Hyundai Ioniq 5 N – Who needs brakes anyway?

In Car Reviews, Electric, Electric cars, Hyundai, Performance by Matthew Macconnell

“Pft, an EV with hot hatch characteristics? That sounds rubbish”.

Car Reviewed: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

Before you make a statement like this, ensure that you’ve driven the Ioniq 5 at least once. If you’re still not sold, drive it again and make sure you’re on the right road this time.

I love a good hot hatch like the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS. The way these cars engage the driver is down to some mad engineering, and they always leave us wanting more—enter the Ioniq 5 N.

Nowadays, it’s unheard of for an EV to provide an engaging driver experience. When it comes to performance EVs, we’re mostly fed large torque figures and 0-62mph times by manufacturers. Sure, the Ioniq 5 N boasts some impressive figures, 600bhp and 0-62mph in just 3.4sec, but this car holds a larger ace up its wheel arch — the ability to persuade those who have nothing but fuel flowing through their veins that EVs can be fun.

While you still have ‘Eco’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes, two ‘N’ buttons on the steering wheel can be configured to channel your inner bam. Everything from the powertrain to the steering can be configured to suit.

My test car was set up so that the left button engaged normal EV mode but with a spaceship-like whir. The right button configuration is where things became really interesting. This was set up to produce scarily accurate hot hatch sounds with matching performance. The gearless EV became an eight-speed manual with a redline with the motors providing feedback with every gear change, like a large actuated driving simulator.

Heading towards Braemar, a 50-mile trip from our Dundee set-off point, it was time to see just how hot this 2.2-tonne 600bhp EV could be through a series of tight bends and long straights. While the emulated sounds and trick gearbox could appear gimmicky, you’re quickly reminded of how just serious this car takes itself.

The N holds on tight through every sweeping corner with masses of grip. The driver is then rewarded when changing gears by DSG pops and a thump from the ‘cog swapping’; let off the gas, and the N sends false bangs and rumbles through the car. Press the boost button, and power is upped to 641bhp for 10sec. In all, it’s an absolute hoot.

Inside, you get great-looking, hugging seats and there’s plenty of room for passengers, luggage and pets. It’s worth remembering, however, that there’s no ‘frunk’ in the N, but instead a labyrinth of wires and electronic gizmos.

It comes with an 84kWh battery that can charge at a rate of up to 240kW. This means that the 10-80% fill is done in just 18 minutes.

With its engaging driving experience, immense performance, and practical interior, the Ioniq 5 N redefines the fun and capabilities of electric vehicles, and it all adds up to be a compelling choice for any driving enthusiast looking to make the switch to electric.

Author Rating 5/5

Car Reviewed: Hyundai Ionic 5 N

on the road price as tested £65,000

  • 0-62mph 3.4secs
  • Top speed 163mph
  • Motor Twin Motor
  • Battery Range up to 278 miles (claimed)
  • Max Power 641bhp
  • Torque 740Nm
  • Dimensions MM 4715 L/1940 W/1585 H
  • CO2 emissions 0g/km
  • Transmission 1-speed automatic AWD
  • Bootspace 527 / 1540 litres (seats folded)

Matthew MacConnell


A motoring journalist from Central Scotland with a Diploma in Freelance and Feature Writing from the London School of Journalism, contributing to various online and print automotive publications. Matthew covers features, news and car reviews and enjoys the fast-paced environment of the motoring world with a strong coffee in hand. From a Honda Jazz to a Lamborghini Reventón there’s nothing off limits.

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