Do not adjust your screen brightness or call your optometrist—that image above is not a rendering. It’s not a depiction of a concept car, either. As futuristic and cyberpunk as it may appear, this is your first glimpse at the very production-ready 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, the first vehicle from Hyundai’s new Ioniq sub-brand and visually in a different ionosphere from the humdrum Ioniq range of affordable electrified compact cars that preceded it. This is roundly one of the most significant new Hyundais we’ve seen since the 2011 redesign of the Sonata, a car that ushered in a new era for Hyundai/Kia design and inarguably elevated the Korean manufacturer onto the same playing field of Toyota and Honda.
Multiple Battery and Motor Combinations
With the Ioniq 5, Hyundai is now a step beyond its Japanese competitors on the EV front, too. The crossover arrives with a choice of either a 58- or 73-kWh battery pack, and a further choice of either a single rear-mounted motor driving the rear wheels or a dual front-and-rear motor setup affording all-wheel drive. In its most potent powertrain combination—dual motors, the 73-kWh battery—the Ioniq 5 scoots around with a combined 301 hp and 446 lb-ft, allowing for mostly-silent runs from zero to 62 mph in a quick 5.2 seconds. Keep the big battery but ditch the front motor, and that output drops to a more than reasonable 214 hp and 258 lb-ft, and the 0-62 mph time extends to 7.4 seconds.
With the smaller battery, the dual-motor setup spins out a combined 232 hp and 446 lb-ft for a 6.1-second 0-62 mph run. In the lowliest (and presumably most affordable) configuration, the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive, standard battery Ioniq 5’s power is unchanged over the big battery’s 214 hp and 258 lb-ft, though 0-62 mph is the slowest at a still-reasonable 8.5 seconds. Regardless of how you spec it, the Ioniq 5 tops out at 115 mph.
At the moment, Hyundai’s only talking range for the specific configuration of the 73-kWh battery and single rear motor, claiming an impressive WLTP-rated range of between 292 and 298 miles. Expect the official EPA range to differ here in the U.S. Here’s a neat little tidbit—if you do happen to brick your Ioniq 5 on an over-enthusiastic impromptu road trip, an optional solar roof panel can trickle charge the car for some extra range, giving you a shot at reaching a charger.
That’s only for emergencies and a small passive charge—how the Hyundai performs at the plug is what matters. Crucially, the Ioniq 5 supports both 400-volt and 800-volt charging as standard without the need for plug adaptors, and both levels are packaged in as standard. On a 350-kW charger, the battery can be charged from 10- to 80-percent in just 18 minutes—in an ideal environment, of course. According to Hyundai and WLTP, it takes just five minutes to suck down enough electrons for 62 miles of range. Once on the move, drivers can use the Ioniq 5 as a large mobile battery pack, with built-in vehicle-to-load function that charges smaller stuff like electric bicycles, scooters, and camping gear, among other stuff.
The Ioniq 5 Is Quite Attractive …
Frankly, this compact crossover is one of the most intriguing new EVs we’ve seen based on styling and aesthetics alone; with its angular, scalloped bodywork and the retrofuturistic Alfa Romeo SZ-aping front grille, the Ioniq 5 is a bright paint job away from being carjacked by some cybernetically-modified criminal in the Cyberpunk 2077 video game.
Hyundai claims the Ioniq 5 pulls inspiration from the compact Pony—the first car Hyundai ever exported to North America—but rides on a deceptively long-ish 118-inch wheelbase that provides an impressive segment-straddling interior volume. Overall, there’s a sense of homogeneity, made possible by flush door handles, a lack of front grille space, and the use of Hyundai’s first clamshell hood. Really, this is a picture-perfect production translation of the dramatic Hyundai 45 concept that bowed back in 2019.
It’s not quite as futuristic inside, but it sure looks like a nice, if not anodyne, place to spend your commute. As is the case with most EVs coming to market, the Ioniq 5 makes good use of the available flat-floor packaging and introduces a sliding center console island that frees up additional passenger space. Passenger comfort seems to be king in the 5, as in the pursuit of that intangible interior real estate, the front seats are 30-percent thinner in construction for the rear occupant’s precious knees and/or feet.
If you do find yourself pressed up against some interior surface, at least you’ll know it’s eco-friendly; much of what you touch on the inside is composed of green-sky stuff like recycled PET plastic, natural wool, eco-processed leather, and “bio-paint” that makes use of plant extracts instead of condensed animal souls—at least that’s what we presume. Strangely, Hyundai’s rather bullish on the Ioniq’s infotainment set-up, but the dual-screen layout is right on-par with what we’ve seen on other new EVs like the upcoming Nissan Ariya. Expect a full suite of EV-focused features like pre-charging, route planning, and charge finder.
What we don’t know yet is how much all this futuristic finery will cost, but we don’t expect it to start beneath the $30,000 waterline; it may end up shading the similarly sized but more powerful (and larger-battery) Ford Mustang Mach-E’s price scale. Production apparently begins next month, with the U.S. ‘s allotment beginning in the second half of this year. Stay tuned for updates on all this and official EPA ratings.
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