It’s no secret that the funky Hyundai Ioniq 5 is one of our favourite electric crossovers, giving the automaker impressive range, charging performance, and space efficiency. The new Hyundai Ioniq 6 continues the momentum as far as styling is concerned – we got our first peek at the shapely four-door a few weeks ago. And we finally have some specifications suggesting the Ioniq 6 will be as enjoyable to drive as it looks.
Hyundai finished off the slow tease of the Ioniq 6 by finally revealing the technology underneath its attractive skin, and much of it should look familiar to fans of the Ioniq 5. That’s partly because the saloon rides on the same Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) as the crossover, allowing for scalable battery sizes, rear- or all-wheel drive, a flat floor, and EV-specific proportions. We also learned that the Ioniq 6 will enter global production in the third quarter of 2022, with US production starting in early 2023. Hyundai wouldn’t cop to specific market launches just yet, but the automaker's US website confirms it as a 2024 model.
Utilising that E-GMP architecture, the Ioniq 6 will offer two sizes for its lithium-ion battery: 53.0 or 77.4 kilowatt-hours. Keen eyes will note that the saloon’s larger battery is the same size as that of the crossover. The Ioniq 6 will also offer standard rear-wheel drive via a single motor or optional dual-motor all-wheel drive. Hyundai didn’t specify how much power the single-motor setup would have, but since the dual-motor option makes the same 320 bhp (239 kilowatts) and 446 pound-feet (605 Newton-metres) as the all-wheel-drive Ioniq 5, we assume the rear-driver will have the same 225 bhp (168 kW) as its crossover equivalent.
Most important to many consumers will be the Ioniq 6’s EV range, and here, the saloon excels with a maximum WLTP-rated 610 kilometres (379 miles) when equipped with the single motor and larger 77.4-kWh battery. That beats out the crossover’s WLTP max of 507 km (315 miles). Given the EPA estimates the Ioniq 5 can go 303 miles in single-motor/big-battery form, we predict the Ioniq 6 will go at least 350 miles on a charge when it gets tested by the federal government.
With all-wheel drive, the Ioniq 6 might crest 300 miles of EPA-rated range, up from its crossover sibling’s 256 miles, while the rear-drive/small-battery combination should be good for about 250 miles in the saloon.
Speaking of that base configuration, Hyundai claims that it will be one of the most energy-efficient vehicles in the world. When equipped with the smaller battery and 18-inch wheels, the automaker says it consumes less than 14 kWh per 100 kilometres, ensuring the Ioniq 6 makes the most of those electrons that go in.
And when it’s time to replenish the battery, the Ioniq 6 makes use of the same 400V/800V electrical architecture as the Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60, swapping between the two voltage ratings without the need for any additional equipment. One of the benefits is that the Ioniq 6 can take advantage of 350-kilowatt DC fast chargers, allowing the battery to go from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. Hyundai doesn’t list a maximum charge speed, but as our friends at InsideEVs have noted, the Ioniq 5 crossover is capable of around 235 kW over short bursts.
The Ioniq 6 has the same vehicle-to-load charging system as the Ioniq 5. Like many cars, there's an outlet in the rear passenger compartment if you want to keep your laptop charged. But there's also an accessory adapter that plugs into the outside charging port, turning it into a power outlet that can power a refrigerator during a power outage or juice up flashlights and lanterns at a campsite. You can even provide shore power to a motorhome from it.
And when it's time to disconnect, the Ioniq 6 will be a pretty quick operator. The automaker says that all-wheel-drive models with the large battery will be able to hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in 5.1 seconds, and even that number sounds a bit conservative given our experiences with the fleet-footed Ioniq 5. We expect the single-motor saloon to be a bit more leisurely, hitting the same mark in about 7 seconds.
As we saw in the first official images of the 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6, the cabin looks to be stuffed with technology. There’s a 12.0-inch touchscreen display in the middle, with a matching digital instrument cluster facing the driver. The navigation system overlays a real-time range map based on traffic, terrain, and state of charge, with connected services that optimise a route to take advantage of public charging.
In a move that’s sure to please technophiles, the Ioniq 6 receives a set of four USB-C and one USB-A ports, a nice upgrade over the Ioniq 5’s exclusively USB-A cabin. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Over-the-air updates will help keep the Ioniq 6 current, both in terms of infotainment and vehicle functions.
Other interesting features include a 64-colour ambient lighting system with six presets that can be customised as desired. There’s also a cool “Speed Sync” mode that alters the lighting as vehicle speed increases, which adds a measure of fun and drama to a sporty drive. Speaking of, the Ioniq 6 has electric active sound design (e-ASD), which pipes a spaceship-like propulsion sound to the cabin that automatically adjusts based on the vehicle’s drive mode. If it’s anything like the Ioniq 5, it’s going to sound funky and futuristic – though we hope there will be other audio profiles on offer for those who’d prefer something more conventional.
The Ioniq 6 gets optional Relaxation Comfort seats up front, which help the driver and passenger kick back when the vehicle is parked. We’ve used the feature on the Ioniq 5 – where it’s only available for the driver – and it makes a lot of sense when passing the time at a charging station. Hyundai also says that the seats themselves are designed to be thinner, helping conserve interior space for passengers without sacrificing support or comfort.
Dressed To Thrill
We already knew what the Hyundai Ioniq 6 would look like, though the automaker revealed yet more photos of the car along with the tech specs. And while its swooping fastback design may take some getting used to, there’s no denying the Ioniq 6 has serious presence. A low, rounded prow helps it cut through the air, and a tapered roofline and squared-off bumpers help air flow easily across and around the body for a drag coefficient of just 0.21 – a shade off the 0.20 achieved by today’s record-holding Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQS.
On top of that slippery shape, Hyundai designers overlaid the Ioniq sub-brand’s Parametric Pixel accents, including digital-chic head- and taillights and angular bumper inserts. There’s also a Porsche-like spoiler just below the rear window that helps add both visual and aerodynamic appeal. Looking something like a mix of an Ur-Saab and a 911 – with a dash of bustle-back Cadillac thrown in – the Ioniq 6 somehow cuts a profile all its own and is sure to attract attention.
That’s likewise true of the cabin, which gets an angular and squared-off dash design with a thin and low centre console providing both storage and style. Side-view mirror screens occupy two thin spars on the outboard corners of the dashboard, a feature that may or may not come to the US depending on how quickly our NHTSA regulations modernise.
The 12 colour choices will help enhance the Ioniq 6’s computerised appeal. Digital Green will be available in matte or pearl clearcoats, and Gravity Gold Matte should look very bold and appealing out on the road. Other choices include Abyss Black Pearl, Serenity White Pearl, Curated Silver Metallic, Nocturne Gray Metallic, Nocturne Gray Matte, Transmission Blue Pearl, Biophilic Blue Pearl, Ultimate Red Metallic, and Byte Blue. The cabin will offer four colourways: single-tone black or two-tone dark and light grey, Dark Olive Green and light grey, or black with pale brown.
Gallery: Hyundai Ioniq 6 Design Debut
Like most other new Hyundais, the Ioniq 6 will be available with a long list of advanced safety and driver-assistance features. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and prevention, and blind spot collision prevention will likely be standard in our market (as they are on the Ioniq 5), with trick features like a blind spot camera, 360-degree monitor, and junction turning assistance also available.
Hyundai’s Highway Driving Assist II (HDA II) feature will also be available, combining adaptive cruise control with the aforementioned variety of sensors to keep the vehicle centred in its lane and distanced from leading vehicles. A key enhancement of HDA II over HDA I is that it also monitors the lane positioning of other cars, compensating appropriately – if an adjacent driver is hugging their lane line a bit too close, the Ioniq 6 will cheat over just slightly to ensure a safety cushion around the car.
Plan For The Future
Hyundai isn’t ready to commit to a specific vehicle launch just yet, but the Ioniq 6 will go into production by the end of September 2022. It’s likely to arrive on the South Korean domestic market soon thereafter, with global launches happening in the following months. We expect it to show up in the US in mid-2023, hopefully helping ease the prodigious demand that the Ioniq 5 crossover is enjoying. Price is also still in question, though we think the Ioniq 6 will cost slightly more than its SUV-shaped equivalent – about $40,000 to start and capping at less than 60 large fully equipped.
The choice to build a four-door saloon in an era when the body style is seemingly dying out – Hyundai’s Sonata possibly included – is an interesting one, but when the finished product is as attractive as the Ioniq 6, it’s hard to find fault. What’s more, those shapely, slightly retro curves hide a powertrain and electrical architecture that’s modern and user-friendly. If the whole thing turns out to be as reasonably priced as the Ioniq 5 crossover, we bet consumers will have a hard time saying no.