Electrification is going to become a great equalizer among brands as we move forward into that technology. Because most electric powertrains feel identical, it’s far easier for an economy EV to have a premium driving experience than it is for an economy car with a gas engine. Not that Hyundai doesn’t already make great driving cars but the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 N could be a car that all premium sports car manufacturers will need to look out for moving forward, including BMW.

According to Car and Driver, Hyundai seems to be doing with many of its models, it’s making a proper N high-performance version of the fantastic Ioniq 5 and it’s set to have some impressive specs. It’s similar to the 576 horsepower KIA EV6 GT but it’s been distinctly tuned by Hyundai and its N division to make it feel unique. While there are no official specs just yet, C&D claims that it should make around 600 horsepower from its dual electric motors.

Visually, it’s hard to see what the Ioniq 5 N will look like because the snowy test mule is covered in camouflage. However, it does seem to have wider fenders, a lower front bumper, a rear diffuser, a lower ride height, sportier wheels and a small rear spoiler. It looks very playful in the snow, drifting around and shooting white rooster tails in to the air.

Hyundai brought C&D along to test the Ioniq 5 N prototype and it seems to be a very promising little performance EV. Interestingly, it has an electronically controlled limited-slip differential at the rear axle, to hep the electric motor shift torque between the rear wheels. Most EV makers avoid additional diffs because they put a damper on efficiency but I guess when you have 600 horsepower, efficiency isn’t really the main goal. So the lateral performance is more important than the small efficiency bump it would get with a normal rear axle. The front axle uses a normal open diff but it gets brake torque-vectoring.

If you want to see just how far Hyundai has come, in terms of making genuinely fun performance cars, check out this prototype drive review from C&D. Former BMW M boss Albert Biermann is largely responsible for where Hyundai is today and the new Ioniq 5 N proves that what he brought from BMW to Hyundai has turned it into a genuine rival for the Bavarians. The Ioniq 5 N is something that BMW should absolutely be keeping an eye on.

[Source: Car and Driver]