Hyundai Motor Company’s first high-performance EV IONIQ 5 N is trending globally. It was possible to achieve the powerful performance of IONIQ 5 N, represented by a maximum output of 478kW (650 horsepower, * based on N Green Boost use), 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds, and a top speed of 260km/h; In addition, it achieved driving pleasure that had not been expected from EVs and track driving performance that exceeded the limitations of existing EVs.
The unique features of IONIQ 5 N are based on a wide range of high-performance specifications, including an innovative battery thermal management system, powerful regenerative braking, and unique drive control technology. These key aspects enabled the IONIQ 5 N to implement the three core elements of the N brand - Corner Rascal, Everyday Sportscar, and Racetrack Capability - in an electrified powertrain.
Recently, Hyundai Motor Company held the ‘IONIQ 5 N Experience Day’ at the HMG Driving Experience Center in Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, where visitors could introduce the high-performance features of IONIQ 5 N in detail and experience them in various courses. Here are the main features and high-performance specifications of IONIQ 5 N that I felt at this event in detail.
The HMG Driving Experience Center, where the IONIQ 5 N Experience Day was held, was designed to provide an intensive experience of each high-performance feature installed in the IONIQ 5 N; The multi-purpose driving course consists of a long straight section and left and right obstacle sections, allowing visitors to experience the dynamic driving sensation of the IONIQ 5 N.
The driving mode in the test drive was Normal. IONIQ 5 N rushed forward as soon as the start signal was turned on, and the driving speed exceeded 100 km/h in the blink of an eye. During fast acceleration, I pressed the red NGB (N Green Boost) button located on the right side of the steering wheel. Then, I once again felt a strong sense of acceleration, as if the vehicle was being pushed away once more. When N Green Boost is activated, an additional 30 kW (41 horsepower) of output and 30 Nm of torque are added. This feature increases the output of the PE system for 10 seconds and ensures quick response, increasing the excitement of driving and maximizing the potential performance of IONIQ 5 N.
IONIQ 5 N entered the braking point after strong acceleration; And its powerful braking performance quickly decelerated the massive body weighing 2.2 tons. Its braking system configuration includes a 400mm disc at the front wheel, a 360mm disc at the rear wheel, and a 4-piston monoblock caliper at the front wheel to improve braking response. It is also equipped with the N regenerative braking system, which uses regenerative braking most actively among the models currently in mass production.
N regenerative braking system is capable of regenerative braking up to 0.6G; This figure is the deceleration amount corresponding to a sudden stop in a typical driving situation, which means that N regenerative braking alone is sufficient for braking in most situations. Additionally, since N regenerative braking does most of the work that mechanical brakes must do, it prevents the braking system from overheating during track driving. Of course, the amount of power recovered by regenerative braking is also significant, which allows you to enjoy sports driving efficiently.
Its cornering performance was also impressive; In a left/right obstacle course, the car was sleek despite its 3,000mm wheelbase. In addition, even while the load was moving from side to side, it passed between the rubber cones stably without being disturbed - thanks to the E-GMP platform, which has a heavy battery mounted low to the floor, and a driving control system that quickly and actively distributes driving force. This was all the more surprising because it went against the existing common sense that the longer the wheelbase, the worse the cornering performance. For reference, the wheelbase of IONIQ 5 N is 100mm longer than that of the large SUV Palisade (2,900mm).
Again, on a straight track, I tried out another high-performance feature - N e-Shift, a virtual shift control function that replicates the driving characteristics of an internal combustion engine performance car. N e-Shift adjusts the resistance of the drive motor to give the feeling of engine braking when decelerating. As soon as N e-Shift was activated, the virtual speed and RPM were displayed on the instrument panel screen. When the accelerator pedal was pressed, the virtual RPM on the instrument panel rose simultaneously, and the system limited the vehicle’s acceleration as if the engine brake had been applied. At this time, when I pressed the right paddle shift, the virtual RPM decreased as if shifting to upper gear, and the car accelerated again.
N e-Shift can adjust the strength and timing of virtual engine braking for each driving mode, and provides a thrilling feeling of driving by linking with virtual driving sounds that match speed changes; In other words, the IONIQ 5 N showed almost the same driving response as an internal combustion engine car. I was worried that the virtual shift control and virtual sounds would be off-putting, but that wasn’t the case.
Virtual driving sound is implemented with N Active Sound Plus. It comprehensively judges virtual RPM, driving speed, drive motor torque, and accelerator pedal deployment to reproduce internal and external sounds appropriate for the driving mode and driving speed, faithfully conveying the feeling of driving an actual high-performance internal combustion engine car. There are three sound options - the sound of the internal combustion engine N, the driving sound of the high-performance N Concept (N 2025 Gran Turismo), and the jet sonic boom sound effect.
Next, I parked the IONIQ 5 N on the straight road to use N launch control. N Launch Control minimizes delay losses due to launch response by applying appropriate driving torque to the PE system in advance before departure. Additionally, this provides maximum acceleration performance and a thrilling sense of acceleration. It supports three grip levels - low, medium, and high - depending on road conditions, and accelerates the vehicle through wheel slip control optimized for the selected grip level. For reference, in order to use N Launch Control, you must keep driving mode N, ECS Sport or OFF, and shift lever D, and N e-Shift, a virtual shift control function, cannot be used at the same time.
After activating N Launch Control in the infotainment system, I floored the brake and accelerator pedals with both feet. Accordingly, the launch control entered the preparation phase, and when I took my foot off the brake pedal, the IONIQ 5 N launched like a bullet with maximum acceleration performance. The IONIQ 5 N did 0-60 in just 3.4 seconds – thanks to its powerful 478 kW (650 hp, * with N Green Boost). This confirmed the true value of the PE system of the IONIQ 5 N; It is not easy to experience a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds on a regular road, comparable to that of a supercar.
I experienced the N pedal on a course with wide corners. The N pedal imitates tuck-in, one of the sports driving techniques. It uses the principle of independent control of the front inner wheel as well as three-stage cooperative control of regenerative braking amount, motor response, and drive distribution ratio. Through this, the N pedal implements a tuck-in characteristic where the front of the vehicle digs into the corner just by taking your foot off the accelerator.
First, I tried N pedal level 1. After accelerating to 70 km/h, I quickly took my foot off the accelerator as soon as I entered the corner. Then, the driving speed gradually decreased and the front of the car headed toward the inside of the corner. In the second and third trials, the N pedal was set to levels 2 and 3, respectively. Then, I could feel the tendency to dig into the corner and the amount of deceleration increasing.
Then I moved to the slalom course; This course focuses on understanding the vehicle’s behavior characteristics and consists of left and right obstacles, circular turns, and high-speed avoidance braking. Here, I was able to experience the effects of N Torque distribution. N Torque Distribution allows the driver to select the front and rear drive force distribution to achieve understeer and oversteer characteristics as desired. You can select the front/rear wheel drive force distribution ratio over a total of 11 levels, including setting the front or rear wheel drive force to Max. Accordingly, it offers the driving characteristics of front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and permanent four-wheel drive in stages.
For example, when the driving force was set to the front wheel max in a circle turning section, understeer - the turning radius gradually expanded - became more severe. Conversely, when the driving force was set to rear wheel max, oversteer - the rear part of the body slipping as acceleration progressed - occurred.
This time I went off the multipurpose course and onto a wet circle course. The wet round-turn course was designed to allow drifting to be enjoyed with minimal tire wear thanks to the water reducing friction, making it the optimal environment for experiencing the N Drift Optimizer. This feature induces rear wheel slip and assists drift driving through drive control and regenerative braking control that prioritizes torque distribution to the rear wheel drive motor.
I activated the N drift optimizer in the infotainment system and drove in a circle counterclockwise. At this point, I floored the accelerator and the back of the body started to slide outward. Drifting is a difficult driving skill that only experienced drivers can perform, but in the IONIQ 5 N, drifting was relatively easy just by adjusting the accelerator pedal. The drift optimizer makes this easy by cooperatively controlling the vehicle body stability control system, TCS, E-LSD, etc. based on the information (steering, yaw, wheel rotation speed) provided by sensors that identify the vehicle’s current movement.
While drifting on wet roads, I found that I had to press the accelerator pedal less often than I expected; Unlike internal combustion engines that must maintain appropriate torque and wheel speed by increasing engine speed, IONIQ 5 N is an EV that develops maximum torque as soon as it starts. Therefore, when those who are accustomed to drift driving in internal combustion engines can be fully aware of these points, they will be able to enjoy drifting more easily with the IONIQ 5 N.
I went to the final course, the dry circuit A course; It consists of a 2.0km long section with 4 right corners and 6 left corners, and a 325m-long straight course. While the previous courses allowed me to experience the various driving specifications housed by the IONIQ 5 N one by one, this was an opportunity to experience all driving specifications at once. On this track, visitors were able to feel the same excitement as a real race as the instructor car picked up the driving pace at the front.
Here, the IONIQ 5 N showed mild oversteer even in normal driving mode. The limitations of the IONIQ 5 N in corners were also significant; It went around corners so lightly that you couldn’t even feel its 2.2 tons weight. In addition, the instrument panel displayed the driving force distribution and regenerative braking amount for each wheel in real time, showing that Hyundai Motor Company’s advanced electrification technology is helping to realize the IONIQ 5 N’s excellent cornering ability. Of course, as the limit performance was high, the body posture control device was barely involved.
On the second lap, I changed the driving mode to N. Thanks to the N mode, which has a firm suspension setting, the process of load transfer and traction were felt more vividly. However, even during such intense track driving, the IONIQ 5 N’s high performance was maintained tirelessly; The electrification technology that maintains battery performance in extreme driving situations made this possible.
N Race and N Battery preconditioning are representative features; First, by adjusting the battery temperature and cooling time, N Race minimizes the possibility that the rapidly rising battery temperature during track driving will deteriorate driving performance. It supports two driving modes - Sprint, which is advantageous for short-distance races with explosive power, and Endurance, which supports long-distance races by limiting some of the maximum power but minimizing the reduction in travel distance.
N Battery preconditioning supports drag mode and track mode - functions that optimally manage battery temperature according to driving purpose. In drag mode, the battery temperature is managed at 30~40℃ so that the IONIQ 5 N can achieve explosive maximum acceleration, and in track mode, the battery temperature is managed at 20~30℃ to prevent the increased battery temperature from reducing engine output. In this event, N battery preconditioning was not used, and considering that the track driving was relatively short, only N Race’s sprint mode, which maintains explosive performance over short distances, was used.
Even though I had completed all the courses related to the driving specifications, the excitement remained; There was still a program that allowed you to sit next to a professional driver and experience the IONIQ 5 N’s powerful top speed of 260 km/h. The program was held on Korea’s most prestigious high-speed main circuit, where the bank angle was greatly increased and the driver could drive without taking his or her hands off the steering wheel at speeds of over 200 km/h.
Entering the high-speed main circuit, the IONIQ 5 N instantly reached the vehicle’s maximum speed of 260 km/h and maintained a cornering speed of over 200 km/h. Above all, it was impressive that it drove stably even at high speeds, which are difficult to experience. Considering that the top speed of competing EVs with similar peak output is 220 to 250 km/h, the perfection of IONIQ 5 N seemed even clearer.
This event demonstrated that IONIQ 5 N, which houses advanced electrification technology and various driving specifications, guarantees eternal driving pleasure and excellent driving performance even in the age of electrification. And I was confident that IONIQ 5 N could become a new standard for high-performance EVs. IONIQ 5 N is just the beginning; The N brand will continue to provide its unique value through a variety of high-performance EVs that will lead the trend of high-performance electrification. Many people are looking forward to the new car life that the N brand will bring.
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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