The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N truly won me over when I made a mistake.

Right after crossing the George Washington Bridge out of New York City, there’s this wide arc of an exit ramp onto the Palisades Interstate Parkway that I always look forward to. If you hit it just right—like when there are few other cars around or at night—you can drop your speed a bit and then power hard onto one of the state’s most scenic roads, a sweet reward after all that Manhattan traffic. 

I was in “second gear,” with the “engine” roaring “wide-open throttle” in my ear, when flashing lights on the dashboard screen warned me that I was bouncing off my “redline.” Before I could exit the ramp, the Ioniq 5 N howled and hesitated as it reached its “rev limiter,” unable to speed up until I “shifted” into “third” and dropped the hammer again. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

Sure enough, I rocketed forward and passed an also-hustling BMW X5 M without really trying, my own laughter drowning out the engine noises. I knew this car would be a riot to drive; I didn’t expect a “rev limiter” to be part of the experience. 

I wrote much of the above in quotes because none of those things were actually happening.

The electric Ioniq 5 N has no engine or dual-clutch transmission. It’s been designed to replicate the experience of those things—sounds, feel, even vibrations—at a level you’d normally get from a gas-powered performance car, all with zero tailpipe emissions. Those sensations go with a thundering 641-horsepower SUV with better handling than something this heavy has any right to have. It launches from zero to 60 in a little over three seconds, all for under $70,000. What a package.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos
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The Ioniq 5 N is more than just another fast electric SUV. It’s the bridge between past and future, and it may be the best performance car bargain available right now, agnostic of what powers it. 

If this can’t win over your diehard gas-car gearhead friends, well… they must just hate fun. 

(Full Disclosure: Hyundai loaned me an Ioniq 5 N with a full battery for a few days. The car went back and forth between InsideEVs and the staff of our sister site, Motor1. Lots of people wanted a turn.) 

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

Base Price $67,475 (including destination)
As-Tested Price $67,475 (including destination)
Battery 84 kWh Lithium-Ion Battery
EV Range 221 miles EPA-estimated
Efficiency 2.4 miles per kWh
Transmission One-speed direct drive/Simulated 8-speed DCT
Output 601 HP, 545 lb-ft of torque / 641 HP, 568 lb-ft of torque (N-Grin Boost)
Charge Time Level 2: 7 hours 20 minutes; DC Fast Charging: 18 minutes 10%-80% (350 kW)
Charge Type Up to 250 kW DC Fast Charging

I have a lot to say, but let me start with this: the Ioniq 5 N is a professional ass-kicker. 

It’s here to kick some ass, find more ass when it’s done, then kick that ass too. When you aren’t driving it, you will think about driving it, while pondering all of the asses you’re going to kick with its help. And since it’s a Hyundai, most people will never see it coming.

Name the challenger; odds are, this electric Korean crossover does it better. It beats a Lamborghini Urus in a drag race, makes the AMG Mercedes driver obnoxiously revving at a stoplight think twice about his next move and will send a Dodge Challenger fanboy to therapy. And if he was driving a Dodge Challenger, he probably should’ve been going anyway.

The last performance car I drove that was this subversive was probably the Nissan GT-R. And the Ioniq 5 N feels similar to the R35 GT-R in character and mission, an evolution of the same philosophy.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

Had the engineers at Hyundai’s N performance division wanted to make a standard go-fast edition of the terrific Ioniq 5—you know, electric motor upgrades, track brakes, better suspension, the usual stuff—that would have been enough. But they went much further than that. It’s almost an entirely different car.  

The entire structure has been stiffened and reinforced. It has 42 additional weld points, stiffening the body-in-white, motor mountings, battery mounts and beyond. The brakes are track-spec 15.75-in. front rotors with four-piston monobloc calipers and 14.2-in. rear rotors, and the regenerative braking system is unique to this model.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

The electric motors are also new here, 223 hp to the front and 378 at the rear for a combined sustained output of 601 hp. Using the “N-Grin Boost” setting, you can get 10 seconds of overboost, unlocking up to 641 hp. And Hyundai says that in track mode, the Ioniq 5 N uses the regen system to load weight onto the front axle, giving you sharper turn-in similar to “trail braking” in a standard performance car. 

The cooling system for the battery pack has been revised for the heavy cooling needs of on-track performance, and the airflow ducting to cool those brakes is specific to the N too. The software package has gimmicks a regular Ioniq 5 lacks, including track apps and a dedicated “Drift Mode.”

The seats, steering wheel and other interior and exterior flourishes like the spoiler are also specific to the N. And much of the above has been derived from Hyundai’s lessons competing in the World Rally Championship.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

This is all to say the Ioniq 5 N is an upgrade in countless ways that even the excellent Kia EV6 GT is not. The latter is a fast EV; this is a top-to-bottom performance product. It is the difference between taking some Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes in your neighborhood until you get decent at it, and actually being Anderson Silva in his prime. 

Like the aforementioned GT-R, the track is the only place you’ll ever be able to access the Ioniq 5 N’s full potential. And with so much power and grip, you better know what you’re doing.

I didn’t get to do that for this test, but my colleagues at Motor1 will later this summer. Instead, my goal was to find out how the Ioniq 5 N held up in normal driving and on good backroads, and what that ICE-simulating experience means every day.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

Specs That Matter

Like the updated, regular 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5, the N gets a new 84 kWh battery and a host of other tweaks, including the long-awaited rear windshield wiper. Of course, the N is the powerhouse of the family. Its output is 601 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque, significant upgrades over an AWD Ioniq 5’s 320 hp. Those numbers bump higher too when the N-Grin Boost feature is engaged. 

That extra power and cooling comes with tradeoffs, of course. At 4,861 pounds, it’s heavier than all other Ioniq 5 trim levels. And the 5 N’s range drops to just 221 EPA-rated miles, down from the 260 miles on an AWD Ioniq 5 or 303 on the long-range RWD model. (Interestingly, the N is not far off from the SE Standard Range Ioniq 5, but I’m not sure how many people are actually buying that one.) Overall efficiency is down as well, with the N making a combined 78 MPGe to the AWD Ioniq 5’s 99. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

I never saw numbers as high as 221. With a full charge on my home Level 2 ChargePoint unit, in moderate spring weather, I had 201 miles of range at most. The indicator usually hovered between 180 and 190 miles. I know some people will balk at those numbers, but energy has to come from somewhere; that Lamborghini Urus, which can’t keep up with this thing, gets 16 combined MPG. 

Luckily it’s still an Ioniq 5 deep down, so it’s a charging champion. It keeps the 800-volt architecture with approximately 250 kW max DC fast charging speeds. On a 350 kW fast charger, it will go from a reported 10% to 80% in 18 minutes. A more detailed InsideEVs range and fast-charging test is coming soon. Pricing comes in at $67,475 including destination fees; there are no options to add besides a few accessories. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

You get all of that performance with the Ioniq 5’s usual practicality, including 59.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down (plenty for a set of tires), seating for five and a 10.9 kW onboard charger with V2L capability. 

Let’s Talk About The ‘Fake ICE’ Stuff

When a friend stepped into my Soultronic Orange tester, she didn’t even realize it was an EV. That’s because the N Active Sound+ feature makes the car rumble with a simulated engine sound that can be heard inside and out, pumped out of 10 interior speakers and two exterior ones. When engaged, they make the car feel like it’s shaking at idle. It’s quite convincing. So are the exhaust crackles and pops on top of it.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

Early reviews in Seoul last year dinged the N for sounding as fake as cars did in old Gran Turismo games, but they must have tweaked things since then. Videos and audio clips don’t do it justice. It now sounds like the real thing. 

You get three sound profiles to choose from, including one modeled after the 2.0-liter turbo four used in Hyundai’s gas N cars, one that sounds like a jet engine, and one that makes whoosh-y “futuristic” noises. I didn’t care for the latter two and used the ICE sound exclusively. 

To head off any criticism from the EV crowd that doesn’t miss engine sounds: Yes, you can turn all of this off. And you can adjust the exterior volume or turn that off as well.

But you kind of need it to get the most out of this experience. It helps to give you the subconscious sensation of speed that’s so often missing from EVs, making it easier to judge your speed without looking down at the gauge cluster.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

The real star was the fake transmission, dubbed N e-shift, which simulates an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Press one of the N buttons on the steering wheel (whose functions can be customized) and the steering wheel paddles otherwise used to adjust regenerative braking become gear shifters. 

And they will do everything a gas car’s DCT will do, including hitting redline or locking you out of too-low gears at highway speeds. Try to leave a corner in too high of a gear and you’ll feel the car “bog,” struggling for power like an ICE car outside of its power band. You can rev it while parked, too. The noise levels are even adjusted based on driving modes, speeds and other factors.

Downshifting results in a throttle blip and crack of the simulated exhaust; upshifting brings a kind of jolt. There’s a mechanical resistance, a vibration, that gives the different gears a unique feeling, just as a high-performance gas car would have. You can also hold the right paddle for a bit to go back to full auto mode, and still get the noise and feedback of the car clicking through its own gears.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

Seriously, I tried everything to “fool” this gearbox, to break it, to get it to do something it shouldn’t. I never succeeded. It behaves like a true paddle-shift transmission. Shifts between gears are lightning-quick. 

And no, that is not a sentence I ever thought I’d write for this publication. 

You’re actually just telling software to modulate the torque sent from the electric motors, which is silly and unnecessary. Electric vehicles have so much torque and use it so efficiently that they generally do not need multiple gears. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

All I can say is that it’s supremely entertaining, and under the right conditions—especially the right speed—you’ll never think you aren’t in a gas-powered performance car. Is it an anachronism, like getting your iPhone to act more like a flip phone? In many ways, sure. But I think it’s more like firing up an emulator to play your favorite classic Super Nintendo game on your modern gaming console or smartphone. It may not be for everyone, but for some, it’s revolutionary.

When Driven In Anger

You can turn all of that stuff off and the Ioniq 5 N is still warp-speed fast. On one occasion, I moved left to pass a dump truck on a two-lane road, and I was utterly caught off guard by how much go this car delivers when you stand on it. When that rear motor unleashes its full force, the Ioniq 5 N doesn’t accelerate, it teleports.

The real fun happens when the road turns twisty, however. The Ioniq 5 N drives considerably smaller and lighter than it ostensibly is, whereas the normal Ioniq 5 often feels the complete opposite. You can throw this thing into almost any corner, at almost any speed, and the primary limit will be your own courage. For the street, the best setting is Sport Mode with the right-side N button, paddles on, ICE sounds at full blast. That was enough for me.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

If it’s not enough for you, the Ioniq 5 N affords an almost endless degree of customization and performance settings that are often only available on the track. Off a public road (or when you tell the car that you are) you can slide the torque settings to make it almost rear-wheel-drive, or front-wheel-drive. You can see your lap times and lateral G-forces. You have two modes for racing, one for more intense sprints and one that preserves power for longevity. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

I didn’t even get to use most of this stuff because it’s meant for tracks only. Then again, due to the Ioniq 5 N’s somewhat confounding array of performance settings, it’s often hard to get it to do exactly what you want it to. I got a “Conditions Not Met” error more than once when trying different features, locking me out when the right stability control, traction control and safety settings weren’t toggled right.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

Trial and error will be key here. But like the GT-R, any owner would do well to track it. You won’t get the most out of it otherwise.

In Normal Driving

Since life isn’t a track day, switching all the performance settings and noises off basically gets you an Ioniq 5 with less range and much rougher ride quality. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

You could do considerably worse for your daily driver. It’s still a practical, roomy crossover with class-leading fast charging. That ride isn’t horrible—think some of BMW’s more intense M cars—but it is quite rough, as is the tire noise. It’s never a terribly quiet environment no matter what settings you use. It's not even horribly inefficient: after 400 miles, including some very hard driving, I still averaged 2.4 miles per kWh.  

Besides the crazier settings, you also get Normal Mode and Eco Mode. Like many Hyundai EVs, the last one is almost comically slow; the Ioniq 5 N somehow ranges from “Can take down a McLaren” to “Needs positive encouragement to drive up a hill,” but that’s all part of its charm. I never saw some great range boost out of Eco Mode, either. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

Hyundai’s racing bucket seats were more comfortable than a lot of similar options for everyday use, but they are unfortunately manually operated—par for the course in the performance world, but still a bummer at this price. At least Hyundai uses a good amount of physical buttons for key controls in addition to its large touchscreen, but I have far less love for the touch panel that operates the climate controls. I could seldom tell, or even see, whether it was doing what I asked or not.

Beyond that, the Ioniq 5 N boasts the same excellent voice controls, navigation, charger finding, route planning and adjustable regenerative braking you get from any Hyundai Motor Group EV. Which is to say, it’s world-class. But it’s tough to say if just around 200 miles of electric range is enough to be someone’s solo daily driver. This may make more sense as a second car, or a toy, unless your driving distances are relatively short.


To understand why I find the Ioniq 5 N so special, it helps to go back to why the electric car transition—slow and uneven as it may be—is even happening.

As someone who started in the gas-car enthusiast world, but has long since accepted the ugly truth of our climate emergency, I had become okay with giving up some things for a hopefully cleaner and better future. Engine sounds. The thrill of shifting gears. Unfortunate sacrifices, but necessary ones to move off the country’s largest single source of carbon emissions.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review Photos

The Ioniq 5 N is proof that I don’t necessarily have to give those things up. I won’t lie and say it’s some magic bullet for climate change—it’s good, but not that good—but it does prove that I can still have all of those internal combustion sensations in a package that can be charged in my garage. And as an added bonus, it’ll outhandle, outrun and just outgun the vast majority of cars that run on gasoline.

If you’re into EVs already, you may not miss transmissions and engine sounds. I get that, and I also love the silence I get with most electric cars. If you’re a gas-car purist, you’d rather go that route than “simulate” anything. I understand that argument too! I do. 

But with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, I can have my cake, and kick some ass with it too.

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Gallery: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Review


What is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N’s range?

The Ioniq 5 N is officially EPA-rated at 221 miles, but our testing saw 100% ranges around 200 miles in temperate late spring weather.

What Is N Grin Boost? 

N Grin Boost is activated with a button on the steering wheel. It temporarily increases the car's horsepower for 10 seconds, unleashing the full 641 horsepower.

What EV charging is included with the Ioniq 5 N?

Normally, new Ioniq 5 models get two years of complimentary 30-minute charging Electrify America sessions, but that deal is not available on the Ioniq 5 N. 

What Is Hyundai's N E-Shift, And How Does It Work?

Hyundai’s N E-Shift simulates the feeling of an eight-speed paddle-shift transmission by controlling the output of torque from the car’s electric motors. This, along with the 10-speaker N Active Sound+ setup, simulates the sounds and feelings of a high performance gas-powered vehicle. 

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