Currently reading: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 gets 379-mile range and 329bhp
Streamlined new electric saloon will go on sale next year; £45k price likely

After revealing the design of the Ioniq 6 last month, Hyundai has confirmed additional technical details of its rakish upcoming electric saloon before it heads to UK dealerships in early 2023.

Previewed in 2020 by the sleek and ultra-low Prophecy concept, the Ioniq 6 is Hyundai’s first foray into the electric saloon market, having established a foothold in the EV segment with the Hyundai Kona Electric, Hyundai Ioniq hatch and Hyundai Ioniq 5. At 4855mm long, 1880mm wide and 1495mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2950mm, it is a close match in size for the Tesla Model 3 – as well as the Polestar 2 and BMW i4.

The Ioniq 6 mainly uses the same mechanicals as the retro-styled Ioniq 5 SUV. Based on the modular E-GMP platform, the saloon comes with a choice of a 53kWh or 77.4kWh battery.

The smaller one always comes with a single 226bhp rear motor, while the long-range version is optionally available with a 329bhp, twin-motor four-wheel drive arrangement. Hyundai says this 329bhp powertrain is able to propel the Ioniq 6 from 0-62mph in 5.1sec.

Being a lower and more streamlined car makes the Ioniq 6 more efficient than the 5 SUV. In its most slippery configuration, it will have a drag coefficient of just 0.21Cd and is expected to be capable of achieving 4.4mpkWh, which would be better even than a Tesla Model 3, the current leader for efficiency. The longest-range version is estimated to be able to do 379 miles on a charge.

The other strength of the E-GMP platform is its 800V electrical architecture, which enables it to use the fastest chargers available. Using a 350kW supply, the battery can be replenished from 10-80% in 18 minutes.

Unlike the Ioniq 5, the 6 moves away from heritage-inspired design cues and adopts a much more aeroled ‘single-curve’ silhouette, which will help to optimise efficiency while, says Hyundai, embodying “the concepts of Sensuous Sportiness and optimistic futurism”. 

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Together with the low-slung front end, it gives a drag coefficient of just 0.21 – creating one of the most aerodynamically efficient production cars available and making it, according to Hyundai, a “streamliner” rather than a conventional saloon.

Head of Hyundai Styling Simon Loasby explained that a liftback was considered, but the packaging of the hinges would impact rear headroom, as well as the much-vaunted drag coefficient.

The influence of the Prophecy is clear in the pixel-style light clusters, subtle ducktail rear spoiler and curved shoulder line, but the Ioniq 6 is a taller and thus more practical proposition, with a roofline roughly 200mm higher off the ground than that of the show car – chiefly because of the 150mm-thick battery pack. 

To show off the new design, the Ioniq 6 will be available in a wider selection of colours including metallic red and several blues and greens.

Combined with the flat floor and an overt focus on ergonomics in the cabin, this means, chief designer SangYup Lee told Autocar, that the Ioniq 6 can be used by owners “almost like a third room. The single curvature creates a very nice warm ‘cocoon’ atmosphere inside. Exterior design is the main factor in a customer’s purchase decision, but for an EV the interior will be the distinguisher for the brand.”

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Four colour schemes will be offered: two-tone grey, dark olive green with light grey, black with pale brown, and black. The interior design is dominated by the twin 12.0in displays for the gauge cluster and infotainment. The latter supports the pairing of multiple phones at the same time, so that one can be used for phone calls and one for music streaming.

The centre console is flat so front-seat occupants can work on their laptops or tablets. There is a minimalistic ‘cow-horn’- shaped dashboard housing a pair of 12.0in screens in one panel as part of a new ‘user-centric’ architecture and the centre console floats to free up space in the front cabin. In addition, the long wheelbase allows for competitive levels of leg room in both rows.

Compared to the Ioniq 5, the 6 has a more driver-centric positioning. It also gets a few more dynamic touches, including an ‘EV Performance tune-up’, which allows the driver to specify multiple drive mode configurations for different situations. 

It is similar to modes currently available in the firm’s existing N performance models. Another new feature is that the mood lighting will change with the car’s speed. Smartphone is included, though the firm has retained a number of physical buttons. 

In keeping with Hyundai’s sustainability ethos, the interior is also trimmed in an array of eco-friendly materials, including flaxseed-dyed artificial leather, recycled PET plastics, vegetable oil-based paints and recycled fishing nets.

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The Ioniq 6 is planned to enter production in the third quarter of 2022, with first deliveries due for the end of the year. Loasby also confirmed that smaller Ioniq models are in the works.

More information on UK-specific options and pricing will be revealed closer to its market launch in the first quarter of next year. But taking into consideration prices of the Ioniq 5 and the cars the Ioniq 6 will go up against, a starting price in the region of £45,000 is feasible. 

Q&A: SangYup Lee, head of global design, Hyundai

​​What were the challenges in evolving the Prophecy concept?

“One of the biggest challenges was to get the outline of a streamliner with a single-curve design and big interior space yet without losing the dynamic character.

“Obviously, aerodynamics are a huge player. We were able to go down to 0.21 Cd, which is a fantastic number compared with other EVs. We spent a lot of time at the wind tunnel.”

Did performance influence the design?

“In a way, it’s a default: we must deliver the range and the functionality. But fundamentally, an EV is a battery pack with motors, so what else can we do differently? One big factor was the typological challenge we wanted to create. We don’t want to create something typical. Instead, we’re doing a single-curvature design. We don’t want to call this a ‘saloon’.”

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Will you continue to think in ‘eras’ of car design?

“Right now, we’re going through a bit of a dark era, but even in a dark era, there is always hope. It’s almost like Hyundai can take a time machine and go back to an era like the early ’70s: wasn’t that fantastic? All the race cars… it was just great.”

Ioniq 7: An SUV with an Audi A2 vibe

The Ioniq 5 nodded to the 1980s with its pixel light clusters and angular silhouette and the new Ioniq 6 leans heavily on 1930s-inspired cues, but the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 7 SUV will be “something else again”, according to design boss SangYup Lee.

Previewed by the Seven concept last year, the Ioniq 7 will evolve into a Santa Fe-sized range-topper that will embody Hyundai’s aim to be “a time machine” to different design eras. It won’t be “a traditional SUV”, said Lee, who cites the Audi A2 as a design influence and said it will have a better drag coefficient than any combustion equivalent.

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si73 14 July 2022
I too can see Porsche and mercedes styling cues, but then I can say similar of a lot of cars that seem to have inspiration from others, I think this is a cracking looking car and I don't doubt it will do well if not quite as well as it's more fashionable SUV sibling, which is a shame, the pictures make it appear way bigger than a model 3, until I read the text I was expecting it to be a model S competitor.
harf 14 July 2022

Looks like Hyundai have beaten Citroen to the modern day interpretation of the original Citroen DS to me, certainly in side profile. Just need to cover those rear arches ...

i love that Hyundai are just letting their designers have fun, total opposite to the Russian doll ethos. 

gavsmit 29 June 2022

Lovely - but when is someone going to launch a truly affordable EV that the majority of people can afford (even on never-ending, never-owning finance)?

Shame that Hyundai, traditionally known for producing good value but not class-leading cars, isn't likely to, given their current and future models.

si73 14 July 2022
gavsmit wrote:

Lovely - but when is someone going to launch a truly affordable EV that the majority of people can afford (even on never-ending, never-owning finance)?

Shame that Hyundai, traditionally known for producing good value but not class-leading cars, isn't likely to, given their current and future models.

I do agree, surely these ioniq models, being more along the premium lines, belong with the genesis brand as opposed to there being a genesis equivalent as well?