fats stab of the go pedal or an abrupt carry underneath full brake regeneration. The steering additionally reduces its damping to permit for extra granular management with no full arm exercise. It’s nonetheless on the driving force to keep away from spinning, however the machinations happening within the drivetrain encourage sufficient confidence to hold the tail out extra and for longer.

But maybe you do not need to make use of drift mode. There are nonetheless methods to customise the Ioniq 5 N’s demeanor to fit your particular driving fashion. Four totally different modes (Eco, Normal, Sport, and N) alter the steering weight, damping, and throttle sensitivity, however tons of automakers allow you to try this. The 5 N goes above and past by letting the driving force alter torque distribution on a spectrum between almost full entrance or rear bias. Throw all the pieces towards the bow, and the 5 N acts similar to a front-wheel-drive automotive would on the ice—terminal understeer with bouts of liftoff oversteer. Throw all of it sternward, and you are able to do your finest impression of a Mustang leaving Cars and Coffee.

These heroics come from two separate forms of differentials. The Ioniq 5 N’s rear finish makes use of an digital limited-slip differential to shuffle torque left and proper, whereas the entrance finish’s open diff pairs with brake-based torque vectoring. The latter was chosen to scale back each front-end weight and price, but it surely’s nonetheless fairly succesful. Even when the setup’s working onerous, there’s little to no ABS-style brake chatter coming from the within wheel. The result’s easy operation and spectacular physique management over surfaces that might ship extraordinary commuters scrambling for a work-from-home day.

2024 hyundai ioniq 5 n prototype

Hyundai

The means to maneuver the Ioniq 5 N’s energy each which method brings massive advantages to extra conventional winter-driving situations as properly. Mixed-traction surfaces may be tough for beginning and stopping, however the differentials did a commendable job maintaining the 5 N monitoring straight throughout launches and underneath onerous ABS engagement. We even scaled a 20 % grade with the passenger-side wheels on pure ice, and the Ioniq simply shoved its method up with out drama.

Not each little bit of software program is devoted to creating you Keiichi Tsuchiya, although. Some elements swing proper again towards theater. Press the lower-right button on the steering wheel, and the Ioniq 5 N will add simulated gearshifts, interrupting torque supply with a pull of both shift paddle to higher mimic an internal-combustion automotive. The reasoning right here is that it could assist drivers used to standard automobiles ease into EV operation by giving them cues that breed a way of familiarity. Turning on this function additionally locations a tachometer on the gauge show, although it would not correlate to e-motor pace; it is only a neat little flourish with a pretend redline close to the Elantra N’s actual one. Performance is not the purpose right here, for the reason that function would not do squat in that division. Instead, it provides drivers one other approach to tweak the 5 N to their particular tastes.

Even the sound synthesizer performs an element in easing the transition. We discovered it a pleasant complement to the Ioniq’s drift mode, because the sound rising and falling supplies a great aural cue to what the tires are doing. Three totally different sounds might be on supply, however just one was accessible throughout our tour, and it introduced a little bit little bit of a high-strung four-cylinder vibe to the 5 N. Do you prefer it? Great, then use it. Don’t prefer it? Also nice, you by no means want to show it on. But having the selection is sweet.

The Ioniq 5 N is a watershed second for Hyundai’s fledgling N efficiency division. We’ve already borne witness to some supremely chic N automobiles, and the division’s internal-combustion efforts will not cease till the world forces Hyundai’s hand. But the 5 N represents the start of the subbrand’s push upward, towards increased efficiency envelopes whereas nonetheless sustaining a worth proposition that jibes with the Korean automaker’s long-held ethos. Anybody could make an electrical automotive speed up with alacrity, that is not troublesome. But Hyundai is hoping the Ioniq 5 N’s software program—and the ability of selection it brings—will assist this N stand out from the group.

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Senior Editor

Cars are Andrew Krok’s jam, together with boysenberry. After graduating with a level in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, Andrew minimize his tooth writing freelance journal options, and now he has a decade of full-time evaluate expertise underneath his belt. A Chicagoan by start, he has been a Detroit resident since 2015. Maybe in the future he’ll do one thing about that half-finished engineering diploma.

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