2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Is Thoughts-Altering on a Observe

Efficiency electrical autos present massive horsepower numbers, and their torque-rich motors, able to instantaneous supply, make for blistering acceleration. However not like their high-strung internal-combustion counterparts, electrics are missing in two important areas: the sound of an engine’s micro-explosions and the mechanical suggestions that imparts a way of pace. Hyundai’s N performance-tuning arm seeks to treatment that with its 2024 Ioniq 5 N.

A blast down the entrance straight of the Nürburgring’s GP circuit reveals the Ioniq 5 N is rather like another efficiency electrical. The grandstands blur round you, wind deflects across the bodywork, and although the Ioniq 5 N’s digital instrument cluster signifies severe pace, the mind says in any other case. Standing on the brakes into the GP circuit’s difficult Flip 1 brings solely tire noise and no extra. However Hyundai has a couple of methods up its sleeve.

Sound On

With a press of one of many camouflaged, configurable buttons on what’s going to doubtless be Hyundai’s most complex steering wheel thus far, N Lively Sound + involves life. There are three out there sound profiles whose quantity may be adjusted from distant to in-your-face: Evolution is the spacey noise we have grown to dislike in lots of EVs, Supersonic is one other gimmick that emulates a fighter jet, and probably the most participating profile is Ignition. By means of the eight inner and two exterior audio system, it appears like a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four discovered within the Elantra N or the Kona N. It is executed nicely sufficient that an untrained ear may even suppose there’s combustion taking place underneath the hood. Sound system, verify.

With Ignition activated, the soundtrack drones alongside as if an N-tuned 2.0-liter have been paired with a repeatedly variable computerized. Yuck. However with a push of yet one more steering-wheel button, the Ioniq 5 N unleashes one thing that adjustments the sport of how the mind processes EVs: simulated gearshifts. By briefly interrupting the motors’ torque supply, N e-Shift mimics an eight-speed dual-clutch computerized. The 5 N jolts on upshifts. Downshifts are rev matched and accompanied by pops and bangs from the audio system throughout deceleration, similar to the internal-combustion N vehicles.

Hyundai is totally clear that interrupting torque supply with N e-Shift is not the quickest method across the circuit, however by solely a slim margin. Based mostly on our transient time behind the wheel, the trade-off is perhaps value it. N e-Shift alters the sense of pace the mind perceives. Many on-track cues come from noise: You may know {that a} braking zone happens on the high of fourth gear, and that is the suggestions N e-Shift delivers that no different EV at present supplies. In the event you take handbook management with the shift paddles and miss a shift, you may hit a digital gasoline cutoff. Get caught out in too excessive of a gear, and the Ioniq 5 will even lug the powertrain by limiting the facility supply. Sure, it’s very faux and unrelated to the mechanicals, but it surely’s a level of engagement that till now has been misplaced within the electrified world.

Siblings, Not Twins

The automobile that hosts this refined EV powertrain isn’t just a rebodied Kia EV6 GT. Though the Ioniq 5 N does share the identical E-GMP platform and far of the identical underpinnings—the three-position adaptive dampers, an electronically managed limited-slip differential—it’s a extra track-focused instrument. Its physique has 40 extra yet-to-be-revealed strengthening factors than the usual Ioniq 5 and particular bushing tolerances. It is secure to imagine the 5 N will at the very least match the EV6 GT’s 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque, however we’re anticipating Hyundai to show it up a notch.

With greater than 6000 miles of improvement across the treacherous 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife, Hyundai is severe concerning the 5 N’s service life on observe. The purpose is for the Ioniq to have the ability to full two laps with little efficiency degradation. To perform that, Hyundai has optimized the 5 N’s cooling package deal with extra air coming into the nostril, extra environment friendly radiator packaging, an improved oil cooler, and an upgraded battery chiller. To finish two laps across the Inexperienced Hell will doubtless require a distinct battery from the 77.4-kWh unit frequent to the Korean manufacturers, and Hyundai is not keen to speak concerning the battery pack simply but.

Many Modes

Just like the gas-powered N vehicles, the Ioniq 5 is replete with drive modes. N Race presents a Dash mode to maximise efficiency and use all of the out there energy. Endurance mode is about to assist with the two-lap mission by managing the battery, motor output, and regeneration methods for prolonged time spent on observe. There are additionally two preconditioning modes, one for the observe and one other for drag racing. With a launch-control mode that preloads the motors, we count on the 5 N to beat the EV6 GT’s 3.1-second rip to 60 mph.

Our earlier explorations of the 5 N’s front-to-rear torque-distribution slider revealed that the automobile is a drift machine on a frozen lake. Whereas we did not experiment with this characteristic on the asphalt, the considered directing all of the driving pressure to the entrance axle for a smoky front-tire hearth amuses us nearly as a lot as sending the torque to the rear for power-sliding shenanigans.

Getting again on, ahem, observe, the Ioniq 5 N is a delight across the 3.2-mile GP circuit. Up entrance, four-piston mounted calipers squeeze 15.7-inch rotors (0.7 inch bigger than the EV6 GT’s), whereas a single-piston slider pinches a 14.2-inch rotor within the again. All through 4 flying laps, the brakes by no means relinquish stopping pressure, and the pedal stays agency and tidy. There’s an N Pedal mode button lurking within the infotainment, however Hyundai is not prepared to speak about that. We suspect it adjusts the brake-pedal really feel and even the regeneration mapping to assist rotate the 5 N throughout braking.

No fewer than three steering modes can be found, ratcheting up the trouble as they progress into the racier settings, however by no means to the purpose that you simply’re wrestling a grizzly bear. Over the GP circuit’s 15 turns, the Ioniq 5 N–particular steering rack delivers fast turn-in, although we would choose a bit extra really feel because the Hyundai-spec Pirelli P Zero Elect PNCS 275/35ZR-21 tires load up. With a low middle of gravity and minimal physique roll, there is a false sense of grip while you’re divebombing an apex. Admittedly, we have been in all probability overdriving a observe we’re unfamiliar with, so overworking the Pirellis to the purpose of understeer is on us, however we suspect there’s some torque-vectoring software program within the works that may take some guesswork out of it and maintain the Hyundai on a tighter line.

The 5 N is greater than only a observe attacker. On a short highway drive navigating the twisties linking the villages of western Germany’s rolling hillsides, the 5 N reveals its tamer aspect. Similar to the 10Best-winning Hyundai Ioniq 5, the turned-up variant dialed again into its least aggressive settings and with all of the noise turbines silenced is a superb, well-isolated cruiser. Of their softest setting, the adaptive dampers exhibit implausible wheel management. On the limitless sections of the autobahn, the 5 N cruises alongside at a drama-free 160 mph with near-perfect on-center steering calibration.

It’s going to be a while earlier than we are able to expertise a manufacturing model of the Ioniq 5 N, as manufacturing begins early in 2024. Even on this automobile’s improvement phases, Hyundai actually has paved the for the 5 N to alter the way in which we understand an electrical automobile from behind the wheel. Whether or not making an EV sound and really feel like an internal-combustion engine will win over fanatics stays to be seen, but it surely’s a motion on track.

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Senior Testing Editor

David Beard research and opinions automotive associated issues and pushes fossil-fuel and electric-powered stuff to their limits. His ardour for the Ford Pinto started at his conception, which occurred in a Pinto.