Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to Compete for EV Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
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Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to Compete for EV Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to Compete for EV Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
  • Hyundai will send four IONIQ 5 N models up the mountain: two modified EVs and two standard EVs.
  • The new IONIQ 5 N has impressive specs that include a class-leading brake regenerative force of 0.6G.
  • Before tackling the tough conditions on Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, Colorado, Hyundai tested the performance EV in extreme weather and location conditions.

Excitement is growing as Hyundai announced the IONIQ 5 N will compete in the 102nd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPHIC) on June 23, 2024. This performance EV with 641 horsepower is expected to defy expectations, as Hyundai has done with new technologies since that automaker began testing at Pikes Peak in 1992.


Experienced Drivers Handling the Performance EV

Hyundai will send a four-car team up the peak. Two will be production vehicles gunning for the Electric Production SUV/Crossover record. These will be driven by Paul Dallenbach and Ron Zaras. Dallenback has 11 wins at Pike Peak, while Zaras will be tackling the track as a rookie.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to Compete for EV Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

The other two cars in the four-car team are modified IONIQ 5 N electric vehicles. Dani Sordo and Robin Shute will drive the modified EVs. Shute has four wins and a King of the Mountain title at Pikes Peak, while Sordo is a Hyundai Motorsport driver who has driven at the Spanish World Rally Championship.

Till Wartenberg, head of N Brand and Motorsport, said about the race, “We are returning to the mountain stronger than we have left it, with a class-leading electric SUV in the form of IONIQ 5 N. Hyundai has a history of proving new technologies and products at Pikes Peak going all the way back to 1992 and the IONIQ 5 N brings that concept to high performance electric cars. The production spec IONIQ 5 N will demonstrate what customers can expect from their vehicles.”

The Pressure of the Pikes Peak Course

Hyundai selected the IONIQ 5 N for the PPIHC because the performance-tuned EV passed several extreme tests in weather conditions that resemble those frequently experienced on Pikes Peak.

Hyundai is using the IONIQ 5 N for the Electric Production SUV/Crossover record because it is a vehicle built for racetracks. It’s been thoroughly tested in extreme temperatures and locations. Hyundai designed the high-performance EV to manage tough tracks like the Nürburgring Nordschleife and the PPIHC. The automaker enhanced the EV’s structure, added racetrack-ready drive axles, improved the heat management, tuned the brakes, and added a mind-blowing brake regen force of 0.6G.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N vs. the Kia EV6 GT

The IONIQ 5 N has several similarities to its cousin the Kia EV6 GT, but the Hyundai version is built for the track. It has a higher sticker price and a slightly larger battery than the EV6 GT and will be harder to find. Hyundai pushes the IONIQ 5 N to the limits with 601 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque thanks to the two high-performance electric motors.

The Hyundai hot hatch has N Grin Boost, which pushes the horsepower to 641 with 568 lb-ft of torque. The EV6 GT makes 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque — not too shabby for a vehicle that costs $10,000 less than the Hyundai iteration, but the IONIQ 5 N is loaded with even more performance features.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to Compete for EV Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Drivers who complain about quiet EVs will appreciate the N Active Sound + that replicates the throaty noise of tuned internal combustion engines. It also comes standard with 21-inch forged aluminum wheels wearing Pirelli P-Zero HN 275/35R21 tires.


For EV drivers who want more horsepower, torque, and race car features at a reasonable price (comparing it to six- and seven-figure exotics with similar performance numbers), the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is a bargain. If the IONIQ 5 N can lead the way up Pikes Peak, its burgeoning legend will only grow.

Prepping for the Challenges of Pikes Peak

Hyundai made a handful of modifications to the IONIQ 5 N but nothing to alter the performance. The team chose to have it painted in a bold red — similar to the Luminous Orange body highlights that differentiates the Hyundai N trims. The rear seats were removed, and the automaker replaced the front seat with a Recaro Pro Racer SPA Hans seat with a Sabelt six-point compatible harness. A roll cage and fire suppression system were added to follow the safety rules for the PPIHC.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to Compete for EV Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

The IONIQ 5 N has impressive specs, especially when it comes to charging. The all-wheel drive EV has a charging speed of 238-kW with an-volt charging architecture, so the 84-kWh battery can go from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes with a 350-kW charger.

Hyundai puts Yokohama Advan V107 275/35R21 on the IONIQ 5 N. Even when the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N is pushed to its limits with N Launch Control and Grin Boost activated, its tires can support the weight and speed, achieving an impressive 0-60 mph time of 3.25 seconds and a top speed of 162 mph.

Hyundai’s Pikes Peak Journey Beyond the Race

Hyundai’s decision to take on the challenge of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the IONIQ 5 N isn’t just about showing off technical skills. It’s a clear message of their passion and determination. The team, driven by a shared goal of pushing boundaries in the EV world, sees their effort not merely as winning races but as embracing the competition and fostering innovation.

For Hyundai, it’s an opportunity to connect more deeply with consumers, demonstrating that they’re not just creating cars but experiences that speak to adrenaline junkies, innovators, and dreamers alike.

About the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

The PPIHC is one of the oldest races in the United States. It’s an invite-only race lovingly referred to as The Race to the Clouds. The 12.42-mile course has 156 turns and gains 4,725 feet in elevation when drivers reach the top at 14,115 feet above sea level.

Drivers can participate in six divisions, and the current time record holder is a prototype Volkswagen all-electric ID vehicle. Volkswagen achieved the 07:57.148 time in 2018.



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