Hyundai Ioniq 5 N prototype

In a straight line, it feels fast, even on a modern circuit like the GP Nürburgring. It feels at least 500bhp-fast to me. And the braking, even though it’s by wire and contains strong regen, even at really high braking levels, accounting for up to 0.6g of total retardation, is strong and consistent. It turns in exceptionally well and pleasingly retains some of the ‘tuck’ that the best European hot hatches and now Hyundai’s N hatches also display. It’s present as strongly as it can be in a car that must weigh two tonnes. That means you lift and it turns in willingly, seemingly pivoting around its middle. Then, as you roll onto the power, the Ioniq 5 N diverts some of that to the rear to straighten its line nicely, or perhaps more than nicely. 

In its cornering attitude, it’s not unlike a late Mitsubishi Lancer Evo – lift, turn, power, straight –  but in a less frenetic fashion. And a whole lot more refined. There’s communicative, light-medium-weight steering, a little roll, lots of grip and plenty to lean on confidently in high speed corners, where you can tweak your line on or off the throttle, wonderfully balanced, sweeping out of bends on neutral steer. It has moments of hot hatch, rally replica and super-saloon at various moments in the same corner.

Hyunda ioniq 5 n review 202312

It’s so convincing on a circuit that I think I preferred it there to on the road – which I don’t think I’ve ever said about an EV before, except a Nissan Leaf on plastic rear tyres.

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