Hyundai IONIQ 5 N previewed; Virtual Gear Shift, drift mode confirmed

Brett Davis

Hyundai has sent out a fresh teaser of the upcoming IONIQ 5 N performance car, this time previewing the artificial ‘engine sounds’ that are set to be available.

The IONIQ 5 N will come with over-the-air update functionality which means, technically, owners might be able to download new engine sounds with updates in the future. In the teaser video below we get to hear of such possibilities in terms of sound.

Although electric vehicles are never going to emit the same level of theatre and aural narrative of a combustion engine in our opinion, it looks like (sounds like) engineers are getting pretty close with EVs. The preview gives us a glimpse of a rather raspy note that builds up like a growling hot hatch.

It actually sounds like an engine revving at 8000rpm or more at the later points. And it looks like Hyundai will be introducing that artificial ‘Virtual Gear Shift’ gear shift system that we first sampled on the IONIQ 6 N (RN22e) prototype last year.

In that prototype, you could put it in ‘manual’ mode and the speed would not climb any further until the paddle shifter was pulled for the next gear. That’s despite there being no gearbox; instead, clever software. We found it quite entertaining, but, more importantly, more engaging than a typical single-speed EV.

The IONIQ 5 N prototype even showcases a rev-matching function as well by the looks of it, ‘blipping’ the engine throttle to match the gear speed with the wheel speed. Again, this is all artificial but quite interesting nonetheless.

Lastly, we get a quick look at what looks to be a drift mode function, because the all-wheel drive hatch powerslides its way out of a corner. The Genesis GV60 and Kia EV6 GT also feature a drift mode. These models are underpinned by the same E-GMP architecture as the IONIQ 5.

As far as we know the IONIQ 5 N will offer around 450kW, or slightly more than the Kia EV6 GT (430kW). It’ll also feature bespoke sports suspension, aero parts, wheels and interior elements compared with the regular IONIQ 5. All will be revealed in July.

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