Whatever you might think about EVs, electric motors make massive amounts of torque. And that’s what Hyundai is set to take advantage of with the 2025 Ioniq 5 N. The high-performance version of the automaker’s all-electric SUV could make traditional muscle car fans weep.
Hyundai may be a brand for the masses, but ignore any model with the “N” badge on it at your own peril. And now, the performance sub-brand is working its magic on the South Korean carmaker’s first dedicated EV, the Ioniq 5.
Making its debut at the LA Auto Show, the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N takes the already peppy little crossover to new levels of performance. Punch it into N Grin Boost mode and you’ll have 641 horsepower at the beck and call of your right foot.
“Starting with Ioniq 5 N, N brand aims to deliver its signature fun driving experience regardless of petrol, electric or hydrogen,” said Till Wartenberg, vice president and head of N Brand and Motorsport at Hyundai Motor Co.
“Ioniq 5 N,” he added, “was developed to take driving fun to a new level by utilizing the latest technologies available.”
Not just a rebadged Kia EV6 GT
Like the more mainstream version of the Ioniq 5, the N edition shares many of the same underpinnings as the similarly athletic Kia EV6 GT, starting with the skateboard-like E-GMP architecture. Moving the 84-kilowatt-hour battery pack and motors underneath the load floor results in an extremely low center of gravity that helps offset the vehicle’s added mass.
Hyundai officials go to great lengths, meanwhile, to show off the Hyundai-specific features that give the Ioniq 5 N its own unique personality when compared to the Kia performance model.
The base Ioniq 5 is available in both single and dual-motor configurations. The N package does more than just amp up the power going out to its twin motors.
To stiffen the body there are dozens of additional weld points and the body-in-white adds substantially more structural adhesive. Both motors, along with the battery pack, get reinforced mountings, as do the front and rear subframes.
The Ioniq 5 N also gets what Hyundai describes as “World Rally Championship-inspired integrated drive axles.” These are not only stiffer and stronger but lighter, helping offset the crossover’s 21-inch forged aluminum wheels.
A new rack-mounted, motor-driven steering system delivers a quicker steering ratio and, the automaker claims, better feedback.
The new N Pedal is a software function that, says Hyundai, “is designed to provide instant turn-in behavior and enhanced throttle sensitivity.” The Ioniq N also gets a new “drift optimizer,” which is meant to simulate the way a driver can let the back end hang out with a rear-wheel drive gas model.
Grin and bear it
The heart of the beast is, of course, the electric drivetrain. The original Ioniq 5 makes 218 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque with the single, rear-mounted base package, while the twin-motor, all-wheel-drive package bumps that to 306 hp and 446 lb-ft and can launch you from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds.
With the Ioniq 5 N combined output jumps to 601 horsepower in normal mode (Hyundai’s yet to release torque specs). That climbs to a hefty 641 hp in N Grin Boost mode. Indeed, we expect it to take only slightly longer to hit 60 than it takes to say those four words. The factory numbers suggest 0-60 times of 3.25 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 162 mph.
As with the Kia EV6 GT — and some other performance EVs, boost mode can operate only for short bursts of up to 10 seconds, even with the added cooling Hyundai has built into the N crossover. You have to settle back briefly before reactivating it.
One feature we’re looking forward to trying out is N Launch Control. It automatically activates the pony power boost and provides three different traction levels to ensure maximum grip and the quickest take-off.
Unlike some of those other performance models, Hyundai expects N buyers to take the Ioniq model out on the track and, as noted, has upgraded the crossover’s cooling system.
Among other things, it adds a battery pre-conditioning function to bring the pack to its optimum temperature before choosing either short runs in “Drag” mode, or sustained high-speed driving in “Track” mode.
As you’d expect of a track-ready vehicle, Ioniq 5 N’s blended brake system has been upgraded. Much of the work is done by the regenerative system which recaptures as much kinetic energy as possible, sending it back to the battery pack to extend range. But there are also 15.75-inch diameter front rotors with four-piston monobloc calipers and 14.2-inch rear rotors.
For those who might miss some of the familiar tactile features of a gas-powered sports car, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N features an integrated N e-shift function meant to simulate the feeling of a traditional transmission.
And the N Active Sound+ function delivers what the automaker describes as “a futuristic electrified sound with ICE-like engine and exhaust sounds for a more engaging experience behind the wheel.”
A more aggressive exterior
The 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N features a number of performance-focused design upgrades, starting with those 21-inch Pirelli P Zero tires. The crossover’s overall dimensions have grown 2 inches longer to accommodate the big rubber, while the N also has been stretched 3.2 inches because of an integral rear diffuser. It sits 0.79 inches lower than the mainstream Ioniq 5 models, however.
Along with the diffuser, the N gets and exclusive wing-type spoiler and unique bumpers. There’s also a new rear windshield wiper and washer to help maintain visibility in “adverse conditions.”
A sportier cabin
The Ioniq 5 N features a number of N-branded details, starting with its new steering wheel, scuff plates and metal pedals. It’s the first N-branded steering wheel. And it gives easy reach to the paddles operating the N e-shift and N Pedal functions.
To keep a driver properly positioned, the N crossover gets new sport bucket seats, as well as knee pads and shin supports. Even the pedals have been redesigned to ensure contact while drifting or in power slides.
Range and charging
Hyundai has yet to release range numbers — but, as with the Kia EV6 GT one can predict there’ll be a dip from the 256 miles per charge that the mainstream, twin-motor Ioniq 5 gets.
Then again, the loss may be less than expected thanks to the larger 84 kWh pack. The standard-issue Ioniq 5 models are equipped with a 77.4 kWh pack.
Hyundai estimates charging times of just 18 minutes to go from a 10% to 80% state-of-charge using a public quick charger capable of delivering at least 238 kilowatts.
Pricing and availability
The 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N will begin rolling into U.S showrooms in March 2024.
The automaker has yet to announce pricing but it’s certain to come in at somewhere around the $61,600 Kia gets for the EV6 GT — if not more considering some of the added features built into the Hyundai offering.