A Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is coming.
Documents viewed by CarExpert indicate a fettled version of Hyundai’s all-electric crossover-cum-hatchback is currently in the prototype stages.
Production is set to begin in March 2024, at which point it will become the first electrified model under the N performance banner.
Unsurprisingly, Hyundai is testing the Ioniq 5 N at the Nurburgring.
The company confirmed earlier this year it was working on its first all-electric N car on the dedicated E-GMP EV architecture, though it didn’t say whether it would be based on the Ioniq 5 or the upcoming Ioniq 6 sedan, set for launch in 2022.
Hyundai left the door open for a higher-performance Ioniq 5 when it revealed the model, due here in the fourth quarter of 2021, would offer 225kW of power and 605Nm of torque in its most powerful, dual-motor all-wheel drive guise.
In contrast, the Ioniq 5’s platform-mate at Kia, the EV6, will offer a dual-motor GT variant with 430kW and 740Nm, slashing the 0-100km/h time from 5.1 seconds to just 3.5 seconds.
It’s unclear if the Ioniq 5 N would offer more performance than the EV6 GT, though there may be more of a focus on track performance than in the sporty Kia.
Hyundai executives have said N vehicles can employ any number of different drivetrains, so long as they follow three principles: they must be a “corner rascal”, an “everyday sports car”, and have track capability.
Any larger SUV models will need to be all-electric to receive an N variant, if they get one at all. That rules out N-badged Santa Fe and Palisade models, though it leaves the door open for an Ioniq 7 N.
While the Ioniq 5 is styled to resemble the first-generation Pony hatchback, it’s quite a bit larger than even today’s hot hatches like Hyundai’s own i30 N.
The i30 N measures 4340mm long, 1795mm wide and 1445mm tall on a 2650mm wheelbase, while the Ioniq 5 is 4635mm long, 1890mm wide and 1605mm tall on a 3000mm wheelbase.
That makes it slightly longer and wider (+5mm and +25mm) than the enlarged redesigned Tucson, although it sits 60mm lower.
It blurs the lines between a large hatchback and a large crossover, which makes it hard to categorise rivals for an Ioniq 5 N besides the Kia EV6 GT.
One key rival frustratingly off the table for Australia is the Ford Mustang Mach E GT.
Sized similarly to the Ioniq 5, the Mach E GT produces 358kW of power and 813Nm of torque.
Upgrading to the GT Performance Edition bumps torque up to 860Nm, and slashes the 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time from 3.8 seconds to 3.5 seconds.