Fresh from not talking with Apple, Hyundai has launched its own new EV, the IONIQ 5, which can not only drive you 300 miles on a single charge, it can also power your TV or microwave.
Aside from running domestic appliances, what’s significant is that this is the first vehicle from the company to use the IONIQ brand, which from now on denotes Hyundai’s electric efforts. It is also the first car built on the company’s new snappily titled Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
The exterior design has some history. The IONIQ 5 follows on from Hyundai’s ‘45’ EV concept, which debuted at 2019 International Motor Show Germany, which itself was influenced by the 1975 Hyundai Pony, South Korea’s first mass-produced and exported car.
Not much else about the IONIQ 5 reflects tastes from half a century ago, though. There are solar panels, camera wing mirrors and an augmented reality head-up display.
First, the headline stats: the E-GMP means the car is good for up to 300 miles on a single charge. You get two battery pack options, either 58kWh or 72.6kWh, and two electric motor layouts, rear motor only or all-wheel drive with both front and rear motors. Top speed is 115mph. The flagship model is the AWD option paired with a 72.6kWh battery, producing a combined power output of 225kWh and 605Nm of torque. This means you can jump from 0 to 62mph in 5.2 seconds.
For the two-wheel drive option with the smaller battery, the same 0 to 62mph time goes up to 8.5 seconds, though. But it’s this two-wheel drive version with the larger 72.6-kWh battery, however, that delivers the IONIQ 5’s maximum WLTP driving range of just shy of 300 miles – so the idea here is you choose what your priorities are when speccing the car.
The pricing for the ‘Project 45’ launch model coming mid year with all the bells and whistles will be £45,000 in the UK, including government grants.
What is clear from the interior is that Hyundai has embraced this car as an EV from the start of the design. There is no relic of an ICE transmission tunnel as seen in the Mini Electric, for example. The floor is completely flat. This has allowed Hyundai to get playful with the furniture.
Case in point, the “Universal Island” is a moveable centre console. Normally stuck between the two front seats, here it can slide backwards. Much has been made of this ability, but in reality it can only travel 14cm rearwards. Still, it’s a nice idea and more car companies should be thinking in this way.
What is more interesting is the charging system. Hyundai’s E-GMP can support both 400V and 800V charging, without the need for additional components or adapters. This patented multi-charging system is apparently a world first. With a 350kW charger, IONIQ 5 can charge from ten per cent to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. What’s more, you only need to charge the vehicle for a five minutes to get an additional 100km of range.
The battery fun doesn’t stop there. The IONIQ 5 also has vehicle-to-load capability. What’s this? Well it means you can use or charge electric devices, such as e-bikes, scooters, camping gear, even TVs and microwaves. Essentially your car becomes an enormous battery pack on wheels.
Supplying up to 3.6kW of power, one V2L port is located under the second-row seats that works when the car is on, and a second at the outside charging port that works when the car is powered down. Using a converter, you can even supposedly charge high-power electric equipment, should you feel the need.
Other interesting elements include an optional solar roof that supports the vehicle’s electric power by adding energy to the battery pack on the move. Far from being vapourware, the roof generates 210W per hour and will supposedly add up to 1,300km of range per year (based on Seoul average weather, mind) – a nine per cent saving on charging.
Hyundai has even had a reasonable stab at camera door mirrors. Most options in other cars, including Audi, are more distracting than helpful, but here in the IONIQ 5 the screens inside are at least angled towards the driver. The seats, headliner, door trim, floor and armrest all use eco-friendly materials, such as recycled PET bottles, plant-based yarns, natural wool, eco-processed leather with plant-based extracts and bio paint with plant extracts.
As for safety, the car is packed with driver assistance tech including lane assist, adaptive cruise control, autonomous parking, forward collision-avoidance assist (including junction turning), speed limit assist and high beam assist, automatically dipping full lights to avoid blinding oncoming drivers. A voice assistant will take simple commands, including operating the Bose sound system’s eight speakers, including subwoofer.
One last safety feature is the IONIQ 5’s AR HUD. Hyundai says this “essentially turns the windshield into a display screen”. Aside from the usual speed and nav displays, drivers can choose to add advanced warnings about the car’s surroundings across the windshield. Let’s hope it is a proper information overlay rather than an existing car HUD on steroids.
Jeremy White is WIRED’s executive editor. He tweets from @jeremywired
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