Yes, it's really happening.
It was only a matter of time until one of these prototypes was spotted in the wild. Today is that day. What you're looking at is a late-development test mule for the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 N. "N," of course, immediately indicates it's part of the South Korean automaker's performance division. The Veloster N is proof Hyundai knows what it's doing on this front.
Our spy photographers caught this Ioniq 5 N out driving on public roads while wearing a distinct camouflage wrap. Hyundai made no effort to disguise the model's identity with the "Never Just Drive" N brand slogan written on both sides of the vehicles. What we did notice are a slightly lower ride height and low-profile tires.
Aside from that, there don't appear to be many visible exterior changes compared to the base model. It'd be a fair assumption this prototype is hiding a stiffer suspension and more powerful, bigger brakes for improved track and road performance.
If you look even more carefully, there are newly added small fender flares on the wheel arches likely added in order to accommodate the wider tires. The camouflage will almost certainly be hiding sportier-looking bumpers. Expect to see this camo disappear slowly but surely over the next several months. And because it's an N model, power will surely be increased.
Our sources are claiming the Ioniq 5 N could pack as much as 585 horsepower - the same configuration currently available from its corporate first cousin, the Kia EV6 GT. It's also possible Hyundai's N division has taken matters into its own hands with an even more potent output boost. Reviews for the Ioniq 5 and EV6 have been stellar and the addition of an Ioniq 5 N to the lineup will undoubtedly raise the automaker's profile even further.
New EVs like the Ford F-150 Lightning have been receiving the bulk of attention lately, all the more so now that the Tesla Cybertruck is being delayed again. But we feel Tesla should be paying extra close attention to Hyundai and Kia right now.