Hyundai launched its first all-electric performance vehicle just recently, and our first impressions after driving the Ioniq 5 N in Korea were very, very positive. One big piece of the puzzle that’s still missing is its price, but it seems unlikely that you'll get into the Ioniq 5 N for less than $70,000.
But Hyundai is working on a more affordable electric hot hatch, which might be a good alternative for those not willing to BMW money on a Hyundai EV. Albert Biermann, who was the company’s head of research and development until two years ago but still works for the group as a technical advisor, admitted in a recent interview that there's a smaller and cheaper electric hatch currently being considered. Details, though, are still scarce.
“That small N-car EV – that is something we have to do,” Biermann told AutoExpress. “Otherwise, we leave our customers in the dark. We have to come down with something smaller and more affordable. If it’s an N car, you want to go on the track – even for 15 or 20 minutes. If you go 400-volt, you double the current, four times the heat dissipation. The efficiency is bad. If you think of an i30-kind of car, 400-volt is not appropriate.”
While a smaller electric hot hatch seems likely in the more distant future, a performance version of the Ioniq 6 might arrive sooner. According to a recent report, around the middle of the decade, the Ioniq 6 N could debut as an even more capable machine than the Ioniq 5 N with more than the crossover’s 641 horsepower. The RN22e concept from last year provided a very good early preview of that car, though it had a powertrain with “just” 577 horsepower – the same number you’ll find in the Kia EV6 GT. A Kona N Electric is also deemed possible.