Hyundai unveils race-only IONIQ 5 N eN1 Cup Car

Ahead of its motorsport-centric N Festival in Korea later this month, Hyundai Motor Company has unveiled a new enhanced variant of its IONIQ 5 N performance EV. The IONIQ 5 N eN1 is a new electric race car designed and improved by Hyundai for professional drivers only. Don’t worry; it still has the fighter jet noises like the standard IONIQ 5 N.

Hyundai Motor Group’s N and N Line performance sub-brands remain less than a decade old, yet the performance arms have already begun the transition into an all-electric future.

That transition began with the IONIQ 5, which we inevitably learned would be the first production EV model to don the “N” performance badge. Throughout 2023, we saw video updates every few months, including a camo’d run at Nürburgring, and an official debut during last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, complete with some smoky donuts.

By November 2023, The IONIQ 5 N had made its North American debut ahead of starting pricing around $66,000 shared last month. While the IONIQ 5 N is a performance variant of Hyundai’s flagship IONIQ model, it is still street legal and available to consumers… albeit with potential dealer markups.

Hyundai N’s next spin on the IONIQ 5, however, is an upgraded race-only cup car designed for professional drivers only. Have a look.

Check out the new Hyundai IONIQ 5 N eN1

In a press release today, Hyundai unveiled the new IONIQ 5 N eN1, including design details, performance specs, images, and a video below. The live unveiling occurred during the official practice round for the upcoming Hyundai N Festival, which begins its first race round on April 27.

Hyundai explained that the new eN1 shares the same power electronics (PE) system as the IONIQ 5 N, both of which house more power and battery capacity than the consumer-grade IONIQ 5 EV. However, the IONIQ 5 N eN1 Cup was redesigned with circuit racing in mind and features a redesigned body kit for improved handling, increased downforce, and better aerodynamics.

Hyundai N also said it removed all unnecessary components to reduce the weight of the new IONIQ race car while adding forged wheels with slick tires, an FRP hood, and polycarbonate windows. Per Joon Park, Head of N Brand Management Group:

Through the eN1 class, our ultimate aim is to establish Hyundai Motor as a true leader in the EV motorsport platform, fostering the growth and development of Korea’s vibrant motorsport culture while making a resounding impact on a global scale. With the eN1 class, we are poised to redefine the future of racing and pave the way for a new era of electrifying motorsport achievements.

Despite trying to limit weight, interesting components Hyundai decided not to part with include the IONIQ 5 N’s virtual shift and NAS+ (N Active Sound), empowering each racing team to develop their own unique sounds for their EV. Because of these souped-up race upgrades, Hyundai explained that the IONIQ 5 eN1 will not be available for going to get groceries like its other EV models:

Similar to the existing Avante (Elantra) N1 class, the eN1 class is exclusively for professional athletes and is a race-only vehicle that cannot be driven on public roads. The ‘e’ in eN1 refers to the electrification of the race class, highlighting Hyundai Motor’s commitment to sustainable racing.

Hyundai says the new IONIQ 5 N eN1 Cup car will be tested and improved throughout the Proto stage of its upcoming N Festival season. The eN1 class will have its official practice during the opening round, followed by ten races in the fifth round, consisting of various one-on-one knockout races and traditional sprint races, testing of various EV racing methods for the future of sustainable competitions. See the new racing EV in action in the video below:

Source: Hyundai

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