With the first of Hyundai’s dedicated Ioniq sub-brand electric vehicles revealed, we imagine what might happen if the N Performance treatment were applied.
- shares

Hyundai’s new Ioniq 5 electric vehicle (EV) has only just been revealed, giving a first glimpse at what’s to come from the Korean carmaker's dedicated Ioniq EV sub-brand – moving the five-letter badge away from just a single model to a fully-fledged family of zero-emissions vehicles.

Hyundai has already revealed that an Ioniq 6 sedan and larger-still Ioniq 7 SUV are in the pipeline, but what about a go-fast EV from Hyundai’s high-performance N division?

There’s been no news yet, but that doesn’t mean the water cooler chat around the CarAdvice/Drive office hasn’t already turned to something along the lines of an Ioniq 5, only quicker.

In case you missed the key stats from the Ioniq 5 reveal, the entry-level model is set to feature rear-wheel-drive (already a good start), employ a 125kW/350Nm electric motor, and achieve a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.5 seconds. Reasonable, but hardly the stuff dreams are made of.

At the top of the range (for now) sits a dual-motor all-wheel drive variant with 225kW and 605Nm at its disposal, allowing for a 5.2-second 0-100km/h sprint. That’s already ahead of the 5.9-second dash the i30 N hot hatch musters, but as a bigger and more expensive model, the Ioniq 5 deserves more.

Check out our full rundown on the Ioniq 5 here.

The obvious N overhaul starts with the appearance package. Despite a certain clean aggression to the standard 5’s styling, there's still room for more, with our in-house render-master Theophilus Chin opting to equip the 5 N with an aero package that turns the dial up to 11.

You’ll see additional air intakes up front, splitting airflow between the needs of an uprated battery cooling system, and smoothing the flow of underbody air to keep turbulence to an absolute minimum.

The regular Ioniq 5’s rippled wheel arches stay, but they’ve been pumped out slightly to cover the upsized wheel and tyre package, with the front wheels featuring a flow-smoothing air curtain inlet – again optimising airflow, in lieu of full-faced aero-styled wheels.

Since there’s a set of 20-inch rollers bolted to the less aggressive Ioniq 5 already, a small upgrade to 21-inch or 22-inch wheels should be more than enough. It certainly helps with the mammoth brake upgrade you can see poking through.

Lower suspension, with the requisite Nurburgring-developed tune, and a set of side skirts to bring the package closer to the ground complete the look, with red highlights running across the front bib, bodyside cladding, rear bumper and rear tail-light panel.

At the rear, forget monstrous exhaust tips as a sign of performance potential. Instead, there’s more air-calming aerodynamics at work, with a small rear wing above the tailgate, and a downforce-enhancing rear diffuser.

As for performance potential, the sky’s the limit.

The modular E-GMP platform that underpins the Ioniq 5 (and indeed all future Ioniq models) is also set to underpin Kia’s upcoming EV models. Evidence already suggests the similarly-sized Kia ‘CV’ will pack enough power to complete the 0-100km/h run in 3.5 seconds.

As appropriate as that would be for an N car, something in the middle seems more plausible. Hyundai will still have the larger Ioniq 6 and 7 as performance halo models, so kicking the Ioniq 5 off with a remix of current powertrains seems like a perfect middle-step.

To that end, the base Ioniq 5 Long Range RWD packs a 160kW rear motor. It’s no stretch of the imagination to picture one of these at each axle, surpassing the 225kW Long Range AWD with a 320kW peak, leapfrogging the Ioniq 5 N to the most powerful of Hyundai’s current range.

The added urge should see acceleration fall from 5.2 seconds currently, to a more N-appropriate benchmark somewhere around or below the mid four-second mark.

Right now, every part of the Ioniq 5 N is open ended speculation – a checklist of things we’d like to see. Be sure to let us know in the comments what you think a future performance-oriented version of the Ioniq 5 should include.


Below: The regular Ioniq 5