Ioniq confirmed as Hyundai's EV sub-brand

Published: 10 August 2020

► Ioniq launches as electric car brand
► All-electric badge for Hyundai's EVs
► Three Ioniq EVs due in four years

Welcome to a new car badge, car spotters: Ioniq. It's the new electric car brand spun off from Hyundai to demark its dedicated battery electric vehicles (EVs).

We've already become familiar with the Hyundai Ioniq range, but this takes things further. Just as BMW launched Project i models from the mothership to accelerate its electric car ambitions, so Hyundai will follow suit with Ioniq. They'll still wear Hyundai badges, but Ioniq will denote full battery electric powertrains - just as N signifies its performance brand.

There's quite a stock of new metal waiting in the wings: the Koreans promise to introduce 'three innovative Ioniq EV models over the next four years, starting early 2021 with Ioniq 5, a midsize EV CUV based on the Concept 45.' 

This is significant: the recent round of cool-looking Hyundai show cars are making the leap from catwalk to showroom. Consider us interested...

Everything you need to know about the Hyundai Concept 45

Ioniq is a standalone electric car brand spun off from the Hyundai mothership

The Ioniq brand won't just be about electrification, Hyundai promises. It is keen to tap into the rapidly changing digital landscape, too - and there's much talk about smart mobility, connectivity and other buzzwords. Sounds like a Trojan Horse for launching a fresh sub-brand with more zeitgeisty appeal than the resolutely sensible Hyundai badge.

Talk us through the new Ioniq EVs in the pipeline

These new teaser images provide plenty of pointers, and the company has already confirmed a trio of new models. The 45 concept car was a very modern-looking EV with a crisp, fresh wardrobe quite unlike contemporary Hyundais. As is now the way, it was a taller hatchback/crossover mash-up, which should ensure it'll sell to buyers demanding a taller, more tip-toe stance for added practicality, space for batteries in the skateboard chassis a decent view out.

Expect a line-up looking like this - even numbers are saloons and odd numbers are SUVs:

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5  Mid-sized crossover EV, due early 2021, based on cool 45 concept (below)
  • Hyundai Ioniq 6  Family based electric saloon based on the chic Prophecy, due 2022
  • Hyundai Ioniq 7  Larger all-electric SUV, due 2024

The Ioniq 45 concept car will become the Ioniq 5

All these future Ioniqs will be built around the group's E-GMP platform, a besoke electric architecture. That stands for Electric Global Modular Platform, and it'll offer 'fast charging capability and plentiful driving range,' says Ioniq. Because it's bespoke, there'll be flat floors and a more lounge-like interior, according to the designers.

The new Hyundai Ioniq badge is simple and unadorned - the name is a compound of Ion and Unique.

You'll recognise the name from the back of the Ioniq range of cars launched in 2016 (at the time it was the only bodystyle with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric). Hyundai is marking the launch in the UK by illuminating the London Eye with a giant Q.


The new Ioniq badge

'The Ioniq brand will change the paradigm of EV customer experience,' said Wonhong Cho, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer. 'With a new emphasis on connected living, we will offer electrified experiences integral to an eco-friendly lifestyle.'

It's all part of Hyundai's Strategy 2025, which is targeting a million annual electric car sales by the middle of the decade - with a 10% market share of the burgeoning EV and fuel-cell marketplace. If successful, that could make the Hyundai group the third largest producer of electrified vehicles.

Further electric car reading

The best electric cars and EVs on sale today

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Want an electric SUV? Here are the best choices

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet