Hyundai Takes its EV Charge to the Track with Ioniq 5 N Cup Racer


Hyundai’s sporting N division has taken its most potent EV, stripped it down and sped it up to create a race car to compete in a new one-make series.

The Ioniq 5 N EN1 Cup cars throw out the family-friendly seats and most of the interior trim, with just a single bucket seat and harness put back. A roll cage and EV-specific fire suppression system is also installed, while the quirky retro bodywork gets a new aerodynamic kit, with wider arches to house bigger forged alloy wheels. The hood is replaced with a fiber-reinforced plastic version, and the windows are polycarbonate. These measures save around 500 pounds compared to the road-going model, although at 4,340 pounds it’s still no lightweight.

A bigger 84 kWh battery pack and a total of 650 horsepower go some way to mitigate the mass, while two-way adjustable dampers with camber and ride-height adjustment allow race teams to tune the suspension. Six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear units apply serious pressure to the discs for fade-free braking, and grip comes from slick tires on 18-inch rims.

Race teams will be allowed a free choice of rubber, and are also permitted to customize the digital noises produced by the car’s NGB Overboost, virtual shift and amplified active sound systems.

2024 will serve as a trial for the eN1 series, with racing kicking off on April 27 at Inje Speedium, not far from Seoul. The eN1 Cup cars will then race at Hyundai’s N Festival where the recently-introduced Avante/Elantra N1 one-make series will also be competing.

“Through the eN1 class, our ultimate aim is to establish Hyundai Motor as a true leader in the EV motorsport platform, fostering the growth and development of Korea’s vibrant motorsport culture while making a resounding impact on a global scale,” says Joon Park, Head of N Brand Management Group. “With the eN1 class, we are poised to redefine the future of racing and pave the way for a new era of electrifying motorsport achievements.”

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    How many laps do these overweight “race” cars get before they have to pit to charge up. Do they race in quarters or have a half time to charge?

    I don’t know for sure, but I would expect the race length (time and distance) to be matched to the battery. Like some other races where the competitors only have so much fuel to use for the entire race. Engine and driving have to be efficient as well as powerful. That would actually make the race more interesting. One car runs at a reasonable speed up to the finish while several others have slowed due to draining the battery by driving faster early on….

    I spent a year in Korea (2005) in the USAF. I didn’t know there was much of a racing scene there! Wish I did at the time, might have went to see one or two…

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