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March 26, 2024

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: The High-Performance EV For Petrol Heads By Petrol Heads

Electric and high-performance are two automotive concepts that lie at the opposites of a car enthusiast’s mind. Each one carries characteristics that don’t seem to jive with one another. Electric vehicles are seen as heavy, soulless, lumbering commuters, while high-performance cars are all about lightweight, visceral, communicative weekend joy machines. It’s this seemingly unattainable balance that Hyundai decided to work with in the development of the Ioniq 5 N—its high-performance EV.

First up, a quick glossary. High-powered and high-performance aren’t the same, especially in Hyundai parlance. It’s easy to make a high-powered EV with a thousand horsepower or a thousand Newton-meters of torque. They could be fast in a straight line, but its handling, braking, and even battery condition would fade quickly. On the other hand, high-performance is all about delivering lap times which are both fast and consistent; it’s about the total package as opposed to the peak power its motors could simply produce.

United by a common goal of producing a high-performance EV, Hyundai N-gineers from Europe, South Korea, and the U.S. worked together, whether it was with the intricacies of sound design or the nuances of engineering an EV for high-performance racetrack driving. The result is the Ioniq 5 N—a fusion of skill and insight from every corner of Hyundai.

Each element of the Ioniq 5, be it aerodynamics, suspension, and power deliver were optimized and infused with the Hyundai N DNA—Corner Rascal, Everyday Sportscar, and Racetrack Capability.

For the Ioniq 5 N to be a Corner Rascal, Hyundai had to overcome the inherent high weight (2,200-kilogram curb weight) and size (3,000-mm wheelbase) of the EV. The answer? Restore its driving dynamics through a mix of hardware, software, and control-relation solutions. Compared to the base car, the Ioniq 5 N incorporates 42 additional welding points, 2.1 meters more structural adhesives, and a reinforced steering column. The improved structure minimizes flexing allowing for better balance during accelerating, braking, and high-speed cornering. It also heightens precision and predictability.

N-gineers then moved to the control systems themselves. These systems—be it the Electronic Limited Slip Differential and Electronic Stability Control—were all recalibrated to increase its cornering capabilities and torque vectoring. The steering and suspension system, down to the specially-developed Pirelli PZero Corsa 21-inch tires optimize performance while enhancing driver feedback.

Then, to uphold the pillar of Everyday Sportscar, N-engineers needed to enact technologies that ensure a suitable level of practicality. One aspect of achieving this is through the Ioniq 5 N’s range. This high-performance EV can reach 448 kilometers on a charge. Sharing the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, it’s equipped with similar charging capabilities such as achieving 10 to 80 percent charge in a mere 18 minutes.

Finally, to help it live up to the Racetrack Capability pillar, N-gineers had to make the Ioniq 5 faster, more powerful, and fiercer.

As a first step, the same 84-kWh battery was tuned to achieve top performance. However, unlike the base car, the electric motors now spin at up to 21,000 rpm. There’s also a two-stage inverter for increased energy efficiency for a higher power output. The numbers? 650 horsepower and 770 Nm of torque. This helps propel the Ioniq 5 N from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. Its top speed—260 km/h—is the fastest among Hyundai’s production line-up.

And to manage the heft of a fully-equipped, high-performance five-seater, the N-gineers outfitted it with Hyundai’s most powerful braking system. But besides the larger discs and four-piston front calipers, it cleverly uses regenerative braking—a unique trait found in EVs—to its advantage. At its peak, its brake regeneration offers a decelerative force of 0.6 G. Not only does this help feed power back to the battery pack, but helps preserve the brake pads and discs.

Finally, Hyundai had to engineer an advanced battery thermal management system. Equipped with an expanded cooling area, an improved motor oil cooler, and a battery chiller, the cooling system is engineered to optimize the battery based on two race modes: Sprint, which emphasizes an immediate burst of full power ideal for hot laps; and Endurance, which prioritizes track range for longer stints and is ideal for non-competitive track driving.

Fine-tuned at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the Ioniq 5 N lapped the 20.8-kilometer circuit in 7 minutes 45.59 minutes making it the fastest mass-production Hyundai and putting it in the company of the Nissan GT-R, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Porsche 911 GT3 RS. However, the N-gineers’ goals aren’t based on lap times; they aspire to develop cars that customers can enjoy on track days on any racetrack in the world. This was exactly their ambition when they completed a demanding feat on the Nürburgring – driving two full laps, recharging, and driving two additional laps. This challenge based on real-world conditions aligns perfectly with practical drive laps.

As the world increasingly embraces sustainable mobility, Hyundai has emerged as a leader, proving that dreams, passion, and international collaboration can transform the automotive landscape. The Ioniq 5 N is the beginning of a new chapter in the era of electric performance. It’s a meticulous blend of precision engineering, cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to performance that only Hyundai’s N-ginners could do. Above all, it’s an engineering marvel—a high-performance electric car for petrol heads, engineered by petrol heads.

1 comment:

  1. The question is will petrol heads embrace the battery electric revolution?


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