379-mile Hyundai Ioniq 6 streamliner sedan raises the efficiency bar
The dramatically swoopy Hyundai Ioniq 6 shows that it's more than just a streamliner-inspired 0.21 drag coefficient. It's also a highly efficient and attractive electric sedan capable of 379 miles of range, 18-minute charging and lively 321-hp all-wheel-driven driving. More than a mere point-to-point commuter, the global EV has been created as a personal space unto itself.
The 191-in (486-cm) Ioniq 6's focused streamlining was a story of its own, and it helps earn the four-door an estimated WLTP range of 379 miles (610 km), a significant increase over the 315-mile (507-km) Ioniq 5 crossover with which its shares its E-GMP platform and battery options. Like the Ioniq 5, it also offers 400/800-V ultra-fast multi-charging capabilities that crank out speeds as quick as 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes.
Before Tesla fans point out the 400-mile-topping (644-km) range of the Model S, it's important to note that Hyundai achieves that 379 miles with a 77.4-kWh battery pack that's close to 23 percent lower in capacity than the 100-kWh Model S Long Range pack. Also, the Ioniq 6 is positioned more as a 374-mile (602-km, WLTP) Model 3 competitor and should edge out Tesla's smaller sedan for overall electric consumption supremacy. When outfitted with the smaller 53-kWh standard battery pack, the Ioniq 6 RWD's estimated consumption ducks below 14 kWh/100 km, less than the 14.9-kWh/100 km that the Model 3 RWD wears on its EU energy label.
Long story short, Hyundai is taking its EVs seriously and giving Tesla some of the best competition it's seen from legacy automotive. The Ioniq 6 doesn't quite offer the same performance highs as Tesla, however. The highest-performing 321-hp (239-kW) dual-motor all-wheel-drive with 77.4-kWh long-range battery scoots from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.1 seconds – certainly not as attractive on paper as the Model 3's sporty 3.3 seconds but plenty quick enough to merge onto the highway with ease.
The whole car as a "personal space" schtick is something we expect to endure more and more of as the car market moves toward electric drive and autonomy, but Hyundai saves it from becoming flaccid marketing drivel with some key features. The EV Performance Tune-Up system lets drivers personalize settings such as steering ratio, accelerator sensitivity and motor output to create a more comfortable ride. Drivers can also select from 64 different color options and six themes to personalize the look of the ambient cabin lighting, a system that can also be set to change mood lighting brightness based upon vehicle speed.
"Ioniq 6 is designed and engineered to seamlessly enhance our daily lives as space to awaken your potential," said Thomas Schemera, Hyundai's global chief marketing officer and head of customer experience. "The innovative interior is meticulously thought out as a cocoon-like personal space, enhanced with the latest technologies to create a safe, fun, and stress-free driving experience."
Hyundai takes advantage of the compact electric powertrain in making that "cocoon" as spacious as possible. It thins out the seats and door panels to add even more space, loading in five USB charge points to keep smartphones and other portables firing on full battery. The available vehicle-to-load (V2L) adaptor plugs into the charging port to provide external power.
The Ioniq 6's driver-assistance tech gets packaged into the latest Hyundai SmartSense ADAS suite. Available and standard features include highway driving assist with auto following distance and lane centering, smart cruise control, lane changing with evasive steering assist, and forward collision-avoidance assist.
The tech continues inside, where assistance features like driver attention warning and safe exit warning join a long display split neatly into 12-in digital instruments and a 12-in infotainment touchscreen. Real-time radius mapping looks at navigation through the lens of available battery power. Other features include dual-device Bluetooth connection, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and eight-speaker Bose premium audio.
Hyundai will begin Ioniq 6 production in the third quarter of 2022 and will release more details on individual market launches and pricing closer to launch.