The all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 is already a favorite, earning a spot on our 10Best Trucks and SUVs list. With strong range figures, sharp styling, and accessible pricing, it's easy to see why. If you were looking for something with more inspiring performance, however, you'd have to look to the related Kia EV6 GT, but that all changes with the new 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, which should be arriving in the U.S. this coming March.
Hyundai could have taken the path of least resistance and mimicked the EV6 GT. Instead, with former BMW M division chief Albert Biermann leading the charge, the madmen within the N performance brand decided that anything worth doing is worth overdoing. The N treatment is far more than just a boost in power, a suspension retune, and some extraneous badging and spoilers. Among other things, the chassis has been reinforced with more bracing, welds, and adhesives. Additional cooling has been added to handle more demanding power needs, and as for the suspension, it has been drastically overhauled for track-ready handling.
The Ioniq 5's unique styling remains, though the N variant sits 0.79 inch lower and expands 2.0 inches in width and 3.2 inches in length, courtesy of a pronounced rear diffuser. Additional aero panels and reddish-orange accent splashes further give it a high-performance look without being garish.
As far as actual performance goes, the all-wheel-drive Ioniq 5 N increases its output to a maximum of 641 horsepower. That's more than double the standard Ioniq 5's 320-hp max rating. Battery capacity also increases from 77.4 to 84 kilowatt-hours. Standard 21-inch wheels are shod with 275-width, three-season, high-performance Pirelli P Zeros. The monoblock brake calipers have a distinct Brembo look to them in the same way the front seats resemble Recaros, but they're both Hyundai-sourced. There is also a long list of new performance features and settings, all starting with the letter N.
We had the opportunity to sample the Ioniq 5 N on an abbreviated Korea International Circuit, which hosted a few Formula 1 races last decade. Not surprisingly, acceleration is immediate. Hyundai estimates the car will reach 60 mph in less than 3.3 seconds on its way to a 162-mph top speed. What was surprising was the sound. The N Active Sound+ feature tries to approximate the sound of an internal-combustion engine with a video game–like synthesis. The sound could certainly be improved, but we found ourselves enamored with it when combined with the N e-Shift function that simulates an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
You're likely rolling your eyes as much as we did when we learned of this combo feature, but it fundamentally changes the 5 N's character—for the better. Not only is it good enough to overcome our prejudice, it got us chuckling with joy. Using the shift paddles on full-throttle, no-lift shifts, you get an instant and violent race-like gearchange that snaps your head back. Lift off the pedal and you get a series of crackles and pops that reminded us of the raucous Jaguar F-Type. It adds an entirely new dimension of driver engagement that is missing in other EVs, in the way a manual transmission does for a Porsche 911 or a Mazda Miata. The sound can also be heard from the outside, but it's not overly brash. Count us pleasantly surprised, but if you're not convinced, you can turn these features off.
Then there's the handling. We had a Hyundai engineer riding shotgun to give us a taste of the numerous drive modes and settings during our seven laps around the track. With N mode activated, the Ioniq 5 N feels balanced and very controllable, which also equates to slightly boring for track use. Enter N Torque Distribution, which allows you to select how much power is sent to the rear wheels. We were partial to the maximum rear bias setting, as it allows for some tail-happy antics. The 5 N is incredibly easy to hustle around the curves, gently feeding in throttle and laying down thin stripes of rubber.
We tried to provoke some snap oversteer with a quick lift and stomp of the foot midcorner, and the Ioniq obliged. In an instant we were pointing toward the inside of the turn, but it was easy to recover with some countersteering and measured pedal application. It behaves just as a typical rear-drive coupe might. Kudos, Mr. Biermann.
His deft touch is also felt in braking, as the pedal is linear with an appropriate amount of effort. It's as seamless as a conventional sports car when you're trailing it deep into turns, and you can even left-foot brake if that's your thing. The N Brake Regen feature increases the amount of deceleration when lifting off the throttle, allowing you to more gracefully weave from turn to turn. Biermann was aiming for enough regeneration to get the tail to break loose, but that was a battle he lost, at least for now. Impressively, regenerative braking is active even when dipping into anti-lock territory.
Getting back to the N Torque Distribution, you can significantly change the handling behavior by shifting the power bias to the front, which dials in more understeer. This kind of adjustability is an intriguing addition, along with the many other settings. It might be a bit daunting for some, but if you've ever delved into tuning a car in the Forza or Gran Turismo game series, this could be geek heaven for you. If you've tuned your own suspension in real life, you'll be amazed by how easy it is.
Yet another feature, N Drift Optimizer, aims to allow novice drivers a limited drifting experience by selectively powering and braking specific wheels to induce oversteer. There's also a Torque Kick Drift system that simulates a clutch dump; it's triggered by holding both shift paddles and then releasing them. It seems plausible that this will work well, but on the skidpad, we found it challenging. We had better results by turning off all of the stability and traction nannies, sending all the power to the rear wheels, and having at it.
Altogether, the Ioniq 5 N is a legitimate track-day weapon. It may not be the fastest car on track, but we're convinced it'll be one of the most entertaining. Outside of this specialized environment, it's equally livable. The ride quality is firmer than the standard Ioniq 5 but not at all objectionable. Our public-road drive revealed the 5 N is just as easy to drive.
Range is still an unknown, and official estimates aren't expected until closer to the on-sale date. There are some notable drive modes to help ensure you won't run out of juice mid-session, though. Hyundai claims the Endurance mode allowed the 5 N to complete two laps around the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife without losing any performance on its eight-minute laps. The engineers also point to its 20-20-20 target (20 minutes of track time, 20 minutes of DC fast-charging, and another 20 minutes of track time). The Sprint mode throws all of that to the wind and unleashes maximum power.
Price is also an unknown, but considering the top Ioniq 5 Limited trim with all-wheel drive rings in just shy of $60,000, and the Kia EV6 GT stickers at almost $63,000, it's not out of the question to assume the Ioniq 5 N will flirt with the $70,000 mark.
We came away from the drive impressed by the Ioniq 5 N. It's predictably playful and extraordinarily versatile. As the N brand's first foray into the EV space, this apex Ioniq is an enticing portent of what's to come. As Biermann proclaimed, "It's like AC/DC meets BTS," which is certainly one way to put it. Depending on price and range, it's likely to be one of the most giggle-inducing EVs for less than six figures.
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