Hyundai unveiled the new Ioniq 5 electric vehicle to great fanfare in late February, and this week the Australia motoring media, and The Driven, got to inspect the first of the South Korean car-maker’s new electric vehicle range.
There was no opportunity to drive it, as it is yet to complete formal approvals in Australia, but even just a walk around, a sit-inside and a detailed presentation was enough to show why the Ioniq 5 is not just a significant new product for Hyundai, it is also one of the most significant new EV models that will reach Australian shores this year.
Many readers will be familiar with Hyundai’s previous electric models – the Kona and the Ioniq. Fine cars both, and popular too, but they were limited by the fact that they were essentially electric conversions of existing internal combustion engine cars, and that created limitations, and an engineering challenge, particularly in adapting the suspension and handling for the heavy batteries.
With the Ioniq 5, Hyundai has the opportunity to build a new electric vehicle from the ground up. It has created a new platform, the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which will form a template for all its electric cars, be they “crossover” SUVs like the Ioniq 5, fully grown SUVs, sedans, or perhaps even utes.
And with the Ioniq 5 it is immediately obvious why this is important. For a start, it creates the opportunity for a whole new design, one distinctly electric. Ironically, the Ioniq 5 is based loosely around a 1970s vehicle that was never sold in Australia, the Pony. But it’s more rectangular feel, and neat additions like digital running lights, fit the bill for an electric vision.
Secondly, the interior has been completely rethought. Completely flat floors (no need for raised bits to acccomodate gear boxes) allow for more space. The centre console can be moved forward to create more room for the rear passengers, or can be moved back to allow for the driver to easily exit to the left if she or he chooses, or for the front passenger to slide into the driver’s seat. It’s actually really cool.
To read the full story, please go to our EV-focused sister site, The Driven, and click here.