Hyundai Ioniq 5 N driven | Is it the best performance EV yet?

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Author: | Updated: 30 Jun 2024 10:25

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 made waves when it launched, and more recently the potent performance-orientated N did it all over again. Just take a look at the headline stats and it’s clear to see this is something special: Up to 650hp. 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds. A top speed of 162mph. All from an electric vehicle with 278 miles of range, 480 litres of boot space and ample room for the kids.

We’ve recently had the pleasure of sampling this remarkable vehicle on Millbrook’s test circuits, enabling us to take a deep-dive look at this extraordinary machine.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

The looks

The first thing you notice is the wing-like rear spoiler and the active air flap that sits proud of the front bumper. These aren’t just styling touches – these are important changes that help maximise the performance potential on and off the track. Ok, the Luminious Orange accent lines and contrasting side skirts might not add any speed, but they look cool. All models they 21in forged alloy wheels too.

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The drive

From the seats to the steering wheel, the interior is arguably more driver-focused than the exterior would suggest. The N bucket seats are finished in Alcantara, while the steering wheel is trimmed in soft leather and proudly denotes that you’re at the helm of an N model. But that’s not the wheel’s only trick: You’ll find a red button to the right. This launches a temporary “N grin Boost” mode that gives you a 10-second kick of the car’s full 650hp (compared to 610hp in normal operation).

While that extra 40hp is certainly noticeable (and hilarious), out on the open road it’s clear that in any of its modes, the Ioniq 5 N is capable of things you don’t expect from an electric SUV.

Hyundai N Line brakes

It’s a heavy car, but cornering is great fun thanks to the poised handling characteristics and fantastically set up chassis. This is an EV that feels like an outright sports car.

This feeling is further helped by a dozen selectable driving modes. There’s selectable drift mode and track modes for starters. Another element that adds to that sporty feeling is a range of simulated engine noises that includes gear up and down shifts. It’s become a bit of a feature for sport-focused EVs and, while it might seem a bit of a novelty, in practice it’s great fun and adds to the car’s fun factor.

The electric stuff

One of the standout features of the Ioniq 5 N is its impressive range and charging capabilities. With a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge, range anxiety becomes a thing of the past. The 800-volt architecture allows for ultra-fast charging, capable of taking the battery from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes when using a 350 kW charger.

For those who love gadgets, the Ioniq 5 N offers Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) technology, which turns the car into a mobile power source. This feature can be incredibly handy for camping trips or powering tools and electronics during a power outage.

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The techy stuff

The Ioniq 5 N isn’t just about brute force; it’s a technological marvel. The centre-piece of its high-tech interior is the 12.3-inch touchscreen that seamlessly integrates with the digital instrument cluster. This setup offers a futuristic feel and puts all necessary controls within easy reach.

The vehicle’s advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) add another layer of sophistication. Features like Highway Driving Assist, Blind-Spot View Monitor, and Remote Smart Parking Assist make everyday driving safer and more convenient. Also standard is over-the-air updates, ensuring that the vehicle’s software remains up-to-date with the latest features and improvements.

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The practical stuff

The spacious cabin offers ample room for five passengers, with plenty of legroom and headroom thanks to the flat floor. The use of eco-friendly materials and a minimalist design create a modern and inviting atmosphere.

Practical features like the adjustable centre console and generous storage spaces make it easy to accommodate everything from groceries to luggage for those weekend trips away. 480 litres of boot space becomes a cavernous 1,540 with the rear seats folded down. The box-like dimensions ensure this is a particularly usable space, too.

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Should you get one?

So, the Ioniq 5 N is more than just another EV. This is a high-performance vehicle that combines speed, tech and practicality into a single package. It is also proof that EVs can be just as – if not more fun – than petrol-powered performance cars.

You can compare prices on the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 5 N by hitting the buttons below. You’ll find thousands of lease deals that can be tailored to your exacting requirements. Alternatively, check out our head to head where we stack the Ioniq 5 against its Korean sibling – the Kia EV6.

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