The first electric N product is shaping up to be quite good.
Hyundai is working on several technologies to make its go-faster EVs more engaging to drive, and one of those is called the N e-shift - a simulated dual-clutch transmission to try and mimic how a DCT feels in a traditional ICE car.
The basic idea is that Hyundai's N department wants to mimic the same noises, jolts, and vibrations you'd experience in an i30 N, which the Korean company set as a benchmark. We caught our first glimpse of the system at work in a recent video by Hyundai N.
Hyundai's upcoming Ioniq 5 N made a sneak debut, but N e-shift was shown working hard in the RN22e concept car. You can clearly see the RN22e shifting viciously, accompanied by a strange sound. It doesn't sound like any ICE we've ever heard, yet it's oddly familiar.
"The idea is to come pretty close to the feel and sound of the DCT in the i30 N hatch," said Hyundai Executive Technical Advisor Albert Biermann in an interview with Car Expert Australia.
According to Biermann, it has been extremely challenging when it comes to providing the pops and bangs the i30 N and Elantra N are known for. But that's to be expected. The Elantra N is so loud in its track setting that you can easily get in trouble with the law.
It is necessary, however. As Biermann says, it wants to DCT in-car experience and the emotional levels that come with it into the Ioniq 5 N.
"When we started building an Ioniq EV concept, we were just using internal speakers, and they weren't enough. So we added external speakers and then started simulating shift vibrations and forces you would associate with the DCT in an i30 N," said Biermann.
The N e-shift is now in the last stages of its development, and the team is busy with fine-tuning. It still needs to add a rev limiter and various sounds. Biermann intends to call it Virtual Grin Shift to fit in with the current naming strategy.
"Obviously, in traffic, you won't want to use paddle shifters in the Ioniq 5 N, so you just turn it off by pulling both paddles at once," said Biermann.
The Ioniq 5 N will launch with several different sounds, and users will also be able to create their own. Thanks to over-the-air updates, more sounds can be added in the future.
Finally, our dreams of driving an EV with The Jetson's soundtrack will come true.