Hyundai Ioniq 5 – Retro Future

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Hyundai’s newest EV showcases not just a new platform architecture but a renewed, if not familiar, vision for the future

When the Hyundai Ioniq 5 dropped online, it sent social media into a spin. Not so much because of the vital fact it is the first EV to utilise Hyundai’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform but for its retro-cool design credentials – Hyundai, it seems has finally married style with substance. Set to launch later this year, the Ioniq 5 results from a significant investment into new EV architecture that presents a compelling argument against the incoming Volkswagen ID.3 and BMW iX. And with its geometric details, integrated ‘Parametric Pixel’ lights and space- age-y finish, it will surely grab the attention of those who fell for the sci-fi aesthetics of the Tesla Cybertruck.

If the design feels nostalgic, that’s intentional. Hyundai took inspiration from the 2019 45 EV concept, but it also re-visited the archives. Specifically, the Giorgetto Giugiaro- designed Hyundai Pony. Though, the design further nods to some of Giugiaro’s greatest boxy hits during the Italdesign years as well. According to Hyundai, this signifies a new era – it’s first “EV-specific” design language that will carry across all future Ioniq models.

Though its proportions might seem crossover-like, the Ioniq 5 BEV is a midsize SUV – at 4.6 metres, it is around the same length as a Tucson and a few centimetres shorter in height. It rides on 20-inch wheels – the biggest a production Hyundai has seen, which only add to its deceptive proportions. Utilising the E-GMP’s skateboard layout architecture, Hyundai’s designers had the freedom to reimagine interior packaging, leading to a ‘Smart Living Space’ – a de-cluttered, expansive and lounge-like cabin. Adopting another ’70s-invented idea – modular design – the interior can be manipulated for more room. The centre console slides back 140mm, the seats almost lay flat and the boot can hold up to 1600 litres with the seats down. Hyundai has been developing interiors made from recycled materials for some time, so most of the Ioniq 5’s cabin has been sourced from PET bottles and plant-based plastic bottles (bio PET), plant- based fabrics, wool, eco-processed leather and bio-paint made with plant extracts.

There will be two battery pack options –58 kWh or 72.6 kWh– and a single (rear) motor
or dual-motor layout. With the top-spec AWD 72.6-kWh option, the Ioniq 5 can produce 225kW and a seriously chunky 605Nm, claims 0-100km/h in just 5.2 seconds, and a range of 470-480km (WLTP). Like its more premium EV rivals, such as the Porsche Taycan, the Ioniq can support 400V and 800V charging, allowing for supercharging powers. On a 350kW charger, Hyundai claims this BEV can climb 10-80 per cent in 18 minutes; on the same charger, five minutes of charge will equal 100km of range. Also capable of two-way charging, the Ioniq can supply 3.6kW of power via two 220-volt sockets found inside and outside the car.

In addition to the too-many-to-mention- here advanced safety and semi-autonomous accoutrements, the final cherry on top for Australian customers is a solar panel roof option. This will gives the Ionic the ability to harvest and transfer energy to the battery pack.

Not that Hyundai had much to prove when it comes to its EV development, but with what is only the tip of the iceberg, it has certainly come out swinging.

Noelle Faulkner

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