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Hyundai Ioniq 5 N | Back to the future

Stunning acceleration. Rolling silence. Soothing driving. This is what the new converts to the electric car first highlight, not without remembering that it also runs cleanly. A proposition that is not supported – apart from environmental protection, of course – by fans of cars that are lively, agile and fun to drive. But they risk changing their perception by discovering the Ioniq 5 N.

Boring to drive, “electric” ones? Porsche, to name just one, demonstrated the opposite with the Taycan and more recently with the Macan EV. Okay, but at what cost? Hyundai, through its subsidiary Ioniq, is now offering a more financially “acceptable” option ($78,199) and likely to interest die-hard disciples of the “vroom vroom” culture.

The first electric vehicle created by Hyundai's sports arm, the Ioniq 5 N is reviving the popularity of production cars with caffeinated performance.

Intended mainly for customers nostalgic for a bygone era (at least, that is what government authorities claim), the Ioniq 5 N is promised a confidential career on the commercial level. In fact, its real mission is essentially symbolic. Demonstration of the brand's expertise, this model arrives at the right time to further energize Hyundai's too-smooth image.

Duct tape and ideas

  • Despite its size and weight, the Ioniq 5 N offers sporty driving.


    Despite its size and weight, the Ioniq 5 N offers sporty driving.

  • The dashboard


    The dashboard

  • The back seat


    The back seat

  • The grille


    The grille

  • The Ioniq 5 can count on an effective braking system.


    The Ioniq 5 can count on an effective braking system.

  • The height of the trunk leaves something to be desired.


    The height of the trunk leaves something to be desired.

  • Compared to a “normal” 5, the “N” version skims the asphalt more closely.


    Compared to a “normal” 5, the “N” version skims the asphalt more closely.


Because of its build and its weight, nothing seemed to predestine the Ioniq 5 to one day wear sneakers. Even less to want to reproduce characteristics that we thought had disappeared forever. Take for example the “E-Shift” which equips the Ioniq 5 N, a device which creates the perfect illusion that a gearbox is attached to the electric thrusters. Not only is it possible to see the ascending and descending gradation of the eight (fictitious) gears on the dashboard, you can even feel that little kick in the butt when changing gears. How is it possible ? By temporarily cutting the power each time you flick the paddles on the steering wheel. Things like that, the Ioniq 5 N has more than one.

Like reproducing, from the inside, the sound of a heat engine, including real detonations that escape not from the exhaust outlets (it doesn't have any), but from the speakers. It's all fake, but we always laugh.

Compared to a “normal” 5, the “N” version shaves more closely the bitumen which is under its 21-inch tires which it will not save due to its weight and its torque power. Even more so, if you abuse the electronic system which allows the rear to drift when accelerating (in a deserted place of course). Even when it moves, the Ioniq 5 N remains perfectly rigid. The original chassis has additional welding points and adhesives to increase its rigidity. Its aerodynamic excrescences also make it longer and wider than the ordinary model. Lower too. A little more wobbly over bumps and other road deformations, but still comfortable for daily use.

The Ioniq 5 N doesn't need to be judged for its energy efficiency. Its claimed autonomy (356 km) does not give a fair overview of reality either. During this test, it was possible to cross the 400 kilometer mark (411 more precisely) without too much trouble. We don't always fly it with our sword between our teeth. Luckily, since the Ioniq 5 N can be grueling to drive at times. Its steering, whose assistance has been reprogrammed, undoubtedly allows it to be thrown wildly in turns, but the weight transition is still felt. Hold on, because the Ioniq 5 N remains firmly attached to the asphalt.

Acceleration is sharp, but doesn't press you against the backs of the (brilliantly wrapped) seats like a Tesla or make you gag like a Porsche Taycan Turbo GT. Even when activating the “quick start” mode (launch control) which, for 10 seconds, triggers lightning from the two electric motors. It is reassuring, however, that the vehicle can be stopped very quickly with the help of an efficient and durable braking system when hot.

Not selfish

The pleasure that the Ioniq 5 N provides can also be experienced with family or a group. The long wheelbase of this model favors rear seat occupants whose main concern will be to stay in place. At the front, the grip of the bucket seats – with manual adjustments – holds you firmly in place. We won't come back forever to the curious selector which looks like a branch coming out of nowhere. Nor on the low height of the trunk now topped by a window now equipped with a windshield wiper. And even less on the absence of a receptacle under the hood. Here, not all the attributes of an electric vehicle have been retained. Not everyone will complain about it.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

  • Suggested retail price: $78,199
  • Eligible for government grants: No
  • Consumption: 3.0 Le/100 km
  • WE love
    High performance
    Successful mimicry of a gearbox
    Spacious interior
  • We like less
    Budget to plan for tires
    Low energy efficiency
  • Our Verdict
    If you were afraid of getting bored of a vehicle with a thermal engine…

Visit the Hyundai Canada website

Share your experience

The Press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: Cadillac Lyriq, Nissan Kicks, Mazda CX-90 and Subaru Forester. If you own one of these vehicles or are awaiting delivery, we would love to hear from you.

Write to us to tell us about your experience

See also:   Mercedes-Benz VAN.EA platform: the all-electric commercial
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