Hyundai said Thursday it will begin building electric vehicles under its high-performance N brand created to compete with luxury sports cars from Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
The automaker said the Ioniq 5 N, a high-performance version of its battery-electric SUV, will launch in 2023. Hyundai also premiered Thursday two high-performance concepts — the RN22e and N Vision 74 – to test technology for future models. Neither concept is confirmed for production.
The RN22e concept uses the Ioniq 6’s body design as well as its Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that enables its extended range. The N Vision 74 concept, which draws inspiration from both the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo and 1974 Hyundai Pony Coupe concept, is a high-performance hydrogen fuel cell hybrid model.
Both are designed to showcase Hyundai’s vision for its future as it attempts to evolve from a budget-friendly mainstream automaker to a top global luxury EV maker. The first two models in the Ioniq brand – the Ioniq 5 SUV and Ioniq 6 – showcase eye-catching silhouettes and sleek, luxurious interiors trimmed with sustainable materials.
The N brand was created in 2016 to establish real performance credentials for Hyundai. The N stands for Germany’s famed racetrack in Nürburgring, where Hyundai’s Technical Center tests its N models. It was an unusual strategy for a mainstream brand to go head-to-head with cars from BMW M, Mercedes AMG, Audi RS and Cadillac V-series, but Hyundai is now making clear its aspirations to go upscale and compete in the luxury segment.
True N cars serve as low-volume halo vehicles. Hyundai declined to say how many Ioniq 5 Ns it will build.