New Ioniq 5 electric SUV spied ahead of 2021 launch

The Hyundai Group’s retro-styled all-electric Ioniq 5 SUV has been spotted again – this time wearing its production-ready headlamps

The launch date for the all-new Ioniq 5 pure-electric SUV is drawing nearer, with these latest spy images providing a glimpse at the car’s headlight units. 

When it reaches UK showrooms early next year, the SUV will be the first model from the Hyundai Group’s newly launched Ioniq EV sub-brand. It’ll draw inspiration from the Hyundai 45 Concept, which was first unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Hyundai is pitching the new model as an alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq.

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Naturally, some of the 45 show car’s sharper angles have been toned down in the interest of pedestrian safety, but our spied mules and the concept still share the same basic silhouette, the same tailgate spoiler and a near-identical set of alloy wheels.

The cladding on this latest test mule is a little heavier than our previously spied prototype but, hidden underneath the masking, is our first look at the Ioniq 5’s headlamps. They’re remarkably similar to the concept’s, sharing the same slim, rectangular signature – and they’re also housed in a near-identical triangular-shaped radiator grille.

New Ioniq 5 SUV: platform and performance

Like Kia’s new all-electric coupe-SUV (and indeed all upcoming Ioniq models) the production version of the Ioniq 5 will be based on the Hyundai Group’s scaleable E-GMP underpinnings, which will function in a similar fashion to the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.

When it enters production, E-GMP will be one of the most advanced electric car platforms on the market, featuring over-the-air updates and the same 800-volt charging technology as the Porsche Taycan. The latter feature will also give buyers access to IONITY’s 350kW fast-charging network.

Performance details are yet to be confirmed, but the Hyundai Group has previously said that Kia’s comparably sized electric SUV will have a range of around 300 miles, as well as sub-20-minute recharge times.

Hyundai 45 concept: design and interior

At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, SangYup Lee, Hyundai’s Senior Vice President and head of design, walked us through the 45 concept’s interior styling. He mentioned how the 1974 Pony Coupe inspired details such as the digital instrument binnacle, upholstery and badging, stating:

“Today’s digital hi-tech approach can alienate some people, so we wanted to add in some warmth – a bit of an analogue feeling to make it more approachable. Even the logos on the car and the light patterns give a touch of the 70s, and inside we wanted to produce a living room concept.”

The 45 concept’s interior also sported a range of yesteryear designs and materials, with recycled wool floor mats, a wooden dashboard, heavy cotton upholstery and louvres for the panoramic glass roof. These were blended with modern technology, such as hidden ambient lighting and back-lit touch sensitive pads for some of the controls.

Whether or not these features will make it onto the production model remains to be seen – this early test mule is still undergoing mechanical stress-testing, so its production interior has been swapped for bucket seats and a roll cage. However, peering through the glass, we can make out a broad digital gauge cluster, which should appear on the finished product.

What do you make of the Ioniq 5 SUV? Let us know in the comments section below…

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