Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

Hyundai’s passenger cars only recently made a return to Thailand, but the company has gone from strength to strength with several models already on sale. One of the stand outs is the electric Ioniq 5, launched in the Land of Smiles just last November, and it was joined at the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) by its performance variant, the Ioniq 5 N.

This hot hatch/SUV made its ASEAN debut at the show, and while it hasn’t gone on sale yet, we can assume a launch will be happening in the not-too-distant future. Which would be just as well, because the N boffins have really worked a number on this car.

It’s still powered by dual motors, but outputs have near as dammit been doubled over the cooking Ioniq 5 Max range-topper to an impressive 609 PS and 740 Nm of torque. So equipped, this 2.2-tonne beast will get from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 260 km/h.

Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

But this is an N car, after all, so the Ioniq 5 N comes with several hilariously-named features – chief of which being the N Grin Boost that boosts power and torque to 650 PS and 770 Nm. This shaves a tenth off the century sprint (3.4 seconds) via the N Launch Control.

Then there’s the 11-step N Torque Distribution that shunts power variably between the front and rear axles, the N Race function with Sprint (full power and cooling for hot laps) and Endurance (maximum range for longer drives) modes, a similarly-configured N Battery Preconditioning with Drag and Track modes and two custom N buttons on the steering wheel.

But the coolest features are the ones that help bring petrol-powered performance car drama to EVs. These include the N e-Shift that simulates the gearshifts of an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, paired with the N Active Sound+ that can mimic the sound of the i30 N‘s 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine or even a fighter jet. The noise is piped through the eight-speaker Bose sound system and dual exterior speakers.

Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

Oversteer enthusiasts, on the other hand, will love the N Drift Optimiser, which helps you maintain a drift for as long as possible and incorporates a Torque Kick Drift function that simulates a clutch kick. Meanwhile, the N Pedal increases regenerative braking to shift weight onto the front tyres, enabling a sharper turn-in, while the powertrain has been configured to support left-foot braking, allowing both the brake and throttle pedals to be pressed at the same time.

To make sure the Ioniq 5 N isn’t all mouth and no trousers, Hyundai has stiffened the structure with 42 extra welding points and 2.1 metres of additional structural adhesive. You also get a stiffer and quicker steering rack, stronger regenerative braking (pulling up to 0.6 G, claimed to be the highest on any EV), an electronic limited-slip rear differential and larger dampers to widen the performance gamut of the electronically-controlled suspension.

The Ioniq 5 N is also the first car built on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) to receive a fourth-generation 84 kWh battery (fitted to the facelifted Ioniq 5), delivering a claimed range of 448 km on the WLTP cycle. Forged 21-inch two-tone alloy wheels wrapped in 275/35R21 Pirelli P Zero tyres hide larger disc brakes that measure 400 mm in the front (clamped by four-piston callipers) and 360 mm at the rear.

Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

Sitting squat on its four fat tyres, the Ioniq 5 N looks far meaner than its regular sibling, riding 50 mm wider and 20 mm lower. Fender flares help hide the wider wheels, while the front bumper has been made more aggressive with large air intakes, a prominent splitter and plenty of black and red trim. A sizeable rear diffuser with unique chequered-flag reflectors complete the look.

The substantial changes continue on the inside – the Ioniq 5’s loft-like cabin has been gutted and made more purposeful. You’ll find a three-spoke N steering wheel with dedicated mode buttons, as well as metal pedals, N-branded side sill plates and bucket seats with illuminated N logos, just like BMW’s M cars.

Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

But the revisions go further than that – even the sliding centre console has been swapped for a fixed unit with knee pads to support your knees under hard cornering. You still get a sliding armrest as well as USB-C ports and a Qi wireless charger.

Now that the Ioniq 5 N has made its appearance in Southeast Asia, could we see it being launched here soon? While the cooking non-N model was quick to go on sale here owing to tax incentives, the last N model, the i30 N, was a very limited affair over here. That will likely be also the case with this car, as even tax free it will probably cost nearly RM400,000.

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