Skip advert
Advertisement

Smaller and cheaper electric Hyundai N car on the way

The new Hyundai Ioniq 5 N could be joined by a smaller electric performance car, according to a senior figure at the company

Hyundai N car
  • More affordable EV thrills on the way
  • Baby N-car likely to replace both i20 N and i30 N
  • Designed to perform both on road and track

Executive technical advisor for Hyundai Motor Group, Albert Biermann, says the company is considering a follow-up to the Ioniq 5 N, as it wants to offer “something smaller and more affordable”.

Advertisement - Article continues below

With a body longer, wider and only a little lower than a Nissan Qashqai, and a price tag starting at £65,000, being small and affordable are two qualities the otherwise impressive Ioniq 5 N can’t lay claim to, but as Biermann explains, there are still challenges in bringing something smaller to market.

How could a baby N car look?

Our exclusive render shows how a smaller electric N-car could look. It’s likely such a car would attempt to fill the roles of the i20 N, i30 N and Kona N all at once, as having such a broad range of models aimed largely at the same customer is no longer feasible.

Best hot hatchbacksTop 10 best hot hatchbacks 2024

It’s thought the car will use a hatchback rather than SUV shape though, to the benefit of aerodynamics, performance, and styling.

“We have to come up with something in the B or C [segment],” Biermann said, referring to cars the size of the i20 and i30. “There have been many discussions. At this point nothing is decided”, adding that there is “a job to do.”

How about its tech under the skin?

One of those jobs is packaging the electrical system and battery size required to handle Hyundai N’s exhaustive performance targets, which includes driving the car on a track day. 

“If it’s an N car, you want to go on the track – even for 15 or 20 minutes,” he said. “If you go 400-volt (electrics), 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.”

The Ioniq 5 N gets around this thanks to 800-volt architecture shared with cars like the Porsche Taycan, but such a system is complex and expensive, and creating it just for a smaller N car may not be financially viable. That means other Hyundai and Kia models may need to adopt the technology first, in order to spread the cost across a wider range of vehicles.

Affordability is key, since once the £26,500 Hyundai i20 N and £36,000 i30 N disappear from sale – with the Kona N small SUV having already departed – the maker will be left with little to offer enthusiast buyers. “[A] small N-car EV – that is something we have to do, otherwise, we leave our customers in the dark” Biermann said.

Read our in-depth review of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N – the most exciting EV we've driven yet

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Feistier Cupra Born VZ gets 322bhp and sports suspension – yours for £45k
Cupra Born VZ front quarter
News
18 Jul 2024

Feistier Cupra Born VZ gets 322bhp and sports suspension – yours for £45k

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5: updated EV is now even cheaper
Hyundai Ioniq 5 2024 front quarter
News
18 Jul 2024

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5: updated EV is now even cheaper

Tesla Model Y review – clever tech and practical, top charging access
Best Company Car: Tesla Model Y
In-depth reviews
18 Jul 2024

Tesla Model Y review – clever tech and practical, top charging access

BMW i5 Touring review – the premium electric estate to beat
BMW i5 Touring Carbuyer
In-depth reviews
16 Jul 2024

BMW i5 Touring review – the premium electric estate to beat

Most Popular

All-new Audi A5: the sleek successor to the Audi A4
Audi A5 Avant front quarter
News
16 Jul 2024

All-new Audi A5: the sleek successor to the Audi A4

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Jul 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers

Top 10 best used small SUVs to buy
Best used small SUVs
Best cars
12 Jul 2024

Top 10 best used small SUVs to buy

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024