Hyundai showed off a raft of performance parts for its upcoming Ioniq 5 N electric hero model – but the biggest news is what you couldn’t see.
While the Ioniq 5 N NPX1 on display at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon is fitted with new parts including a carbon front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear wing spoiler and lightweight hybrid carbon wheels, Hyundai hinted that software is the real key to the performance future.
Over-the-air updates (OTA) have become the buzzword in the car industry in recent years, as changes to the in-car software and hardware have allowed cars to act more like a computer, with rolling enhancements now possible because cars are connected online. This is especially significant for electric cars, such as the Ioniq 5 N, as manufacturers will be able to upgrade performance and other dynamic capabilities even after you’ve bought the car and without the need to return to the dealership.
Joon Park, vice president of N Brand, explained how future performance upgrades won’t be limited to just spoilers and new wheels.
“Not limited to tuning parts, we are also developing software customisation such as sound and vehicle calibration by OTA updates which will open a completely new category of EV customisation for an exciting future ahead for the tuning community,” Park said.
This has the potential to fundamentally change the way car makers update cars, with performance improvements no longer restricted to mechanical changes and model year updates. It not only means more scope for owners to enhance their cars, but also opens up a new revenue stream for the manufacturers.
In the meantime, Hyundai indicated that the unique parts on the NPX1 concept, which also included new, lower, suspension springs, improved brake pads and racing-style bucket seats, will be developed further before being released for sale, at least internationally, by the end of 2024.