Hyundai Ioniq 5 Comes Out Looking Highly Conceptual

The Hyundai the Ioniq 5 compact crossover made its debut Monday evening and it’s another win for the brand’s styling department. Despite being known as budget-minded automakers by Hyundai and Kia have delivered some of the most interesting designs the industry has to offer and with surprising consistency. The Ioniq 5 simply carries that formula into a product line that offers a healthy variety of battery, powertrain, and charging options without aiming too high or low.

Based on the Hyundai 45 EV concept from 2019, the Ioniq crossover looks as though it could be a show vehicle. But Hyundai has confirmed that this is actually the production version. The model’s angular design is interesting in itself and requires minimal embellishment, though the Parametric Pixel headlamps are a great touch and really help set the vehicle apart. While it won’t be the car for everyone, it certainly has its charms and will turn plenty of heads until more automakers decide to ape its style.

Underpinned by the manufactures’ new Electric-Global Modular Platform, the Ioniq crossover (more of a hatchback, really) was intended to be an EV from inception. This helped Hyundai maximize interior volume by not having to worry about pesky items like a transmission tunnel and promises that the Ioniq 5’s interior is airy and cavernous. It also allowed for the vehicle to have a longer wheelbase (118.1 inches) than the Palisade, despite the model’s overall dimensions placing it just a step above the Tucson. For those who don’t want to break out the measuring tape, that’s 182.5 inches long by 74.4 inches wide with a relatively short height of just 62.2 inches.

Alleged to be offering 18.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat, the Ioiniq 5 really sweetens the pot with the seats folded down so drivers can enjoy 56.2 of storage bliss. European models also come with another 2 feet of space in the frontal trunk while the North American units halve that space.

Trim has been broken down into four categories. The Standard Range 2WD (rear) configuration offers a compact 58-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that juices up the 160-kilowatt rear motor. Hyundai claims the setup offers 218 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque (converted from Nm). The standard model can also be had in all-wheel drive, though this comes with the added benefit of a second motor capable of driving the front wheels and a not-so-modest bump in output. Standard AWD units come with 235 hp and 446 lb-ft of immediate torque.

Long Range variants come with a larger 77.4-kWh energy source, though some markets (not ours) will get a slimmed-down version of it. Sadly, the latter is the only one Hyundai has any test data for at present and it’s using the famously optimistic European WLTP testing cycle to estimate range. But it’s hardly a disaster at 300 miles and may even sway a few shoppers who have been underwhelmed by other electric vehicles with a smaller operating area.

While the Long Range 2WD uses the same rear motor as the Standard Range, AWD versions get a beefed-up front motor resulting in a combined output of 306 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai said it has managed to clock the crossover hitting 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (vs the Standard Range 2WD’s 8.5 seconds).

The Ioniq 5 is said to be capable of recharging at up to 350 kW, if you can find the applicable DC fast-charging solution. While 240-volt and 110-volt will also be available, the manufacturer wants to flaunt its maximum charging capacity. Hyundai is claiming 350 kW should allow the car to absorb enough energy for 62 miles of range in a 5-minute fast charge scenario or get you back up to 80 percent (from 10 percent) after 18 minutes. You can even use the vehicle to recharge other devices, something the company promised it would discuss at length in the near future. All we know now is that output will be about 3.6 kW with the possibility of more with the correct adaptor.

Outside of the brand equipping it with all the latest digital bells and whistles (Hyundai’s SmartSense, Remote Parking Assist, augmented reality HUD, BlueLink, 12-inch touchscreens), we’re still sitting in the dark on a few issues. Pricing, passenger volume, economy figures, and recharging capabilities are all supposed to be forthcoming. But Hyundai did let slip that the interior would be blessed by a column-mounted shifter, which is the only way to fly for laid-back and spacious cruising.

Availability could be a little wonky with everyone suffering from parts shortages and these EVs never seem to launch without some kind of trouble. But Hyundai would like to make the Ioniq 5 available in the most receptive markets by summer, with the U.S. launch scheduled for autumn.

[Images: Hyundai]


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