Daring swing from Korea
Hyundai Ioniq 6 – elegant replacement for the number 5
Even after a model change, the members of a car family are generally very similar. Hyundai has now broken this rule of thumb and is really brushing off the Ioniq 5’s successor. Instead of corners and edges, there are now dynamic curves.
The Ioniq 5 has had its day. The Hyundai range, launched in 2016, will disappear this summer. But not without a new vehicle coming to market with the same name and suffix 6. Koreans have already provided insights into the design and interior of the future 800-volt electric vehicle in a prototype that is very close to production status. . Like the 5 introduced in 2021, the new Ioniq model also features a design that combines styles from bygone eras with what designers call “retro-futuristic elements”. However, the 6 does not create a noticeable bridge to its sister model, but rather takes a clearly different direction. Even though the technology will be the same, Ioniq 5 and 6 are very different types.
Hyundai had already anticipated that the 6 will be different from the Ioniq 5 in 2020 with the Prophecy studio, for which head of design Peter Schreyer was responsible at the time. The concept of an aerodynamically designed sedan is also found in the production model, albeit in a more pragmatic interpretation in many respects. Unsurprisingly, the design of the series is a little more understated. But the consistent omission of references to Ioniq 5 is surprising. The 6 is clearly not a sedan version of the 5 sedan, but a statement in its own right. Hyundai’s head of global design, Sangyup Lee, still speaks of an Ioniq family, whose members, however, can look very different, like the pieces of a game of chess. Even if the king, queen, knight or bishop are clearly different from each other – the chess analogy – they still make a strong team.
In this regard, there are obviously some similarities that should distinguish all future members of the Ioniq family. This includes a long wheelbase, due to the E-GM platform with a corresponding amount of space for passengers, interiors with sustainable materials and cocoon effect, as well as parametric pixels in the front and rear areas.
As with the 5, the small rectangular light elements also ensure a wow effect on the 6. The rear trunk features a continuous strip of lights made up of two long rows of many small rectangles. An additional strip of light adorns the spoiler lip, while vertically arranged rear and fog lights are integrated into the diffuser-like rear apron. The theme of the small bright rectangles is also reflected in the headlights in the form of the signature daytime running light. The light design of the Ioniq 6 is not only concise, with the help of the many small light points there are also several possibilities for animated light sequences.
The outer skin is decidedly aerodynamic, with a roofline that curves in a wide arc and extends well into the short rear croup. Additionally, there are the door handles that are flush with the sheet metal skin and the small camera mounts in the front doors, which serve as a streamlined replacement for the exterior mirrors. The reward for the effort is a low drag coefficient of 0.21. Compared to cutting edge 5 with 0.29, the 6 has a clear advantage. Incidentally, the 6 is less flat than the Prophecy at 1.50 meters and the door windows are not frameless. These are typical concessions to the red pen regime in mass production. The increase in height from the prophecy is due to the construction of the battery in the vehicle floor which is the same for all Ioniqs. If even the frameless doors were to make little wind noise on the freeway, according to Hyundai designer Simon Loasby, this would be disproportionately expensive for a volume model like the Ioniq 6.
Cozy and warm atmosphere inside
At 4.86 meters, the 6 is over 20 centimeters longer than the 5, while its 2.95 meter wheelbase is 5 centimeters shorter. However, the development possibilities of the Ioniq 6 remain generous at the front and rear. Although the roof slopes towards the rear, the rear offers plenty of legroom and good headroom. In addition, the 6 features a flat floor and, in the optional four-seater version, a continuous center console. Among other things, the interior pleases with surfaces partly made of recycled plastic, with a tidy interior and a warm and familiar atmosphere thanks to ambient lighting.
And then there are some elegant touches like the translucent panels that are reminiscent of the first generation iMac. Another special feature are four light elements in the center of the steering wheel. They provide visual feedback from speech recognition and also provide information on the charge level. Thanks to a 6-pixel display at the front of the vehicle, even strangers can follow the progress of the charging.
And as befits a modern electric car, the cockpit offers two 12-inch displays on the dashboard in addition to the two optional monitors in the camera-based exterior mirrors. The left steering wheel mainly displays driving information, the touchscreen on the right is responsible for practically everything else.
For the time being, Hyundai says little about the technology of the Ioniq 6, which is expected to start around the turn of the year. But the E-GMP architecture with 800-volt technology places strict limits on drive, performance and battery. At this point, the 6 will be very similar to the Ioniq 5. The same should be true for the price, which may even be slightly lower than that of a comparably powered Ioniq 5.