When I first saw the Hyundai 45 at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, I described it as a “one-of-a-kind concept vehicle.” Now I’m prepared to eat those words, as Hyundai has introduced the eye-catching Ioniq 5 production EV crossover that is closely based on the 45, right down to the diagonal crease across the doors. It has a lot to offer under the hood too, with an 800-volt electric drive system that should offer excellent range and decent performance.
The Ioniq 5 is based on Hyundai’s new global electric modular platform, with cable steer and drive technology and a discharged battery floor. Like other recent electric vehicle platforms, that allowed it to maximize interior space while keeping external dimensions reasonably compact. It will also come with an optional sunroof that can directly charge the main battery.
There are a number of configurations determined by battery size, two- or four-wheel drive, and power. The Standard Range 2WD model starts with a 58 kilowatt-hour battery and 160 kilowatt motor (218 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque), generating a 0-60 MPH time of about 8.5 seconds. The standard AWD range adds a second electric motor, boosting power to 235 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque.
For long-range options, a 77.4 kWh battery will be offered in the US, with a smaller 72.6 kWh package in other parts of the world. Those will be available with the aforementioned 160 kilowatt rear engine, which offers about 300 miles per charge on Europe’s WLTP cycle with the smallest battery (probably less in the US by EPA standards, even with the larger battery). At the higher end is the Ioniq 5 Long Range AWD with 306 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque, which propels you from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.2 seconds, at the price of a slightly lower range.
You’ll be able to charge the Ioniq 5 with DC fast charging of up to 350 kW, which will theoretically increase the charge from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes, while adding 62 miles of range in just 5 minutes. It also supports bi-directional and “vehicle-to-charge” charging, allowing you to charge phones, computers, and even e-bikes via the car battery with power up to 3.6 kW. That, of course, will drain the car’s battery, although it can recover some charge through the sunroof.
At roughly the size of a Toyota RAV 4, the Ioniq 5 is larger than it might appear at first glance. In addition to the unusual bodywork, Hyundai changed the concept’s square headlight and tail lamp treatments, albeit in a more practical way. It has the same 20-inch wheels as the 45, although they don’t fit as well in the wheel wells. It has a few extra pieces of body lining around the edges, something Hyundai got rid of in the Kona Electric. Some markets (not the US) will have OLED displays and rear view cameras instead of mirrors.
The 45 concept was based on the idea that you can rest and relax while the car drives you. The Ioniq 5 may not do the latter, but it does come with Hyundai’s Highway Driving Assistant 2, with features like lane-center assist, lane-change assist, and navigation-based adaptive cruise control. It also comes with the Remote Smart Parking Assistant, which allows you to jump out of the car and make it park via smartphone.
The interior, of course, has completely changed from the concept, as the modernist styling of the 45 would not be enough in a real world with safety rules. Still, there are some cool touches. The front seats really recline and even have a footrest, while the center console can slide back 5.5 inches. That can open up more floor space while giving rear seat occupants access to it as a sort of table.
Up front, the dash features a 12-inch flat digital instrument cluster, along with a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment display powered by Hyundai’s BlueLink connected surfaces. It is also Hyundai’s first augmented reality head-up display, which can transform your front windshield into a display.
Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 will arrive in some regions in the first half of 2021, but it won’t arrive in North America until the fall. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we should get that information as launch time nears.