Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to compete at Pikes Peak hoping to set record SUV crossover climb times

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Just over a month after announcing intentions to chase records at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in four separate vehicles, Hyundai has confirmed one of its entrants. This summer, drivers in the IONIQ 5 N will navigate to the elevated summit in hopes of setting a new record for the segment.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is an annual event held in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Vehicles from around the world compete to earn the fastest climb time by winding through 156 turns around a 12.42-mile route that climbs 4,725 feet to an altitude over 14,000 feet above sea level.

In recent years, Pike’s Peak has become a proving ground of sorts, especially for legacy automakers looking to showcase new performance vehicles or, better yet, tout their new EV technology. As we approach the 102 running of the Hill Climb this summer, we’ve gotten entry confirmations from OEMs like Ford Performance, who looks to continue all-electric success in a Ford F-150 Lightning following last year’s climb in a souped-up E-Transit “SuperVan.

This past March, Hyundai shared plans to return to Pikes Peak with four racecars after a 14-year hiatus from the annual event. At the time, we learned Hyundai would be working with professional drivers Paul Dallenbach, an eleven-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb winner, and Robin Shute – a four-time overall winner and King of the Mountain title holder at Pikes Peak (both pictured below).

However, we were unsure what vehicles those drivers, or the other two drivers hired, would be competing in. While Hyundai is still remaining hush about the car Shute will be wheeling up Pikes Peak, the brand has confirmed Dallenbach will be driving a production version of IONIQ 5 N also seen below.

Hyundai Pikes Peak
Hyundai head of N Brand and Motorsport Till Wartenberg (Left) standing with the IONIQ 5 N and the Pike’s Peak drivers / Source: Scooter Doll

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to climb Pikes Peak with zero mods

Per news out of Hyundai, two of the four promised vehicles competing at the 2024 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be IONIQ 5 N EVs, utilizing all of their standard 641 horsepower to try and capture a record climb time for electric production SUV/crossover category.

Joining Paul Dallenbach in the other Hyundai IONIQ 5 N at Pikes Peak will be Ron Zaras (also pictured above on the right), who was in attendance with the EV and other drivers in Monterey yesterday following the announcement. Paul Dallenbach and Robin Shute actually took us out driving on Laguna Seca before the Pike’s Peak announcement went public, but you’ll have to wait until next week for the full report on that.

In the meantime, we’ve got a good look at the EVs that will be pursuing the first climb times for the electric production SUV/crossover category, essentially setting the tone for the segment and putting a target on its back for future climbs. With that said, the Hyundai N team wants to deliver a climb time that is going to be tough to beat in the coming years.

What’s interesting about the IONIQ 5 N competing in the climb is that is virtually unmodified from its production version, aside from some safety requirements. The driver’s seat was replaced with a Recaro Pro Racer SPA Hans seat; the seat belts are now Sabelt six-point HANS compatible; the rear seats were removed, and a roll cage and fire suppression system were installed.

Aside from that, the EV features the same powertrain and battery with no other additions. We were told it will not be the production orange seen above but will instead get a unique wrap job synonymous with the N brand, so keep an eye out for that.

The other two Hyundai drivers, Dani Sordo and Robin Shute will be driving modified-spec IONIQ 5 Ns, which will make their public debut at the world-famous Nürburgring on May 30. Four Hyundai IONIQ EVs are scheduled to climb Pikes Peak, so there will be plenty of excitement around a growing segment in electric performance vehicles. You can tune into the event on June 23, 2024.

We will be sure to report back on those potential records as well.

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