Hyundai is not far off launching what could well be the most exciting electric car sold to the public yet.
No, we’ve not lost our minds – while the Ioniq 5 N you see wearing camouflage here won’t have a four-figure horsepower output to rival the electric hypercars we’ve seen in recent years, it does offer something most of those multi-million-pound vehicles can’t: attainability. This is a high-powered electric car that some of us can actually dream of owning – and that’s exciting.
These fresh spy pictures – captured just outside the famous Nurburgring race track only a handful of days after Porsche was spotted testing its incoming 911 GT3 RS there – show us that the electric hot hatch has reached an advanced stage of development.
Hyundai only confirmed that it was working on the Ioniq 5 N (with 'N' affirming that this is one of its performance models) last month, so it did a good job of keeping the project – set to deliver a production car to market sometime next year – a well-guarded secret until then.
Despite the camo, we can clearly see this Ioniq 5 wears swelled wheel arches – presumably there to match wider wheels wrapped in performance-grade tyres. The ‘standard’ Ioniq 5 is a car we like very much (we reviewed one on camera last year), and with as much as 325hp, it’s never felt short of muscle. Clearly, the Ioniq 5 N has been in the gym to ensure the car can handle its enhanced power output.
On that note, are you sitting down? There’s a decent chance this hot hatch will be launched with more than 500hp from its battery-powered setup. Yes, you read that right - 500. That suggestion might sound optimistic, but Hyundai hinted at something fairly bonkers when it revealed the RN22e concept earlier this year. The concept car uses an enhanced version of the Ioniq 5’s 77.4kWh battery, with 576hp produced by the motors. Even with a splash of real-world sauce, a plus-500hp figure doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
Either way, with an output to leave the non-N Ioniq 5 behind, this hot hatch could really shake up the electric hot hatch world. So far, we’ve only been given lukewarm options like the BMW i3 S and Cupra Born, both of which feel more like extra-nippy takes on a normal formula than out-and-out performance cars. Hyundai’s N division doesn’t do things by halves though – see the i30 N and more recent i20 N (a former star of cinch YouTube) for examples. We’ve high hopes for something appropriately mad with the Ioniq 5 N.
Rest assured, cinch will be on the case of getting the Ioniq 5 N to Rockingham when we can – make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss when we do.
By Sam Sheehan