August 10, 2022

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Here’s Hyundai’s next electric car, the Ionic 6 Sedan

Here's Hyundai's next electric car, the Ionic 6 Sedan
Zoom / The aerodynamic planes of the 1930s and 1940s were the inspiration for the Hyundai Ioniq 6.

Hyundai

The actual reveal of the Hyundai Prophecy concept car was an early victim of COVID, which was originally scheduled for Hastily canceled 2020 Geneva Motor Show. This didn’t stop her from blowing my socks off as soon as Hyundai sent some pictures online. At the time, I didn’t think the Korean automaker would put the concept — which it described as the result of a “transport accident involving a Mercedes CLS and a Tesla Model 3” — into production.

Obviously, I was an idiot because just as the Hyundai 45 concept turned into a premium Ioniq 5 crossover, Prophecy translated into production like the Ioniq 6 sedan. Like the Ioniq 5, the Ioniq 6 uses Hyundai’s new E-GMP platform for cars 800 voltsbut more importantly, it’s actually smaller (with a 2 inch/50mm shorter wheelbase) and will be cheaper than the corner Ioniq 5. (Yes, that still confuses me, because 6 is more than 5, so one would expect a bigger, more expensive car, plus to Ioniq 7 he is Will be Seven-seater large electric SUVdue next year.)

The most notable change from the concept was the Ioniq 6’s added height, an inevitable consequence of the necessity to assemble a 6-inch (150 mm) slab of lithium-ion batteries under the cabin floor. I asked Hyundai chief design officer Sangyup Lee if he was tempted to extend the production car’s wheelbase to keep the concept’s proportions.

“That was the design and to be honest, that’s what we paid for at the design center. But the sales and marketing department decided that 4,485 [mm, or 176.5 inches] It was just the right size,” he told me.

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If you spot a hint of the past in the car’s look – particularly the side profile – you’re not wrong. Tell me that single bend designs like brave scarab In the 1930s he had an influence.

The "border pixels" The taillights aren't quite as wild as the concept, but they're still very eye-catching.  Features moving patterns that are triggered when the vehicle is locked or unlocked.
Zoom / The “Parametric Pixel” taillights aren’t quite as wild as the concept, but they’re still absolutely stunning. Features moving patterns that are triggered when the vehicle is locked or unlocked.

Hyundai

As you might expect, some of the Prophecy details for the Ioniq 6 had to be toned down, but like its big boxy sibling, pixel lights play a big role in both the front and rear of the car. The show car’s transparent acrylic spoiler is now black plastic, but also has a central brake light, which greatly performs riding knight-esque animation, sweeping from side to side.

He explained to me, “A pixel is something that binds analog and digital together. It is very unique, and the more precise it becomes, the more digital it becomes. The right balance between pixels and optical signature is key in our design.”

The front of the production car, though, is a lot more boisterous than the stylish concept. This is necessary to control the air flow around, over and under the car, as well as to fill in the various car sensors (in that black tape). And we can probably forget about side-view cameras here in the States, because regulations don’t yet allow them.

Hyundai wasn’t much into technical specs when we saw the Ioniq 6 in London, but Lee was rightly proud that the production car achieved a drag coefficient of just 0.21, which would make it one of the least dragging cars in the price cut. That should mean a fairly hefty range, especially if it uses the larger E-GMP’s 77.4 kWh battery — it’s relatively small for an EV, which means smaller headroom, and the E-GMP-based electric vehicles we tested I managed at least 4 miles/kWh (15.5 kWh/100 km).

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Hyundai's design language describes the interior as "Cocoon conscious." It's more driver-centric than the Ioniq 5.
Zoom / Hyundai’s design language describes the cabin as a “conscious cocoon.” It’s more driver-centric than the Ioniq 5.

Hyundai

The interior of the Ioniq 6 is more personal to the driver than the open space of the Ioniq 5. Interesting projection lighting illuminates the cabin at night, and the steering wheel head has four LEDs that act as a charging indicator as well as providing visual feedback that the voice recognition system might have heard. There are dedicated physical controls for common functions such as sound or climate systems.

“The touch screen is great when this car is around [in] “Steady condition, but when you move, touch screens can be dangerous,” Li told me. So we always think about the right balance, user experience, buttons, and the combination of voice activation together. It is clear that in the future voice activation will play the main role versus the touch screen, but this is still in a transitional stage. For us, anything to do with safety, we use hardware. Anything not related to safety will use a touch interface. This is how we balance — this is how we actually do the hierarchy,” he explained to me.

Production of the Ioniq 6 is scheduled to begin in July in Korea, and its official public unveiling is scheduled for July 14. We don’t have an exact date for when US sales will start, but we’re expecting the car here sometime in the 2023 model, possibly before the end of this year (although since 2020, who knows what will happen next week). Pricing information should also be awaited now, but for context, it will be cheaper than the Ioniq 5, which starts at $46,650, which means that the Ioniq 6 will significantly reduce the Tesla Model 3, which, unlike Hyundais, Not eligible for the Federal Vehicle Tax Credit.

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