2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: The Enthusiast’s EV That Marries Power with Emotion on the Track

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: The Enthusiast’s EV That Marries Power with Emotion on the Track

Evaluation: Hyundai’s 2025 Ioniq 5 N, an electric enthusiast vehicle, proves patience pays off

Hyundai’s team has utterly impressed with their latest creation, the 2025 Ioniq 5 N. This electrifying small-sized SUV could very well revolutionize the world of racing sports.

The majority of electric cars offer an exhilarating experience when accelerating in a straight path due to their impressive speed and readily available torque. However, their hefty build turns into a drawback on racing circuits, and issues with managing battery temperatures may curb the excitement before the battery even depletes.

Similar to other high-performance variants of popular vehicles, such as the Toyota Corolla GR or the Acura Integra Type S, the Ioniq 5 N boasts enhanced horsepower, an expanded wheelbase, and improved tires. The vehicle retains the array of technological amenities typically found in a Hyundai, including autonomous emergency stopping, a driver-assist feature for more relaxed long-distance driving, cordless integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a sizable digital display for both the gauge cluster and the entertainment interface.

The firm aimed to create an electric vehicle that would appeal to traditional internal combustion engine fans, encouraging a shift to electric. Generally, these enthusiasts are not swayed by technological advancements. What they seek is an emotional bond with the car, a sense of unity as if the car is a part of them. They crave the thrill, the pleasure, and even a slight sense of danger.

Wow, this is seriously impressive.

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Model Overview by Emme Hall

Green Car Reports tasked me to head over to Laguna Seca Raceway to tackle five particular inquiries—highlighted in bold in the text below. My day was spent among expert drivers and Hyundai’s technical team, diligently completing my mission while marveling at the craziness of revving up an insanely potent vehicle around an enthralling circuit and earning a paycheck for the thrill. Folks, it indeed was a splendid day.

Does activating N Grin Boost make you smile while driving the Ioniq 5 N? Have you tried it out on a racing circuit? The N Grin Boost feature is like a speed-boosting power-up in a gaming world. Hit the red NGB button on the steering wheel, and the Ioniq 5 N unleashes its full potential of 641 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque for a brief, thrilling 10-second burst. This surge of power is available provided the battery maintains at least a 30% charge.

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Model Overview by Emme Hall

The Laguna Seca Raceway presents a challenging course filled with hidden peaks, deceptive turns that tighten as you go, and a decently long front stretch of about 0.2 miles. I thought this straightaway would be an ideal spot to accelerate and, in turn, put a smile on my face.

At the moment of impact, I was uncertain of my speed, but considering I had just maneuvered through turn 11, which is a sharp left, my pace probably didn’t exceed 35 to 40 mph. I pressed down hard on the gas pedal, paused briefly, then firmly pressed the NGB button with my right thumb.

I couldn’t help but smile, but I also felt a surge of anxiety. I had been utilizing a Hyundai-designed sound for driving, which I’ll explain shortly, and the moment the NGB activated, there was complete quiet. It felt as though I had entered a surreal space void where the usual rules of time and physics didn’t apply.

As I accelerated towards the first turn, a daunting ascent that veers to the left and has consistently instilled fear in me at this circuit, the vastness of space seemed to engulf me. I dared to steal a quick look at my speedometer, which read 105 mph.

2025 Model of Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

I reassured myself, believing that I was okay and that all was well.

I succeeded in keeping the gas pedal down while going over the hill without a terrifying scare, though the uncontrollable giggling that followed was evidence of a slight tinge of fear in me. I applied the brakes firmly and, against the odds, navigated the second turn, known as the Andretti Hairpin, before the NGB switched off, the artificial sounds resumed, and I returned to a somewhat more controllable speed.

Hyundai subsequently informed me that NGB has the option to emit one of three different sounds and isn’t required to be silent. Looking back, the car becoming silent was quite an interesting experience, as it distinctly indicated that something was in process. However, I wasn’t exactly ready for that quietness.

2025 Model of Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

In the Ioniq 5 N, the illusion of a manual transmission is achieved through a faux shifting mechanism that simply revs the motor. Hyundai opted for this to give drivers the impression of shifting gears. The company deliberated on a two-speed gearbox but ultimately chose the N e-Shift system. This system gives the driver the sensation of an eight-step gear shift, capping the motor at 7,750 revolutions per minute instead of letting it freely reach its peak at 21,000 rpm, thereby enhancing the driver’s connection to the vehicle.

Merging the artificial noises—and hold tight, I’m about to explain—that came with manually changing gears significantly enhanced my driving sensation. Using automatic transmission works alright for a casual drive to the supermarket, but we’re talking about Laguna Seca here. My desire was to have an authentic driving feeling, to have the reins in my hands.

Hyundai’s team crafted the artificial gear changes with such straightforward brilliance, it almost seems inspired by a driving game. Engaging manual mode and flicking the right paddle to shift up, the power momentarily dips then surges, all incredibly quickly. In the driver’s seat, it’s a soft nudge at the least, but with my foot down, it’s forceful enough to snap my head back slightly, mimicking the effect of an actual loaded gearbox.

Approaching bends, I was able to shift to a lower gear which allowed the engine to aid in reducing the vehicle’s speed, while simultaneously regenerating some charge into the 84-kWh battery, which boasts a higher capacity than any other model in the Ioniq 5 range. In the interest of experimentation, I attempted to come out of turn 11 in fourth gear, which resulted in a discernible delay in acceleration, mimicking the response one would expect from a traditional manual gearbox.

2025 Model of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

Hyundai had the option to follow Porsche Taycan’s lead by choosing a dual-speed gearbox. However, their strategy is geared towards easing traditional internal combustion engine fans into the world of electric vehicles. Hyundai is aware that car enthusiasts have a fondness for stick shifts, and even though their model lacks a clutch pedal, it still offers drivers a degree of control.

Joonwoo Park, who holds the position of Vice President in the N Brand Management Group, mentioned that incorporating a two-speed transmission would result in both increased weight and expense. Instead of opting for an actual tangible component, Hyundai chooses to enhance their straightforward single-speed transmission with just a bit of code that doesn’t add any heft. This decision contributes to the overall lightness of the Ioniq 5 N and assists in maintaining its cost at $67,475, which encompasses an additional $1,375 for delivery.

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

How does the Ioniq 5 N’s artificial engine noise come about? What sparked the idea for this fabricated aspect of the vehicle’s drive?

Let’s delve into the auditory experience! Hyundai has introduced a feature dubbed N Active Sound+ in the Ioniq N 5, offering a range of auditory choices to the driver. Naturally, there’s an option for silence, with only the soft hum of the electric motors as they rev. This suits regular driving quite well, but for those moments on the racetrack, engaging the full spectrum of senses, hearing especially, is essential.

The most impressive sound system option is undoubtedly Ignition. It utilizes the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine you’d find in the Elantra N, complete with its distinctive lift-off sounds. My initial laps were in quiet mode, letting the single-speed transmission operate independently. However, once I activated the N e-Shift and N Active Sound+, I was met with the satisfying tactile feedback of using paddle shifters and the robust sound of an eager engine. This significantly heightened my involvement, and the improved lap times were evidence of this. I may not be on par with Max Verstappen, but I completed my second round noticeably faster and had a great time doing it.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N eN1 Cup racing vehicle

Audio is channeled into the vehicle via eight internal speakers and emitted to passersby through a pair of external speakers. Park mentioned the possibility of racers in South Korea’s eN1 Cup, featuring the Ioniq 5 N, eventually selecting a unique sound signature, allowing spectators to recognize the approaching driver as they navigate turns and head onto the straightaway.

I suppose I’d prefer if mine echoed a Mötley Crue guitar riff, although I’m getting off track.

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Overview by Emme Hall

Preparation is equally focused on maximizing time on the circuit as well as ensuring rapid charging. What’s the mechanism behind this in the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5?

Indeed, electric vehicles face certain challenges with high-intensity circuit driving. While a traditional internal combustion engine car might simply require a quick refuel, which takes under five minutes, an electric vehicle involves a more complex interaction of parts to ensure the batteries are performing at their peak and can be recharged swiftly.

Initially, we consider energy distribution. The Ioniq 5 N’s battery can be prepared for either a short, high-intensity race by maintaining its temperature within an ideal range of 86 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or for a longer race by keeping it somewhat cooler, preferably between 68 and 86 degrees. It’s worth noting that these temperatures are associated with peak performance rather than the maximum distance the vehicle can travel. During my laps around the racetrack, I observed a 10% battery depletion during each of my two longer racing attempts, with the battery’s warmth hovering around 70 degrees. In contrast, I expended 16% of the battery’s energy in a single short race, concluding with the battery heating up to 93 degrees.

The Ioniq 5 N features a cooling system that is three times larger than that of the standard Ioniq 5, complete with an internal battery cooling component and a dedicated radiator. Additionally, the onboard computer provides the driver with an estimated time for the system to achieve the ideal temperature, ensuring the driver is informed about when the vehicle is ready for the upcoming race session.

2025 Model of Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

The Ioniq 5 N has the capacity to rapidly charge at a maximum rate of approximately 235 kw due to its 800-volt system. Yet, seasoned EV users are aware that this charging speed isn’t always assured. It’s essential for the charging station to function properly to supply the necessary energy, and the vehicle’s battery must also be in a state to receive it. Similar to many electric vehicles, the Ioniq 5 N can prepare its batteries for charging by regulating their temperature to the ideal range of 68 to 86 degrees for optimal charging.

Hyundai has set up 10 rapid charging stations at South Korea’s Inje Speedway to facilitate its fresh eN1 Cup race competition. The company is also aiming to deploy charging units at race circuits globally, with the renowned Nurburgring in their sights. Hyundai claims that in Endurance mode, their Ioniq 5 N can complete two full laps of the almost 13-mile course without any dip in performance.

Regarding powering up at Laguna Seca, Hyundai was forced to bring in several trucks equipped with generators in order to maintain a continuous supply of electricity. Although there are Tesla Superchargers available, they aren’t compatible with the Ioniq 5 N as it lacks NACS compatibility and the station isn’t equipped with Magic Dock technology. Quite the predicament.

2025 Model of Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

When considering if the Ioniq 5 N is on par with the EV6 GT in terms of excitement behind the wheel and battery life, it’s evident that they diverge despite their shared foundation. It’s true, the EV6 boasts impressive specs with its dual motors producing 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque—numbers that are in the same ballpark—and it does have commonalities with the Ioniq 5 N such as a drift mode and an electronic limited-slip differential. However, it lacks the larger battery and enhanced cooling system of the Ioniq 5 N. Ultimately, the EV6 GT stands out as a speedy vehicle capable of navigating twists and turns with ease, yet it falls short of being a vehicle designed for the race track.

The EV6 GT lacks an electronic gear shifting system and does not provide sound signals, both features that improve the Ioniq 5 N significantly. Moreover, the Hyundai offers separate controls for the motors, steering, the electronic limited-slip differential, suspension, and steering sensation, allowing the driver to direct nearly all of the torque to the back wheels if they choose to.

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Unveiled by Emme Hall

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Overview by Emme Hall

Two distinct brake regeneration modes exist: the I-pedal for typical regenerative levels and the N pedal, designed primarily for shifting weight. By choosing this mode, the 0.36g of regenerative force not only decelerates the vehicle as it approaches a curve but also effectively shifts the weight forward, enhancing the Pirelli P Zero tires‘ ability to maintain traction during the turn. Sure, there might be some tire squeal, but rest assured, the adhesion is solid. In contrast, the EV6 GT, which is equipped with the less grippy Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, just doesn’t stack up.

Regarding the distance these vehicles can cover on a single charge, it’s a bit tricky. I had the chance to try out the Ioniq 5 N on regular streets, though only briefly. Hyundai claims its 84-kWh battery delivers a driving range of 221 miles—naturally, this would decrease with aggressive driving on a race circuit. On the other hand, the Kia EV6 GT, with its 77.4 kWh battery, can manage 206 miles. However, reaching that official EPA rating would likely be challenging if you’re constantly pushing the GT to its limits at every opportunity to accelerate.

2025 Model of Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

After departing from Laguna Seca, I was thoroughly exhausted. I had navigated the intimidating first curve at speeds over 100 mph, incessantly quizzed Hyundai’s engineers with detailed inquiries, and relished the entire experience. Despite the 2025 Ioniq 5 N being a highly technical machine filled with complex configurations, it managed to evoke a level of excitement and fun that I hadn’t anticipated could come from an electric car.

This car isn’t designed to be eco-friendly or to enhance safety with cutting-edge technology for drivers, nor is it about extending the limits of electric vehicles. Rather, the Ioniq 5 N is focused on the sheer pleasure of driving, and that’s something I’m excited about.




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