Hyundai is testing the performance capabilities of its IONIQ 5 N — the N brand’s first high-performance, all-electric model — at the challenging Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany in preparation for its world premiere in July.
For the IONIQ 5 N, the Hyundai Motor Company has fused its Electrified-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) with N’s motorsport-bred technologies and expertise to maximize the electric vehicle’s high-performance capabilities and ensure it meets the three pillars of Hyundai’s N-performance: Corner Rascal, Racetrack Capability and Everyday Sportscar.
To achieve this, Hyundai Motor combined the strengths of its Namyang Research and Development Centre in South Korea and its European test centre at the Nürburgring, which is an extension of Hyundai’s European R&D centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany, where the brand’s European design and engineering teams have been based since 2003.
A full-time presence at the track enables Hyundai’s N team of engineers to evaluate and develop the durability and driving dynamics of its vehicles more effectively and more often.
“The Nürburgring is where every N model is honed to the Nth degree, so our first high-performance, all-electric N model must also prove itself here,” said Till Wartenberg, vice president and head of N Brand and Motorsport at the Hyundai Motor Company. “The IONIQ 5 N has just completed its 10 000 km durability test on the Nordschleife, which is an important milestone that proves the vehicle’s high endurance and racetrack capability. We have now begun our second 10 000 km test to push the IONIQ 5 N’s limits.”
Maximizing endurance in racetrack conditions
Hyundai’s N brand has long used the Nürburgring Nordschleife (North Loop) track to validate motorsport-bred technologies on N brand vehicles, and the IONIQ 5 N is no exception despite the technical challenges unique for electric vehicles (EVs). Extracting maximum performance from an EV requires strict discipline on heat management compared to cars with internal combustion engines (ICE), and that requires advanced software implementation. This means each hardware upgrade is further reinforced by advanced software-based performance enhancements.
The IONIQ 5 N’s heat management through cooling is given particular care as EVs are more challenging to cool than its ICE predecessors. An enlarged cooling area with N-specific efficient radiator packaging, enhanced motor oil cooler and battery chiller complete the hardware enhancements similar to ICE vehicles. These hardware cooling techniques are further reinforced by new heat management solutions, such as N Battery Preconditioning and N Race.
N Battery Preconditioning pre-sets the temperature of the battery cells to their most power-efficient temperature. The battery preconditioning function is split into two modes: “Drag” mode and “Track” mode to accompany different performance driving scenarios. In Drag mode the optimum temperature is set for immediate use of maximum power, while in Track mode the lowest possible battery temperature is optimized for increased number of laps.
N Race gives drivers more direct control over the car’s energy use, prioritizing “Sprint” or “Endurance” driving. “Sprint” is the default state of the IONIQ 5 N, prioritizing full power on demand for the driver. “Endurance” is a setting that maximizes the IONIQ 5 N’s range on the racetrack. This is achieved by limiting sudden power spikes that slows temperature build-up and increases endurance.
N Battery Preconditioning and N Race are a direct result of the N brand’s motorsport-derived approach. This helps drivers to strategize energy consumption in order to maximize performance or longevity. While this type of setting change would normally require a team of mechanics and equipment, IONIQ 5 N offers it at the convenience of a few button presses.
Regenerative braking from the motors provides the primary braking force with hydraulic brakes delivering additional braking force if necessary. Hyundai N engineers designed this unique regenerative braking system specially for the IONIQ 5 N, offering up to a maximum of 0,6 G decelerative force — an industry leading figure — through regenerative braking alone. Regenerative braking remains engaged even under ABS activation with a maximum of 0,2 G decelerative force.
The IONIQ 5 N’s hydraulic brakes are enhanced with larger 400-mm diameter discs, featuring new lightweight material and optimized airflow for cooling. The reduced dependency on disc brakes increases the longevity compared to ICE vehicles. The seamless blending between the regenerative and hydraulic brakes creates an imperceptible transition to the driver.
Redefining sound and gearshift as precision driving tools
Many performance enthusiasts have criticised the lack of driver feedback behind the wheel of many EVs. That is why N engineers developed N Active Sound + and N e-Shift in order to deliver greater driver feedback and thus more precise driver control of the vehicle’s dynamic handling. The N brand’s unique emphasis on precise driver feedback differentiates from past iterations of EV sound.
N Active Sound + consists of a ten-speaker system (eight internal, two external) that provides three different sound themes: Ignition, Evolution and Supersonic. Ignition simulates the 2.0 turbo engine of ICE N cars complete with pop and bang sound effects, while Evolution is a N signature electronic sound inspired by the N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo Concept and RN22e. Supersonic simulates a fighter jet to give the drivers the sensation of a fighter pilot. All sound options are customizable for drivers to tailor to their preference.
N e-Shift works closely with N Active Sound + to simulate the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) of ICE N cars. N e-Shift simulates a gearshift by controlling motor torque output and simulates the jolt feeling between shifts. The goal is to allow drivers to seamlessly use driving techniques honed with ICE cars for a more immersive driving experience that feels closer to ICEs than EVs.
In conjunction with the Nürburgring test, the N brand released “Hyundai N | IONIQ 5 N Teaser – Episode 3”, highlighting the IONIQ 5 N’s racetrack capability. The film shows the IONIQ 5 N undergoing endurance testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, reaching its 10 000 km testing milestone. The IONIQ 5 N is scheduled to complete an additional 10 000 km durability test before production in order to confirm the vehicle’s enhanced mechanical endurance as well as the seamless functionality of its intelligent software.
Reaching into the heart of car culture at Goodwood Festival of Speed
The IONIQ 5 N will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, marking Hyundai N’s first participation at this iconic event. A dedicated Hyundai N stand will host the IONIQ 5 N’s world premiere announcement on 13 July, as well as other activities designed to engage the public. In addition, multiple N vehicles, including the hydrogen-powered N Vision 74, will participate in the hill climb.
Additional information and detail will be released building up to IONIQ 5 N’s world premiere.