2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 Sports Sleek design, loungey interior space

  • The Hyundai Ioniq 6 features aerodynamic body lines that set the EV apart from its E-GMP platform companion, the Ioniq 5.
  • The Ioniq 6 claims a tentative range on the European test cycle of 384 miles, but our real-world driving yielded over 290, still not too shabby.
  • The EV is set to launch in the US next year, sporting a sticker that’s expected to drop around $42,000.

    Take a look at the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 6 in profile and the Mercedes-Benz CLS is arguably the most familiar reference point, with a single curve for the greenhouse and another connecting the headlights to the taillights.

    Walking around the Ioniq 6 in Hyundai’s “Motorstudio” in Goyang ahead of our South Korean test drive, vice president of design Simon Loasby said his team looked much further back in time, towards radical “rational” vehicles including the Stout Scarab and the Phantom Corsair – crustacean designs produced in the 1930s and inspired by leaps in aircraft aerodynamics.

    Aerodynamics are truly transformative for this second ‘chess piece’ in Hyundai’s all-electric Ioniq range. The 6 runs on essentially the same E-GMP modular platform as the Ioniq 5 superhatch/SUV, and it also features 800-volt, 350 kW charging capacity, a choice of 77.4 lithium-ion batteries. or 53 kWh, multi-link rear suspension and rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

    Still, a drag coefficient of just 0.21 Cd cleaves through the air much more efficiently than the 5’s 0.29 Cd, helping to increase driving range to 384 miles on the European test cycle with the larger battery. – a whopping 69 miles on the equivalent 5 (US figures are TBC, but comparisons with other models sold in both markets suggest around 350 EPA miles, while our own tests give 3.75 miles per kWh a real world of 289 miles).

    A rival for the likes of the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3 with an expected starting price of $42,000, the Ioniq 6 might not be the most comfortable metal design out there – I want to crush it lower and stretch it much wider in the Taycan -the purity of 2020’s Prophecy concept that previewed it.

    But the whole thing is clearly tough: a skateboard-style battery takes up a very long 116.1in (2950mm) wheelbase – 2.0in (50mm) shorter than the Ioniq 5 – and so occupants sit relatively high in the cabin; Plus, there are truncated overhangs and requirements to give tall adults plenty of room front and back. An overall length of 191.1 inches (4855 mm) is about 8.7 inches (220 mm) longer than the 5, while the height of 58.9 inches (1495 mm) compares to 63.2 inches (1605 mm) of the 5 – and puts it about 2.4 inches (60 mm) or more above a 3 series.

    We test the top-end Ioniq 6, with the 77.4kWh battery, all-wheel drive and 20-inch alloys (18 are also available), which can travel a maximum of 379 miles between charges. The performance of 325 hp is barely better than an Ioniq 5 320, with equivalent charging times: around eight hours on an 11 kW charger, dropping to 18 minutes for a 10-80% boost on a charger ultra-fast 350 kW.

    It’s certainly loungey inside – the front seats are very comfortable and offer decent lateral support around your middle. At 6-foot-1, I have a few inches of headroom. The ‘floating’ center console adds storage and a feeling of spaciousness rather than extra room for occupants, but like the Ioniq 5 and its Kia EV6 sibling there are heavily concave door surrounds, so that you can hang your knee in nothing but fresh air, an unusual but appealing feeling.

    Some interior plastics are harsh, but overall the look and feel is modern, minimalist, and well-built, with aluminum-look switches, capacitive buttons disguised in a sheen of glossy black, and twin 12-inch displays. thumbs back to back. and respond on double to swipes and switches.

    Naturally, the rear seats unleash all the benefits of the package, including a vast chasm to the front seatbacks and a fully flat floor; plus I still have an inch or two of vertical space. Even though the rear seat bases aren’t quite as comfortable, it’s very relaxing here. A slightly awkward opening will make loading larger items into the trunk a ship-in-a-bottle challenge, but there’s plenty of space inside (the frunk is basically a cup holder, though RWD models have more space).

    My first pass is dedicated to navigating the nightmarish traffic of Seoul, where it’s clear Hyundai has done a good job calibrating the EV powertrain.

    My first pass is dedicated to navigating the nightmarish traffic of Seoul, where it’s clear that Hyundai has done a great job of calibrating the EV powertrain, with natural and progressive responses when you squeeze and release the throttle around town. You can customize things like this, with the much more sparkling Eco, Normal and Sport drive settings, and you can also adjust the level of regeneration on the steering wheel-mounted ‘shift’ paddles, but the simple fact to jump with a factory default feels good.

    Not so much the optional digital side mirrors, which are smaller and more aerodynamic than regular mirrors, accounting for just under a mile of the official maximum range. They also require screens that wrap around from either end of the dash, making the transition from looking in the mirror to over the shoulder less fluid. I don’t feel as on top of my ride as I should, especially in such aggressive traffic.

    Without congestion, performance is stronger than devastating, but there’s more than enough thrust for muscular jerks on the highway, and you always feel the energy is ready to be unleashed no matter how fast you go.

    The digital “powertrain” sound effects can be a bit overdone, and if so, they’re out of sync when you really flatten the throttle. Hit them and it’s a very refined car, with incredibly low road noise, minimal wind noise and suspension movements defined by mostly supple and long gait – fluid-filled lower arm bushings and shock absorbers. Variable-bitrates help here, although there’s too much worry about imperfections.

    The 6 is even a decent company on the mountainous roads towards the North Korean border. There is always meaty definition to the steering, even at the top of the rim as you navigate the directional changes. Mass feels conspicuously low, and this chassis is keen to pivot around its midpoint, hook into a bend, then shut off smartly. Not as fun as a Model 3, no, but a sportier, more willing feel than other E-GMP products.

    The Ioniq 6 will go on sale in the United States next year, with physical vehicles backed by a metaverse, “Ioniq citizenship,” and unique NFT art designed to build brand loyalty rather than drive revenue. Almost a century after those original low-profiles, Hyundai is certainly giving the genre a modern twist.


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