Renowned racing icon Keiichi Tsuchiya, often referred to as the “Drift King,” recently took the wheel of Hyundai's Ioniq 5 N to put its drifting capabilities to the test. The drifting maestro, famous for his ability to make any vehicle go sideways with style, was pleasantly surprised by the high-performance electric crossover's performance.
Tsuchiya's skilled hands expertly maneuvered the Ioniq 5 N through corners with precision and panache, sending plumes of smoke billowing from the screeching tires, drowning out any artificial engine noise. “This is my first time driving an EV that can drift,” remarked Tsuchiya with a grin, “It's so much fun!”
What astonished the drifting legend even more was the Ioniq 5 N's remarkable agility, considering its weight of over 4,800 pounds. Tsuchiya, based on his driving experience, believed the Hyundai weighed substantially less, around 880 lbs less, to be precise. However, his surprise awaited him when he returned to the pit and learned the accurate weight of the vehicle.
The Ioniq 5 N owes its exceptional performance to its advanced underpinnings. The N Torque Distribution system intelligently allocates power from the front to the rear, complemented by an electronic Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD) on the rear axle, ensuring balanced torque distribution to the rear wheels. The synergy of these technologies, along with the N Drift Optimizer and Torque Kick Drift system, keeps the car confidently sideways in corners, replicating the feel of a rear-wheel-drive, combustion-powered car.
Hyundai's goal is to deliver a classic performance car experience within an electrified package, and the N e-shift simulated Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) exemplifies this commitment. This approach may well captivate traditional combustion engine enthusiasts, drawing them into the world of electric vehicles.
Tsuchiya expressed his excitement, “It was so fun that the rear of the car moves quite well,” highlighting that, apart from a couple of models like the Tiburon and the Genesis Coupe, Hyundai wasn't widely known for its sports and performance cars in Japan. However, the Ioniq 5 N has transformed his perception. “Oh, they're making playful cars,” Tsuchiya noted with enthusiasm while behind the wheel.
Unlike some high-performance EVs focused solely on straight-line speed, the Ioniq 5 N offers a well-rounded package. With a potent 641 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque (when engaging N Grin Boost), this crossover can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in a mere 3.4 seconds. Power is efficiently distributed to all four wheels, with a rear-wheel bias, making it exceptionally thrilling in cornering situations.