Hyundai’s all-electric Ioniq 5 breaks cover

First car based on the brand’s E-GMP platform is a large crossover SUV

Seoul, South Korea

Remember the much talked about Hyundai E-GMP platform that was unveiled a few months ago? The first series production electric car based on it is here: the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The crossover SUV is available with a range of power configurations. Battery packs are rated at 58kWh and 72.6kWh, and you can get one with rear-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive which uses a pair of electric motors, driving one end of the car each.

There is no transmission or gearbox in the traditional sense, as the electric motors couple directly to the wheels for what is essentially a single-gear drivetrain. 

The four-wheel drive version is rated at 225-kWh total output, for a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of just 5.2 seconds. Top speeds are electronically limited to 185km/h for all variants and the longest ranged version is the two-wheel drive configuration with the 72.6kWh battery. It gives a predicted total rated range of 480km. Hyundai states that the official range will be revealed at a later date after all testing is completed. 

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If you were around in the early 1980s and the Ioniq 5’s styling looks vaguely familiar, it’s because it is actually a throwback to the original Hyundai Pony from 45 years ago. Well those of us who do remember know that the Pony was a 70 horsepower, budget econobox that wasn’t always reliable, but how things have changed for Hyundai over the decades.

See the family resemblance with the Hyundai Pony?

The Ioniq 5 features a clamshell bonnet, flush-fit door handles, and 20-inch aero-optimised wheels that make it look very much like a premium product. It sits on a 3,000mm wheelbase, which is the distance between the front and back wheels. That puts it squarely into the large car category. In comparison, the new Toyota Harrier only has a wheelbase of 2,690mm. 

However it’s the inside of the car that features the most radical departure from what we have become used to. Remember that the Ioniq 5 is built on the E-GMP base, which was designed from ground up as an electric vehicle platform.

It doesn’t have to follow on from any current design cues or architectures. The totally flat floor allowed the Hyundai designers to apply what they call the ‘Living Space’ theme to the cabin, centred around a movable central island that functions as armrest, tabletop, and storage area all rolled into one. At the moment, the car appears to be a five-seater model only. 

Hyundai’s SmartSense, active safety package also appears to be standard equipment, and is the first Hyundai model to offer Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2). Other driving assistance systems include what we’ve already seen in the current-generation Hyundais, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and High Beam Assist (HBA).

There’s plenty of forward planning in the car’s charging system, which supports both 400-volt and 800-volt charging infrastructures. Hyundai claims that the multi-charging system is a world’s first patented technology that operates the motor and inverter to boost 400-volt to 800-volt for stable charging compatibility.

With a 350-kW charger, the car can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes.

The Ioniq 5 also provides what Hyundai calls its ‘Vehicle to Load’ function, or V2L in short, which allows users to charge almost any electric device including electric bicycles and camping equipment, directly from the car’s battery. 

The car has just been launched so details for the Singapore market are not yet available, but given how there’s now a gradual but unrelenting push towards electrification, we’re pretty sure the Ioniq 5 will arrive here sooner rather than later. 

about the author

Lionel Kong
An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.