THE NEW HYUNDAI IONIQ 5 N: IT CAN ALSO DRIFT!
By Piero Facchin
At the recent L. A. Automobility Show, Hyundai unveiled its all-new Ioniq 5 N 2025 electrified sports car to the North American media. The Ioniq 5 N represents the N brand’s vision of electrification and a new opportunity for performance enthusiasts to satisfy their driving passion on the road and on the track. The Ioniq 5 N is the first electrified iteration of the Hyundai N brand, with future electrified N models to follow. The award-winning Hyundai E-GMP platform has provided the perfect foundation for its high-performance electric vehicle, the Ioniq 5 N, which will be available at Hyundai dealerships in March 2024.
And since the Ioniq 5 N 2025 is the company’s first performance electric vehicle, Hyundai must go beyond expectations to guarantee an engaging and fun driving experience in the manner of the Elantra, Kona and Veloster N. Namely, the 641-horsepower electric vehicle boasts two interesting features that enthusiasts will call whimsical or endearing, depending on whether they’re into new techno or not.
The first is called Torque Kick Drift. In a rear-wheel drive car with a manual transmission, you can initiate a controlled slide by engaging the clutch in the middle of a bend, holding the gas pedal steady, then releasing the clutch. In this way, the “shaken” transmission will release the rear tires, and the driver can take advantage of the momentary loss of traction by pressing down on the gas pedal for an F1-style slide or a 180.
However, given that electric vehicles lack manual transmissions—even if Toyota does have fun concocting them—the folks at Hyundai explained how the Ioniq 5 N simulates the action using paddles on the steering wheel. To initiate a drift, you pull both paddles simultaneously, which cuts power to the rear axle and momentarily transforms the car into a front-wheel drive. Then, when it’s time to drift, the driver releases both paddles, while a surge of torque is concentrated on the rear engine. This is in addition to the eight-speed simulated double-clutch function offered by the paddles.
The second is simulated engine noise. Using two external speakers and eight internal speakers, the Ioniq 5 N features one of three propulsion noises, mimicking a traditional turbocharged four-cylinder N, a futuristic roar inspired by the RM22e experimental car, or a whistling sound from a supersonic twin jet engine. Hyundai will try anything to enhance the pleasure of driving, even electrically.