Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: Can the E-Crossover take on the race?

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: Can the E-Crossover take on the race?

From the famous series “auto motor und sport” extracts words that are no longer in vogue today: tramp. Admittedly, Hyundai is really digging the word. Although – hey, it’s complicated. In any case, the Ioniq 5 N should embody the three basic elements of the brand The N sub-brand, just like the i30 N and i20 N: Corner Rascal, Racetrack Capability, and Everyday Sportscar. Well, Rascal can be translated as Tramp. So you’re a curveball. Nice term. But does it fit in an electric crossover that weighs about 2.2 tons Well, in any case, the serious intent to pull off the joke can already be seen in the first turns of a country road near the coast in South Korea. The Ioniq steers sharply, follows curve radii with a high level of body control, and pulls powerfully on the exit of the curve into the curve Next with all-wheel drive. If it follows immediately, it does it instantly, the 21-inch wheels with Pirelli tires (civilian, not Corsa!) grip gamely, and the steering provides excellent information as to whether maximum grip has already been reached or not.

Deep down

You sit much lower than the base Ioniq in tightly padded, easily manually adjustable seats with plenty of lateral support, and you control the optimally sized, race-car-style shaggy steering wheel. Hey, there’s something going on! Straight ahead anyway, because the Hyundai engine, with an electric motor on the front and rear axles, develops 448 kilowatts, and even 478 kilowatts using the boost function. Oh my God, it had 650 horsepower. And the times of judgment, still so! Maximum torque is 770 Nm anyway. Producing that much power seems easy in times of e-mobility. But how can it be implemented? In the pleasure of driving outside the strait? Within the legal speed range? This is exactly where the Ioniq 5 N comes in – and it uses an incredible number of functions. The fan base of combustion-engined N models has certainly satisfied their desire to play since 2017 with numerous setup options and tricks like this one: If the camera recognizes a traffic light announcing a winding road, the information display triggers Sport mode to activate. This is easily done using the steering wheel button at the top left. But there are three more. But first it’s about the chassis hardware. In principle, the basic design known from the global E-GMP electric platform with multi-link rear axle and MacPherson front axle remains. Due to the larger 400mm brake discs and four-piston fixed calipers (rear 380mm, single-piston fixed caliper), the latter had differently positioned lower pivot points. The developers also adjusted the dimensions of some components, including spring and damper rates, and added an additional 42 welding points to the body, which was widened by 50 mm. In addition, so-called rack-and-pinion steering is used, i.e. an electromechanical design in which the actuator is located close to the rack, and not on the steering column (improves response and feedback).

Once will never be equal

And the drive? You get a new battery with a capacity of 84 instead of 77 kWh, which can be charged at up to 350 kW. Oh yeah, range: supposedly 450 km. In economic mode. Back to text: High and low temperature range coolers are no longer behind each other, but on top of each other. The engine on the front axle produces 166 kilowatts, and the rear axle produces 282 kilowatts. This should enable acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds – not just once, but several times. Hyundai specifies a top speed of 260 km/h. Above all, the package aims to enable Ioniq 5 N customers to participate in race days on the racetracks. Admittedly, things are likely to be difficult on the 20,832-kilometre Nordschleife, but the legendary roller coaster serves as a reference: “During development, at some point it became clear that we could manage two complete courses in a time of less than eight minutes.” says Albert Biermann, who once moved from BMW M to Hyundai after completing development of the M4 F82 to build the N there. The engineer now works in an advisory capacity for the Koreans and has just postponed his retirement by a year. once again. “The important thing is that we don’t want to set any records, we never have. It’s about fun driving on racetracks and country roads with a high level of everyday suitability,” Berman emphasizes. The 4.72-metre-long Ioniq 5 N offers the latter just as much as its Civic brethren, at least in terms of ample space and ergonomics. Or in other areas? Well, suspension comfort is more manageable, and the N chassis runs noticeably tighter, but in tune and with a fair amount of comfort remaining.

squeeze me

But that topic fades into the background, as does the boost function (named “N Grin”) and launch control. Why? Because you press the button at the bottom right of the steering wheel. Suddenly the Ioniq sounds like an i30 N and the tachometer and gear levels appear in the variable instrument layout. I’m sorry, what? Yes, the crossover actually mimics the powertrain of a combustion engine. This is intended to help the driver make better use of the N’s massive power on the race track and find braking points and steer better through audio and haptic feedback (shift jerks!). To experience this, the 3.04 km version of the Korea International Circuit is available in Yong-am. The Ioniq is already flying into the first turn after the start of the finish, which is a sharp left turn. By pulling the left steering wheel paddle, the input gearbox instantly shifts down, from the default sixth to second. Yes, the sound produced by the audio system via eight internal speakers and two external speakers (the latter only active at 30 km/h) is very close to that of a combustion engine, but it still ends up being noticeably synthetic. Just the voice, not the personality As we go along, it turns out that this really benefits you. Driving behavior? In N mode, the Ioniq 5 N acts as a solid all-wheel drive vehicle, i.e. primarily neutral, with a tendency to understeer at maximum grip. It really gives you the feeling that you have it in your hands, that you can play with it, and that you can trust yourself more. Even the brake pedal conveys plenty of feel with a reasonably short pedal travel and a noticeable pressure point — a weak spot on many hybrid or electric cars due to the transition from recuperative to hydraulic brakes.

Get well with me

Good keyword: playing with the brakes. If you activate the so-called N pedal, the Hyundai recovers in three stages by up to 0.6 g (0.4 g for the base). The stock characteristics are designed in such a way that lifting the throttle results in the most authentic and pronounced load change as possible. This significantly increases agility, but the third level requires alertness because the back is already lively. The second level works great on the track, and also pushes the rear end under acceleration due to the power distribution shifting slightly rearward. amazing. And heavy weight? Well, weight. The Ioniq 5 N’s deliberate body movements take some getting used to, and the car’s cornering response is exciting at first because it feels like a combustion engine. But then there is a noticeable amount of collective action. But hey, the device is fun! Even after seven laps, it does not weaken, the cooling concept works.

The instinct to play

By the way, sprint and race mode are available to use the battery charge efficiently. There are also three modes each for performance characteristics, steering, dampers, sound (forget Emotion and Supersonic), head-up display, and an electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle. Oh yeah, there’s also a mode that’s supposed to make drifting easier for beginners. This also makes it possible to simulate a clicking clutch to start a drift. However, the fast, crazy torque requires a very sensitive foot on the throttle. At least in the wet. While on a dry racetrack, the Ioniq 5 N is a lot of fun to drive – apart from getting used to the moving mass – and it sweeps along the country road quite happily. How much does fun cost? It is expected to cost around 75,000 euros, and deliveries will take place from spring 2024. So, it’s time for another episode of the popular series “auto motor und sport mines old-fashioned words”: amazing!

Great, I would buy it!It doesn’t work at all!

Of course, you can drive the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, it will entertain you. But only when you’ve mastered all the functions and settings does the electric crossover really take off, and even impress on the race track – also because the basic instrumentation metrics are right.

(Tags for translation)electric car

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