Evoking the spirit of Hyundai's very first production car – the 1975 Pony – the Ioniq 5 has finally arrived in production form. It's not the small hatchback with Mitsubishi engines from the early days of the Korean brand as we're looking at a midsize SUV developed from the ground up as an electric car. It inaugurates the E-GMP platform and is the production equivalent of the 45 Concept from the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
We're bringing the concept up because the Ioniq 5 has largely retained its design by adopting the same angular appearance with sharp lines and minuscule overhangs. Pop-out door handles give it a clean profile, further accentuated by the use of cameras instead of conventional side mirrors. The cameras won't be legal all over the world, hence why most of the official images are showing the EV with the traditional glass mirrors.
Gallery: Hyundai IONIQ 5 (2021)
Measuring 20 inches, those aero-optimised alloy wheels are the biggest ever installed by Hyundai on an electric vehicle and are like those of the concept car. At the front and rear, the rectangular pixel-like LED lights also evoke the show car unveiled at IAA nearly two years ago. As with other recent EVs, there are charging ports on both sides of the vehicle for extra convenience. That clamshell bonnet is a first for Hyundai and it's as wide as the vehicle to cut down on panel gaps.
The new Ioniq 5 is 4,635 millimetres (182.5 inches) long and a good chunk of its overall length is represented by the massive wheelbase, stretching at a generous 3,000 mm (118.1 in). The midsize SUV is 1,890 mm (74.4 in) wide and 1,605 mm (63.2 in) tall, with Hyundai claiming it offers the interior space of a vehicle from a segment above.
Speaking of the interior, it takes full advantage of the dedicated EV platform by adopting a completely flat floor. This layout pays dividends in more ways than one as aside from the extra legroom, it has allowed the engineers to develop a sliding front central console. It can slide back by as much as 140 mm (5.5 in), which should prove to be useful in a narrow parking spot as the driver will be able to effortlessly exit the car through the passenger door and vice versa.
By having a wheelbase 100 mm (3.9 in) longer than that of the significantly larger Palisade, it goes without saying the interior is impressively spacious, especially for an SUV of this size. It has a cargo capacity of 531 litres (18.7 cubic feet) behind the rear seats that can be increased to nearly 1,600 litres (56.5 cu ft) once you fold down the second row.
Being a true EV and not just an adaptation of a platform originally intended for cars with combustion engines, the Ioniq 5 also has a front boot. Its capacity depends on whether it's the rear- or all-wheel-drive version. The RWD has a bigger 57-litre boot whereas the AWD model makes do with a 24-litre capacity, likely because of the extra hardware commanded by the front electric motor. The North American version has the smaller boot, regardless of version.
The dashboard is dominated by a pair of 12-inch screens – one for the driver's display and the other for the infotainment – with both housed in a large piece of glass à la Mercedes-Benz. Speaking of the premium brand with the three-pointed star badge, the Ioniq 5 also has the gear selector mounted on a lever behind the steering wheel as well as a head-up display with augmented reality support.
The stellar rear legroom was also achieved by making the front seats approximately 30 percent thinner than usual. All seats slide fore and aft, with the front ones reclining "to the optimum angle, offering a weightless feeling for the occupant." Many of the interior touchpoints are made from recycled materials, including PET bottles.
An additional neat future worth mentioning is the available solar roof to further improve efficiency by harvesting the sun's energy and transferring it to the battery pack to increase range. The roof itself makes the interior feel even more spacious than it already is by using a single large glass panel without any support materials.
Customers will get to pick from batteries with a capacity of 58 kWh or 72.6 kWh (77.4-kWh pack for the US-spec model). The base model has a single electric motor mounted at the back and is joined by a beefier derivative with dual motors and an all-paw system. Regardless of configuration, all of them top out at 115 mph (185 km/h).
Fitted with the smaller of the two batteries and a single motor, the Ioniq 5 offers 168 bhp (125 kilowatts) and 350 Newton-metres (258 pound-feet) of torque for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) run in 8.5 seconds. Step up to the AWD model combined with the smaller battery and you get a rear motor rated at 161 bhp (120 kW) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) working together with a front motor producing 71 bhp (53 kW) and 255 Nm (188 lb-ft). In this configuration, the sprint time drops to 6.1 seconds.
Hyundai's new EV can be had with the bigger battery and rear-wheel drive, in which case the electric motor mounted at the back produces 215 bhp (160 kW) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) for a sprint in 7.4 seconds. The most powerful and quickest of the bunch is the Ioniq 5 with the larger pack and AWD, offering 208 bhp (155 kW) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) from the rear motor and 94 bhp (70 kW) and 255 Nm (188 lb-ft) from the front motor to complete the run in just 5.2 seconds.
Next up: The Prophecy Concept will morph into the Ioniq 6
Once you're out of juice, the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes thanks to 800 V charging capabilities by using a 350-kW charger. Only five minutes of charge will be enough for 62 miles (100 kilometres) of range, per WLTP. The flagship version is rated at up to 298 miles (480 kilometres) of range, according to Hyundai's estimations as the final numbers are still pending.
One neat feature is the ability to use the Ioniq 5 to charge electrical equipment through the built-in V2L (Vehicle to Load) function. It can supply up to 3.6 kW of power from the port mounted under the rear seats and also from another port installed outside, with the latter working even if the vehicle is turned off.
Arriving later this year with nine exterior colours (five of which are exclusive to this model) and four interior hues, the Ioniq 5 is the first model part of the newly formed Ioniq sub-brand. The lineup will grow in 2022 to include the Ioniq 6 as a production version of the Prophecy concept. A bigger SUV dubbed Ioniq 7 is programmed to arrive in early 2024.
At launch a limited edition Ioniq 5 “Project 45” model will be available for the UK and European markets. Reservations are open now and pricing for the launch model starts at £45,000 (including the Plug In Car Grant). Deliveries commence in the UK by summer 2021. Pricing for the rest of the Ioniq 5 range will be confirmed in due course.