While Tesla, Ford and GM all (very publicly) vie for the top spot in the American electric vehicle market, Hyundai has quietly built a powerhouse lineup of EVs that threatens to surpass them all. On Wednesday (Thursday in Korea), Hyundai Motor Group officially unveiled the Ioniq 6, a streamlined sedan that offers an estimated 610km (380 mile) range and an intelligent interior that George Jetson would mistake for magic.
The Ioniq 6, like the other iterations of the Ioniq lineup, is built atop Hyundai's e-GMP platform. As such, the 6 is outfitted with an industry-leading 800V electrical architecture enabling a 10-80 charge in just 18 minutes.
It will be available with either a standard 55kWh battery pack or an optional 77.4kWh pack, equivalent to what the Kia EV6 and Polestar 2 offer. Combined with a miniscule 0.21 drag coefficient (which is also one of the best on the market), the Ioniq 6 is expected to top 610 km on a single charge. And like the Ioniq 5, the 6 also offers V2L capabilities, enabling it to charge your house, accessories and even other vehicles.
Its exceedingly aerodynamic exterior, available in a dozen different colors, has been likened to that of an Apple Mouse come to life — like someone shortened the back of Mercedes-Benz’ ambitious AVTR Concept and gave it a duck lip. And optional 20-inch rims.
Drivers will have the option between RWD and AWD (2- and 4-motor) variants. Per Hyundai, the AWD will output 239 kW (320HP) with 605 Nm of torque and hit 60 from a standstill in 5.1 seconds. You’ll have to opt for the small battery RWD model to achieve maximum efficiency and get the sub-14 kWh/100 km WLTP-estimated energy consumption.
Drivers will be able to tightly customize their preferred driving experience using the Ioniq 6’s EV Performance Tune-up system. Dial in everything from steering effort and motor power, to accelerator pedal sensitivity and driveline mode. You can also group various aspect settings into quick selectable packages — like a loadout in Call of Duty, or Focus Modes in iOS.
"Our engineers have worked hard to deliver a car with human-centric purposeful features to ensure a completely stress-free driving experience with its focus on design sustainability, technology, and usability," Thomas Schemera, Hyundai EVP of Product and Strategy, said during a recent press call.
Its "cocoon-inspired" interior has been built as a “comfy and personalized hideaway” where, according to the company’s launch video, people can take naps, bang out some light coding or office work and even conduct livestreams to their myriad social media followers — or, in reality, will serve as a quiet place to cry during lunch breaks. (Phil is a terrible manager and he doesn’t deserve your efforts, you should just quit.)
To get you back into the mood before your next shift starts, the Ioniq 6 will offer Dual Color Ambient Lighting which lets the driver select from 64 shades and a half dozen preset themes and tint their vehicle’s interior to their taste. The Relaxation Comfort Seats are optional but are designed specially for electric vehicles and are therefore 30 percent thinner than those used in gas vehicles. When combined with a completely flat floor (look Ma, no driveshaft!) and elongated 2,950-mm wheelbase, the Ioniq 6 should provide, "more space for passengers but without compromised to comfort," Schemera said. It’ll also offer four type-C and one type-A USB ports in the front cabin to keep your various live streaming gadgets fully charged.
The interior features a 12-inch full-touch infotainment display and 12-inch digital cluster, which provide real-time travel radius mapping to inform the driver how far they’ll be able to go on the charge they have remaining. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, as is Bluetooth multi-connection — meaning you can wirelessly connect two devices to play through the 8-speaker Bose sound system.
While Hyundai (quite responsibly) does not claim any semblance of "self-driving" capability, the Ioniq 6 does feature a slew of Level 2 driver assist functions as part of the Hyundai SmartSense ADAS. That includes Highway Driving Assist, Smart Cruise Control, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist all of which operate around the same theme of keeping you from smashing headfirst into other vehicles. The higher trim packages will also offer Junction Crossing, Lane-Changing Oncoming and Lane-Changing Side features, which will work to keep other vehicles from smashing headfirst into you at intersections. Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist will keep you from smashing headfirst into obstacles you can’t even see.
Intelligent Speed Limit Assist and High Beam Assist will ensure that you don’t speed but do turn down your high beams. The 6 will even watch you watch the road and issue a Driver Attention Warning if you start nodding off. Parking assist, cross traffic/parking collision avoidance and safe exit warnings are also available. Hyundai plans to continually tweak and update the Ioniq 6’s features through OTA updates.
Pricing has yet to be announced for the Ioniq 6, though production is slated to begin in Q3 2022. Stay tuned, Hyundai will make the Ioniq 6’s official American introduction in November.