Electrification is transforming the automotive industry, and it’s creating a level playing field among automakers. As electric powertrains feel similar, it’s easier for a budget-friendly electric vehicle to provide a premium driving experience compared to a budget car with a gas engine. While Hyundai already produces great driving cars, their latest model, the Ioniq 5 N, could be a car to watch out for, even for premium sports car manufacturers such as BMW.
According to Car and Driver, the South Korean automaker is working on a high-performance version of the Ioniq 5. The Ioniq 5 N is expected to have some impressive specs, making it a potential competitor to the 576 horsepower KIA EV6 GT. C&D claims that the Ioniq 5 N will likely have around 600 horsepower from its dual electric motors. Although there are no official specs available yet, this is exciting news for those who are eagerly anticipating its release.
The Ioniq 5 N is camouflaged in snowy test mules, making it hard to visualize the car’s final design. However, it’s expected to have sportier features, such as wider fenders, a lower front bumper, a rear diffuser, a lower ride height, and a small rear spoiler. The car is said to look playful in the snow, drifting around and shooting white rooster tails in the air.
Hyundai brought C&D along to test the Ioniq 5 N prototype, and it seems to be a promising little performance EV. It features an electronically controlled limited-slip differential at the rear axle, which helps shift torque between the rear wheels, providing exceptional lateral performance. Most EV manufacturers avoid additional diffs as they put a damper on efficiency, but when it comes to high-performance cars, lateral performance is more important than a small efficiency bump.
Former BMW M boss Albert Biermann is largely responsible for where Hyundai is today. The new Ioniq 5 N is a testament to what Biermann brought from BMW to Hyundai, making it a genuine rival for the Bavarians. The Ioniq 5 N is something that BMW should absolutely be keeping an eye on. To see just how far Hyundai has come in terms of making genuinely fun performance cars, check out the prototype drive review from C&D.
[Photos: Hyundai Press]