On Tuesday morning in Korea, Hyundai debuted its newest battery electric vehicle. The company has resisted the temptation to start with a bombastic SUV like General Motors’ reborn GMC Hummer or a handsome sedan like the Porsche Taycan, though both are in the works. Instead, the Ioniq brand will launch with the car in highest demand, the midsize crossover. In this case, a sharp-styled crossover called the Ioniq 5, which will also be the first BEV to use Hyundai’s new E-GMP architecture.
The production Ioniq 5 looks remarkably similar to the concept car that preceded it, the 45. At first glance, it appears to be channeling the attractive boxy look of the late-1980s hot hatches. But don’t be fooled by the proportions; it’s roughly the same size as Toyota’s best-selling RAV4 crossover. Large 20-inch wheels and short front and rear overhangs conceal a 118-inch (3,000mm) wheelbase that translates to acres of interior space for occupants.
Beyond plenty of space and flat floors, the interior has another surprise. The center console can slide, receding up to 5.5 inches (140mm). This gives front occupants the option of leaving out the other side of the car, as well as giving rear passengers access to console storage, USB ports, and wireless charging pad.
The front seats will recline as needed, including a footrest, although obviously the driver’s seat won’t do that while the car is in motion. And Hyundai says it made those front seats 30 percent slimmer than its regular seats, again to increase space in the rear. The rear seats also move forward and backward, sliding forward 5.2 inches (135mm) to increase cargo capacity.
As it is becoming the trend, there is a wide use of sustainable materials like recycled PET bottles and natural fibers used indoors.
Two battery packs, two powertrains
We’ve gotten used to new BEVs with massive batteries, but the Ioniq 5’s powertrain specs speak to Hyundai’s confidence when it comes to electric-range efficiency engineering. There are two pack sizes: 58kWh or 77.4kWh (72.6kWh in regions other than the US). And there are two powertrain options: rear-wheel drive, with a single 160kW (215hp), 350Nm (258lb-ft) engine; or all-wheel drive, with a total power of 173kW (231hp) with the smallest capacity battery or 225kW (301hp) with the largest package. Regardless of package size, the AWD Ioniq 5 produces 605 Nm (446 lb-ft).
Consequently, performance should be fast rather than impressive, with a 0 to 62 mph (100 km / h) range between 5.2 seconds and 8.5 seconds depending on settings. Hyundai has only given us a range estimate for the RWD plus the 72.6kWh setting, which it says should hit 292-298 miles (470-480km) under the WLTP test regime.
Like the previously mentioned BEVs from GMC and Porsche, the Ioniq 5 uses an 800V electrical architecture, which, among other things, means that it is capable of charging extremely fast – from 10 to 80 percent of the state of charge in only 18 minutes when connected to a 350 kW DC fast charger. . Four hundred-volt DC chargers are more common, but some clever tech in the Ioniq 5 means you can use them, too – the motor and inverter take care of doubling the voltage to satisfy the battery.
And although vehicle-to-grid functions are not yet supported (either by vehicles or over the network), the Ioniq 5 features vehicle to charge, also known as the ability to operate as a remote AC power source up to 3.6 kW. Either through the external charging port or a V2L port located under the rear seats.
The Ioniq 5 goes into production this year, with US deliveries scheduled to begin in the fall. It will be followed by the Ioniq 6 sedan (based on the impressive Prophecy concept car) and then the Ioniq 7, a large electric SUV.
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