New Hyundai Ioniq 5 arrives with retro design, 292-mile range

Hyundai has revealed the bold new Ioniq 5, a mid-sized crossover and the first car to be launched under Hyundai’s Ioniq electric sub-brand, which is designed to spearhead a renewed push into electrification for the Korean brand.

Featuring 800V battery technology that gives the potential for ultra-rapid charging, the Ioniq 5 supports up to 220kW DC charging, taking the battery from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes. Previously, 800V cabling has been available on only high-end sports cars like the Porsche Taycan. 

Two battery sizes will be available: 72.6kWh and 58kWh, both available with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The maximum range is 292 miles.

The most powerful version, a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Ioniq 5 with combined power of 302bhp and a total of 446lb ft, will cover 0-62mph in 5.2sec and is capable of 115mph. The slowest version, with a 58kWh, 167bhp rear-wheel-drive set-up, manages 0-62mph in 8.5sec. 

Underpinning all this is the new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Built specifically as an electric platform, the flexible underpinnings will also be used for the upcoming saloon-shaped Ioniq 6 and an SUV called 7. As with most battery-specific platforms, it features a skateboard layout giving a flat interior floor.

Rather more uniquely, the Ioniq 5 has the facility for vehicle-to-grid charging, a rarity in current electric cars. Not only does this mean that the car will be able to charge laptops or electric scooters from a plug socket under the rear seat, but it also allows the 5 to act as a mini generator. Assuming the local grid could support it, it’s possible for the 5 to push electricity back into the grid when it’s plugged in at an owner’s home. Doing this when electricity is expensive, and then drawing back out of the grid when it’s cheaper, could lead to significant savings for customers. 

Featuring retro-inspired styling that borrows heavily from the 45 EV concept car, the Ioniq 5’s looks are a marked departure from those of previous Hyundais, including the clamshell bonnet (a first for the Korean firm) and pixelated front and rear lights. The clean lines are a deliberate tactic. Hyundai Group chief creative officer Luc Donckerwolke told Autocar he wanted “the reduced design language to reflect the silence of EVs.” 

The 5’s looks will also be unique within the Hyundai family. Donckerwolke is keen for there to be minimal family resemblance between this car and the subsequent 6 and 7 models. “You will not see clones in the Hyundai family any more. We have a huge amount of vehicles, and if you have so many generations that overlap, you have a problem of defining which is the old collection and which is the new collection. So we will apply a specific design to each vehicle that targets a customer. And it’s less boring as well!”

Hyundai is reluctant to talk about rivals for the Ioniq 5, but at 4635mm long and 1605mm tall, it sits neatly in the mid-sized crossover sector. A Volvo XC60 is ever so slightly taller and longer, but with the Ioniq’s long wheelbase and efficient packaging (at 3000mm, its wheelbase just 70mm shy of a BMW 7 Series’), interior room should match it. The boot volume is either 531 or 1600 litres, depending on seat arrangement. The rear seats slide and also fold 60:40.

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Other Hyundai firsts are the Advanced Head-Up Display, featuring augmented reality functions, and the next level of driver assistance, which uses front-view cameras, radar sensors and GPS data to control various aspects like lane guidance and distance to the car in front. 

Sustainable materials have also been used on the inside. The major touch points, such as seats and door armrests, are made out of sustainable materials such as recycled plastic bottles, wool or leather processed with vegetable oil. Polyurethane paint used on the doors is derived from vegetable oil, while some of the door trim panels are made of ‘paperette’, a recyclable material that feels a bit like paper.

Prices for most of the Ioniq 5 range have yet to be announced, but the limited-edition ‘Project 45’, a top-of-the-range model that’s available to order now, will be £45,000 including the plug-in car grant. Costs of further models will be released in due course.