Back at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai celebrated the 45th anniversary of its first independently launched car, the Pony, with the simply named 45 EV concept, a cute hatchback decorated with some sharp lines and angles. Fast-forward through a rather tumultuous year and a half, and Hyundai brings the concept to life in the form of the all-new Ioniq 5, the first official car of the all-electric Ioniq brand. The new crossover takes advantage of Hyundai’s all-electric architecture in offering a lounge-like cabin space, estimated 295-mile (475-km) range, ultra-fast multi-charging that can fire in 62 miles (100 km) worth of power in a mere five minutes, and a charging hookup to power external tools and equipment.
After looking the 45 concept over in Frankfurt, we expected Hyundai to tone it down considerably before making it a production car, dropping aspects like the 45-degree side slashes and split face, and maybe broadening out the ultra-slim headlight signature. But instead, the design team has remained remarkably true to the concept.
The angular slashes and creases remain a prominent part of the styling package, and the headlamps are as slim as ever, even carrying over some of the “Parametric Pixel” lighting design. Hyundai has toned down the front and rear-end styling a bit, and dropped the digital lighting accents around the bumpers and side sills, but overall the Ioniq 5 has a bold concept-car look quite befitting a vehicle that marks the launch of a new brand and era.
The 182.5-in (4,365-mm), two-row Ioniq 5 is the first vehicle set atop Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) battery electric architecture, which gives Hyundai freedom to stretch the wheelbase out 4 inches (100 mm) longer than Hyundai’s range-topping, three-row 196.1-in (4,981-mm) Palisade SUV. The Ioniq 5’s 118-in (3,000-mm) wheelbase, in turn, opens the interior into a lounge-like cabin that offers “D-segment-like space in a midsize SUV.”
The front seats are roomy recliners that kick back to offer a weightless feeling for the driver and passenger (hopefully only when the driver is not actively … driving). Adding to this spacious freedom, the cavernous “Universal Island” center console can slide back 5.5 in (140 mm) to free up front elbow room. The flat floor holding the battery pack, meanwhile, ensures there’s plenty of legroom, as well.
One place in which Hyundai has strayed a little too far from the 45 EV concept, in our opinion, is the cockpit area. We much preferred the more natural, rounded dash-integrated digital display of the concept over the production car’s vertically split combo of 12-in infotainment touchscreen and 12-in digital gauge cluster standing stiff and upright like a mini-billboard. Just looking at the pictures gives us a headache. The augmented reality head-up display (AR HUD) splashed on the windshield should prove more intuitive, though, as should the voice command system that lets drivers control the A/C, radio, steering wheel and seat heating functions, and other common features.
The Ioniq 5 also includes an eight-speaker premium Bose audio system, 360-degree surround view camera system, Bluelink connected car services, and a driver-assistance tech suite with highway adaptive cruise control with distance maintenance and lane centering, forward collision-avoidance assist, and intelligent speed limit assist.
In back, the Ioniq 5 trunk packs a minimum of 531 liters of space, which triples to just under 1,600 L when the 6:4-split second row is folded. A 24- or 57-L frunk adds extra space up front, and the second-row seats also slide forward up to 5.3 in (135 mm) for storage versatility.
Hyundai will offer several battery/motor configurations to let buyers spec out a more personalized ride. Options start with the choice of a 58-kWh standard or 72.6-kWh long-range battery pack. The latter offers an estimated range between 292 and 298 miles (470 and 480 km, WLTP), according to Hyundai.
Either battery can be paired with buyer’s choice of a rear-motor two-wheel-drive layout or a dual-motor AWD. The range-topping AWD with 72.6-kWh battery puts out a total of 302 hp and 446 lb-ft (605 Nm) of torque, giving the Ioniq 5 the ability to sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.2 seconds. When equipped with the smaller 58-kWh battery, the AWD figures drop to 232 hp and a 6.1-second 0-62, with torque remaining the same.
The 215-hp single-motor Ioniq 5 rear-wheel-drive with long-range battery offers the max ~475-mile (~765-km) range while putting out up to 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque and delivering drivers to 62 mph in 7.4 seconds. The RWD with standard-range battery drops to 168 hp and 8.5 seconds to 62 mph, torque keeping steady at 258 lb-ft.
Hyundai has focused much of its Ioniq engineering efforts on delivering flexible, ultra-fast charging that works with both 400-V and 800-V infrastructures, without the need for adapters. The multi-charging system uses a standard 800-V architecture, boosting a 400-V input to 800 V with help from the motor and inverter, ensuring smooth, hassle-free charging. Hyundai claims that when hooked to a 350-kW charger, the Ioniq 5 will charge from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes, adding roughly 62 miles of range after five minutes of charging.
The Ioniq 5 also works as a portable power station thanks to its dual-port “Vehicle-to-Load” (V2L) system, which allows users to plug and power equipment like camping gear, tools and electric bikes. The system supplies up to 3.6 kW of power through its two ports. The first port is located under the second-row seating and requires the vehicle to be turned on, while the second port is part of the external charging hardware and requires a converter to charge high-power equipment, with or without the vehicle running.
The Ioniq 5 launches as a global vehicle, and certain specs will differ from market to market. For instance, the North American model will top out with a slightly larger 77.4-kWh battery pack and will only come with the smaller 24-L frunk. Rollout will begin in the first half of 2021 and will be followed by the introduction of a full Ioniq family to include the Ioniq 6 sedan and Ioniq 7 large SUV.