By Steve & Tamami Laser
With an upcoming trio of new all-electric vehicles in the works, Hyundai has decided to transform its familiar Ioniq nameplate into a separate brand, dedicated to marketing EVs.
Hyundai previewed the design direction for the first three Ioniq brand models in the above photo released this week. Models will be called Ioniq 5, a midsize crossover planned to launch early next year, based on the 45 EV concept (above right). The new Ioniq 6 sedan, based on the Prophecy concept (left) is expected to follow in 2022. While Ioniq 7 (center) is a larger crossover said to debut in 2024.
The original Ioniq was launched four years ago as Hyundai’s eco-focused hatchback. Three versions are currently available with Hybrid (HEV), Plug-In (PHEV), and Electric (EV) powertrains (above). The automaker also offers the Kona EV, plus HEV versions of the Sonata and upcoming next-generation Elantra, and the Nexo fuel-cell (FCEV).
To celebrate the launch of the new Ioniq brand, Hyundai lit up the London Eye with a gigantic “Q” to symbolize a new beginning for the dedicated electric vehicle brand. (video: Hyundai)
These new Ioniq brand models share an Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), designed for fast charging capability and long driving range. With its compact EV drivetrain and batteries, vehicle interiors are reimagined as “smart living spaces,” offering flexible seating, wireless connectivity, and new user interfaces.
Hyundai has not yet announced powertrain specifics, estimated driving ranges, charging options, features or prices for the new Ioniq brand model lineup. Yet we can take a glimpse into the future of what the first two EVs might look like via Hyundai’s recent concept vehicles.
Ioniq 5 – Based on 45 EV Concept
The new Ioniq 5 is expected to be influenced by the design of the Hyundai 45 EV. This concept made its debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt last year (below). It charts a new era for the automaker, focused on electrification and intelligent technologies.
Paying homage to Hyundai’s iconic Pony Coupe concept introduced in 1974 (below), the 45 EV is called an evolution of Hyundai’s latest “Sensuous Sportiness” design.
The Pony Coupe, with its wedge-like shape, was the creation of famed Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, for the 1974 Turin Motor Show. Hyundai says the Pony Coupe helped propel the automaker to the global stage.
In this video from the Hyundai Italia YouTube channel, Giorgetto Giugiaro talks about the opportunities and challenges in designing the Hyundai Pony Coupe show car in the early 1970s. (video: Hyundai)
The 45 EV concept features a distinctive lattice grille with a kinetic cube lamp design that evokes “analog emotions” while applying cutting-edge technology. At the side, the concept sports a diamond-shaped silhouette with 45-degree angles said to foreshadow the direction of future EV models (like the Ioniq 5).
In this video from the Hyundai España YouTube channel, SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center, introduces the new 45 at the IAA 2019 in Frankfurt, and delivers a walkaround of its key design features. (video: Hyundai)
The 45 EV’s rear view presents a modern fastback-style with fast angled C-pillar to generate a feeling of motion. Riding on the “skateboard,” low-profile E-GMP platform, with batteries mounted under the floor, results in a spacious interior.
With a cabin accessed by sliding side doors, the abundance of space generates a “living room” feeling with a minimalist design. Swiveling front seats, offering easy entry and exit, can rotate to face passengers in the lounge-style rear seats.
A projection-beam interface allows those riding up front to interact with the infotainment system. A central touchscreen is replaced with a series of displays integrated into the dash. The hidden camera monitoring system, with its embedded turntable modules to keep lenses clean, replaces traditional side mirrors.
We don’t know how much of the 45 EV concept’s design and high-tech features will carry over to the new production Ioniq 5. Yet it won’t be long before the new model is unveiled, prior to its anticipated launch early next year.
Ioniq 6 – Based on Prophecy EV Concept
Hyundai selected “Prophecy” as the name for its latest EV concept, hinting at things to come (the Ioniq 6). Introduced during an online video presentation in March, the show car sports a neo-classic look with smooth curves and flowing coupe-like lines.
Described as a perfect marriage between aesthetic harmony and aerodynamics, Prophecy conveys a silhouette with a streamlined curve that sweeps from the front to the rear of the vehicle, like a “perfectly weathered stone.” Pixelated lighting, going beyond the 45 concept, is said to become a signature design element going forward.
The dynamic boat-tail, forged by the rear quarter panels, makes the concept look like it’s moving when standing still. Transparent acrylic is used to generate sneak-previews inside the spoiler, headlights and camera monitoring system, focusing attention to the “functional beauty” of each element.
Hyundai executives and the design team that created the Prophecy EV come together in this video to discuss the new concept car. (video: Hyundai)
Like the 45 EV concept, and future Ioniq brand production models, Prophecy rides on the E-GMP dedicated EV platform. The stretched cabin offers a comfortable and inviting lifestyle space for passengers.
The Prophecy concept features design elements inspired by aeronautics. For example, joysticks replace a conventional steering wheel. One is positioned on the center console, allowing the driver to pivot the car left and right, while another, mounted on the door trim, controls seating positions and other functions. (These are not likely transferrable to the roadgoing Ioniq 6 which is expected to have a steering wheel.)
The dash is configured for improved functionality and comfort. It swivels, providing more useable interior space. A curved screen offers access to panoramic displays in the entertainment mode, and key dynamic vehicle monitoring elements in the driving mode.
Note: Concept vehicles shown are not for sale. Future production models and launch timing mentioned in this story is subject to change without notice
News source, photos and videos courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Motor Europe HQ, and Hyundai Motor America
Story (commentary) © 2020 CarNichiWa.com