► First pictures of Hyundai Ioniq 6
► A swooping new EV to join the 5
► Tech specs revealed
More detailed specs have been published on the Hyundai Ioniq 6, confirming details such as battery size, electric range and performance figures – and they only add to the appeal of this curvily styled Tesla Model 3 rival.
Buyers will be able to choose from battery capacities of 53kWh or 77kWh and the longer range model has a WLTP-certified range of up to 379 miles on one charge. Knowing Korean EV performance, we suspect it’ll get very close to that in real-world driving. Hyundai claims its 4.4 miles per kilowatt hour consumption is class-leading.
It’s quick, too: Hyundai quotes a 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds in the quickest dual-motor model 6. Cheaper Ioniqs will be rear-wheel drive, but the fastest cars will have a motor on each axle, developing a combined 320bhp and 446lb ft of torque.
Hyundai Ioniq 6: your essential briefing
The new 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 was first unveiled earlier in summer 2022, sporting an aerodynamic streamliner wardrobe that’s dramatically different from the cubist modernism of the Ioniq 5. It joins the 5 and forthcoming Ioniq 7 SUV in the Koreans’ burgeoning electric car line-up.
It’s part of what Hyundai design supremo Sangyup Lee calls a ‘chess piece’ family look, where the Ioniq range will extend into brave new styles, casting aside received automotive wisdom of a consistent, ‘cookie-cutter’ design language.
‘There’s nothing wrong with a Russian doll design strategy, but we wanted a chess piece look,’ design director Lee tells CAR. ‘All Ioniq models will look different, but when you see them together, they make sense.’
Hyundai Ioniq 6: inspired by the retro streamliners of the 1950s
The 6 was previewed by 2020’s super-slick Prophecy concept car (below), a slammed and streamlined four-door like an early Mercedes-Benz CLS on steroids. The original streamliners were trains, planes and automobiles of the 1930s-1950s and stand-out cars from this school of design include the sleek Saab 92.
The Ioniq 6’s bodywork swaps the 5’s angular lines for a swooping, banana-shaped aesthetic to cleave the air better and enable that 379-mile range. It’s sadly – but inevitably – less dramatic than the Prophecy concept, but the basic ingredients are all there. It’s just a little more high-riding to guarantee the interior space demanded of an electric family car.
Note the full-width ducktail spoiler incorporating the rear lights; there are some Easter egg tricks embedded and the Ioniq 6’s aero addenda pulses with cubic lights on start-up, in a nod to Knight Rider.
The Ioniq 6 hides its technological chops with ease. We find an attractive, low-slung four-door, measuring 4855mm long and 1880mm wide – a footprint shadowing a 4-series’, but with a super-stretchy wheelbase a whisker under 3m for exceptional cabin space. It’s roomy in there, matching Skoda Superb accommodation for legroom in both rows, though the arcing roofline means headroom is merely decent rather than exceptional.
The wardrobe is noticeably different from the striking Ioniq 5’s, yet much of the detailing is retained – with cubic pixel lights and other niceties to lift the overall design.
‘The pixel shape is important,’ says Lee. ‘The light signature is part of our new face. It’s a repeating theme. It riffs on the digital world and people’s love of games like Minecraft. Why? Because Ioniq is about nostalgia, but also futuristic.’
Electric car tech underneath
The 6 will be based on the Hyundai Kia group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that also underpins the Ioniq 5 and inhouse sibling, the Kia EV6.
It comes with 800-volt rapid charging, two- or all-wheel drive and clever V2L energy management to allow the car to consume or provide electricity. Which is why you’ll find countless journalists and bloggers boiling kettles plugged into their Ioniq 5 on social media. Might seem frivolous today, but smart domestic power broking could become a major selling point for electric cars in an energy-challenged world.
The 5 and 6 share so much tech, yet project a different flavour: the pop-out filing-cabinet glovebox, touchscreens and cool, digital-first vibe are common, but you’ll also spot new (and optional) cameras for door mirrors, ribbed door cards and translucent door pockets, apeing the see-through chic of late 1990s iMacs.
They can be illuminated from a choice of 64 different colours (with six pre-programmed in a set choice) and the Dual Colour Ambient Lighting With Speed-Synchronisation means the Ioniq 6 cockpit will change colour depending on your speed.
There’s a lot to take in, but passengers’ first impressions are of abundant space and cool, modish design. It’s a classy, feelgood cabin with a progressive personality that treads just the right side of trying too hard.
Red-hot: the upcoming Ioniq 6 N
A high-performance Hyundai Ioniq 6 N is in the works, CAR understands, and the RN22e concept car (below) shows what you could expect of a go-faster streamliner. It comes from the Hyundai N division responsible for the i30 N and i20 N hot hatches – and now tasked with preparing the brand’s next high-performance electric models, including a Hyundai Ioniq 5 N.
EVs are relatively easy to tune and more powerful e-motors, a suspension overhaul and full bodykit would be a straightforward way to pep up the Ioniq 6 – though you can likely tone down the massive wing and motorsport addenda of the RN22e for a more roadgoing vibe.
When can I buy an Ioniq 6? And how much will it cost?
Expect to see base versions of the new Ioniq 6 in UK dealerships in winter 2022-23. It’s too early for exact RRP, but CAR understands it will be priced from around £45,000, placing it the next rung up the ladder from the 5.
Hyundai is cleverly positioning its i range of traditional hatchbacks and individually named SUVs as the combustion and hybridised core of its line-up, while Ioniq is marketed as the fully electric offshoot for progressive types ready and enriched to plug in.
It’s a way of ensuring incremental sales to boost the bottom line, hoover up the traditional buyers more cautious about plugging in – and also to reset our expectations of what a modern Hyundai can be. What’s your reaction to the new Ioniq 6? Be sure to sound off in the comments below.
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