Unless you’ve got the kind of wedge that buys a Porsche Taycan or an Audi e-tron GT, there are limited options when it comes to the business of selecting a truly desirable electric saloon. Sure, there’s the Model 3 - which seems to be flying off the global shelves at improbable speed - but if we’re honest with ourselves, Tesla’s affordable car swing is about as interesting to look at as a child’s birthday cake. Then there’s the BMW i4, which is very decent in its own right, but might not fall far enough from the 3 Series tree for anyone still not convinced by the front end. Or a Polestar 2, perhaps. Although thanks to its makers efforts to now go its own way, that is arguably starting to look more like a Volvo with every look-what's-coming-soon announcement…
The new Ioniq 6 then is likely to find itself earning plenty of admirers when Hyundai officially unveils it next month. The firms calls it an ‘Electrified Streamliner’ and while that is very silly indeed, we can see where the marketing department is coming from. We’re on the record (alongside everyone else) as fans of the existing Ioniq 5, but the larger, lower model, with its ‘single-curve silhouette’, is clearly meant to launch Hyundai into uncharted territory when it comes to giving saloon buyers the fizz. And if the firm can do it for a projected £45k starting price, the sky might well be the limit.
We await all the technical details, but given the 6 will sit on the same global skateboard platform as the 5, it’s fair to assume that all the same benefits will be conferred - i.e. 800v electrical architecture permitting rapid charging up to 350kW, and a range in excess of 300 miles, assuming the larger 77.4kWh battery is made available. Certainly expect to hear a good deal more about how the car’s sleek shape has maximised the latter, with Hyundai claiming a drag co-efficient of just 0.21 - the lowest it has ever achieved in a production car.
Inside there is much talk of cocooning, and user-centric functionality and sustainability (think recycled PET fabric and bamboo charcoal pigment in the paint), but this is to be expected from any fresh-faced constituent of the burgeoning EV market. Really though, we want to know if the 6 will be capable of cashing the cheques its body is flagrantly writing; lest we forget, the 5 can be bought as a 325hp all-wheel-drive model, which makes it very pleasant to drive, but not earth-shattering. For the 6 though, an N-badged version has already been mooted, likely powered by the same 577hp configuration of motors that is about to launch the Kia EV6 GT into the performance stratosphere. If that turns up next month, too, Porsche and Audi might just have another improbable rival on their hands.
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