Hyundai Ioniq 6 spied in production form for the first time [Update]

Update: ‘Hyundai switching to ZEVs, but isn’t turning off engines immediately’ section updated.

In 2021, Naver user soonjung8116 published spy pictures which revealed that road-testing of the full-body prototypes of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 had begun in South Korea. It was the first time we saw the production version of the Hyundai Prophecy concept.

At the U.S. debut of the Ioniq 5 in May 2021, Jose Munoz, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America, reaffirmed that the Hyundai Ioniq 6 will arrive this year (2022). Furthermore, he revealed that it would be a mid-size sedan, thus an EV equivalent of the Hyundai Sonata.

We will follow the exciting Ioniq 5 compact CUV with the stunning Ioniq 6 mid-size sedan next year and the Ioniq 7 three-row mid-size SUV in 2024, and that is just the beginning. Hyundai will introduce 23 battery electric vehicles worldwide by 2025.

Jose Munoz, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America at the Hyundai Ioniq 5 U.S. debut

In April 2021, releasing the Q1 2021 business results, Hyundai presented its mid-to-long-term EV strategy where it mentioned the Ioniq 6 release for this year (2022) as it had announced in 2020. Take a look at what all we know about Hyundai’s next-gen sedan that is all-electric:

Design

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the second member of the new ‘Ioniq’ EV sub-brand. As followed in the Prophecy concept presented last year, it takes design inspiration from historical models, and at the same time, becomes a bridge to the future.

Like the Sonata, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a midsize sedan, but it has different proportions. As a result, it may offer just as much or more space for occupants and luggage than the combustion model, despite the smaller body. That’s the beauty of Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform underpinning the bespoke electric car, which has a flat floor and maximizes cabin space thanks to the lack of an engine compartment, and wheels pushed to the corners with short overhangs.

Video Source: YouTube/CarSpyMedia

E-GMP EVs have the battery pack at a position that gives them a low centre of gravity. As a result, E-GMP EVs can deliver improved cornering performance and offer good stability. The highly aerodynamic design of the Ioniq 6’s body will complement the benefits of its structural design. The video above, courtesy of YouTube channel CarSpyMedia, shows several instances of how the Ioniq 6 corners effortlessly. It’s able to take sharp turns at high speeds and shows no reluctance.

Sweeping curves and smooth lines set the Hyundai Ioniq 6 far apart from the Ioniq 5. The elegantly dropping roofline and sloping beltline result in a bow-shaped greenhouse similar to the Prophecy concept. That and the tail section take inspiration from vintage cars of the 1920s and 30s, although some may feel there’s visible Porsche DNA here. Spy videos also show virtual mirrors and largely closed-off aerodynamic wheels on the production car for enhancing range. In addition, it should feature pixel-like clusters in the headlamps and tail lamps first seen on the Ioniq 5.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 front three quarters spy shot
Hyundai will dial down on the Porsche-like appeal while turning the Prophecy concept into the Ioniq 6. Image Source: blog.naver.com/soonjung8116

The Ioniq 6 could feature micro-LED headlamps with a feature similar to Mercedes-Benz’s Digital Light headlamps. Hyundai Mobis has developed new headlamps which provide a new projection function. The video here shows the working of the headlamps, in action on a mysterious model towards the end (at the 1:50 mark), possibly teasing the Ioniq 6!

Video Source: YouTube/Hyundai Mobis Global

The micro-LED headlamps can detect slippery surfaces and recognize under-construction patches, and project necessary road signs. They can even project the vehicle width to let to driver understand whether it’s possible to pass through a narrow road. Stop signal, turn signal, lane, curved road, and pedestrian projection are some of its other functions.

Using details from the spy media, YouTube channel 뉴욕맘모스_NYMAMMOTH (Naver: shadow0122) has created a rendering to show its expected design. While the concept features a pixel-inspired design for the full cluster, the production version may get headlamps with only a part of the assembly featuring the pixel-inspired look. This change may allow a stronger high beam, enhancing long-range visibility, particularly on highways/motorways. The bonnet obviously had to have an opening in the final car to allow access to the frunk, and the bumper is a new panel with what looks like vertical air intakes on the flanks.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 rear rendering new
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 will likely look noticeably low from the rear. Image Source: Naver/shadow0122 (NY Mammoth)

NY Mammoth has also made a fine rendering of the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s rear section. It shows a slightly different tail lamp design where the pixelated clusters are separate sections on each side, and the Ioniq 6 inscription is in the centre and possibly inside a transparent glass with backlighting. The slim rear fog lights also carry the pixel-like design of the rear combination lamps.

Last-moment changes

A report from Korea Economic Daily has said that Hyundai plans to redesign the lights, bumpers, and wheel arches of the Ioniq 6. These changes will improve the quality and range of the car. Moreover, the company will increase the car’s length by 20 mm from the initially planned figure, it noted.

Ioniq 6 could get the first ‘Lighting’ Grille

The same report speculated that the Ioniq 6 could feature the new ‘Lighting grille’. Back in June 2021, Hyundai Mobis had announced that they succeeded in developing a new grille that adds LED functionality to the entirety of the car’s front. With grilles becoming unnecessary in electric cars, manufacturers are finding out how best to use the space with ideas such as road lighting, sound systems, and even displays.

Hyundai Mobis’ idea is to have the LEDs signal various states of the car such as autonomous driving and charging, sound beat display, and even an emergency warning light display. Like most other new-age tech, the Lightning grille will welcome the driver with flair. Through the use of different patterns and colours on the LEDs, the grille will be able to communicate with other vehicles and drivers or pedestrians to showcase the driver’s intent.

If it gets it, the Ioniq 6 will be the first EV in Hyundai’s lineup to feature the new Lighting Grille. Alongside this, Hyundai Mobis has also developed the ‘moving grille’ technology that automatically controls airflow through the use of air flaps.

Interior

The interior of the Hyundai Ioniq will have a clean, minimalist design that makes the cabin look futuristic, and highlights its spaciousness. Spy pictures (via Cochespias) have shown plenty of commonality with the Ioniq 5, with a similar low-profile theme. We observe the same two-spoke steering wheel, clubbed digital instrument cluster, and infotainment system screens on a white panel with curvy corners, slim AC vents, climate control panel, and pedals. One visible difference is that the Ioniq 6 seems to have a fixed-type centre console. The prototype Autoherald had spotted also featured a digital instrument cluster, and it had a central display similar to that of the Ioniq 5.

Some spy pictures have shown a two-tone colour combination with white and grey door panels, white seats featuring orange piping (front-only), and a white front centre armrest.

Compared to the Hyundai Sonata, the rear seats appear longer, which should mean more under-thigh support, and the flat floor would make seating three abreast quite comfortable. The door panels look long, which should allow easy ingress and egress and plenty of light into the cabin. Lastly, it seems like there’s ample legroom, helped by the carved-out front seats. Hyundai will likely equip the Ioniq 6 with an armrest, rear air vents, and two USB-C charging ports for extra comfort. The front seats should include a memory function, and the seatbacks will have aircraft-style map pockets.

Platform

E-GMP is Hyundai Motor Group’s next-gen eco-car platform. Unlike the eco car platform that underpins the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kia Niro, it is a bespoke EV platform. The new platform allows system voltage to double to 800 volts. Customers will be able to rapid-charge the battery pack at thrice the speed – as high as 350 kW – to achieve 80% charge in 18 minutes.

Unlike the Kona and Ioniq EVs, the Ioniq 6 and other E-GMP models would offer a bi-directional power conversion function. The dedicated EV platform’s Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU) is an upgrade from the old eco-car platform’s On-Board Charger (OBC).

Unlike OBC, which typically allows a single directional flow of electricity from an external power source, ICCU enables vehicle-to-load (V2L) function. Using the energy stored inside the EV’s battery pack, one can operate electric machinery (110V/220V) and even a household air conditioner and a large-screen TV.

Specifications

Hyundai revealed most of the key specifications of the Ioniq 6 during a U.S.-spec Ioniq 5 media event in May 2021, as per a Carscoops report. It was said then that the Ioniq 6 would have a 73 kWh battery and should deliver a maximum range of more than 300 miles (483 km)*. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be the available drivetrain layout choices. The RWD configurations will have a single motor generating 160 kW (218 PS/215 bhp). The AWD configurations will use two motors, one propelling the front wheels and the other spinning the rear wheels. These will collectively produce 230 kW (313 PS/308 bhp).

Hyundai EV battery technology roadmap
Hyundai expects energy density to advance quickly. The Ioniq 6 could upgrade to a mid-700 Wh/L capacity pack during the facelift. However, a solid-state battery may not come before the second generation. Image source: Hyundai Motor Company

*Assumed to be a targeted EPA estimate. The targeted WLTP range could be much higher.

Latest reports say that the Hyundai Ioniq 6 would come with a 77.4 kWh battery pack that offers a WLTP range of around 500 km or 311 miles. This should be the same battery pack as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 units going to the U.S. and Canada.

The performance figures stated above leave plenty of room for a high-performance variant potentially called Hyundai Ioniq 6 N.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 N

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 may look and eventually drive like a Porsche! According to a report from evpulse.com, a high-performance Hyundai EV is in the works, and it’s an N variant of the Ioniq 6.

The technical setup of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 N could be similar to the Kia EV6 GT, which uses two motors generating a net power of 430 kW (584 PS) and a net torque of 740 Nm. In that case, one can expect a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 260 km/h (162 mph). Hyundai may offer the N variant of the Ioniq 6 with a long-range battery pack.

“Hyundai Motor looks to build upon its success with N brand in e-performance possibly with electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains,” the company said while announcing the Kona N on 27 April 2021. It stated that the E-GMP platform “offers tremendous flexibility and possibilities.”

A day later, on the Hyundai N Day (28 April 2021), Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Customer Experience Division, Hyundai, stopped short of confirming that an E-GMP EV from Hyundai N is on the roadmap. He said:

Our new Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) has a huge potential. That’s why, I guess, we’ll have the first fully electrified N model based on…

Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Customer Experience Division, Hyundai, teasing the first Ioniq N model.

Shortly after the announcement, The Korean Car Blog reader and Instagram user h.hyl_47 spotted a Kia EV6 test mule with Hyundai N sport seats. While this development in no way is a confirmation for the Hyundai Ioniq 6 N, it fueled speculations in the media that Hyundai has started working on electric N models, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N.

At the Hyundai Elantra N world premiere in July 2021, Albert Biermann, outgoing President and Head of R&D Division, Hyundai/Kia, revealed that SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center, presented him sketches of the potential first Hyundai N E-GMP model. “It’s definitely there, the potential to make a true N vehicle,” Biermann said about launching a Hyundai N EV.

The R&D chief, who recently announced his retirement, suggested that Hyundai is yet to decide the “upper body,” as in which Ioniq model gets the N variant first. However, there’s a good chance that the company has taken the call but is waiting to make the plan public.

L3 autonomous driving

When Hyundai launches the Ioniq 6 in its key markets, it would be ready with Level 3 autonomous driving technology. That’s at least what the company’s technical roadmap for its autonomous driving technologies suggests.

Hyundai Autonomous Driving Technical Roadmap possibly applicable for Hyundai Ioniq 6
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 may offer Level 3 autonomous driving. Image Source: Hyundai

The Ioniq 6 or 7 could be among the first Hyundai models capable of Level 3 autonomous driving with a new version of the company’s Highway Driving Pilot. Hyundai says that the vehicle can handle all “safety-critical functions” under certain traffic or environmental conditions. The presence of a driver is necessary, as the car may require driver intervention in some situations. The Ioniq 6 should offer hands-free automated driving on highways initially.

Release Date

Hyundai has confirmed that it plans to unveil the Ioniq 6 this year, but not precisely when. According to the report from Korea Economic Daily we mentioned in the design section, the company planned to begin production this quarter (January-March) but has postponed the SOP date by two to three months to May or June.

Hyundai needs more time to complete changes to the Asan plant (South Korea) to produce the Ioniq 6. This factory currently churns out the Azera (Hyundai Grandeur) and the Sonata. The Korean plant would cater to the local and global demand for the Ioniq 6 until a second location is ready to start producing the vehicle. Another reason (reported) behind the delay is that the company wants to slightly redesign the Ioniq 6, which we detailed in the design section.

U.S. production

Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest USD 7.4 billion in the USA by 2025. A sizable portion of that amount is likely to go into EV production and improve the EV ecosystem. Hyundai has confirmed that it will begin manufacturing EVs in America, presumably at its Montgomery (Alabama) factory. It is yet to offer details on the EVs that will be produced stateside.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is one of the eight new electrified vehicle launches Hyundai has planned for the U.S. market by next year. The other seven models are the Ioniq 5, Kona EV facelift, Tucson Hybrid, Tucson Plug-in Hybrid, Santa Fe Hybrid, and Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid SUVs, and the Elantra Hybrid sedan. With these new pure electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid models, Hyundai would have a line-up of ten electrified vehicles in the U.S market. Some of these electrified models are already on sale.

Ioniq 6 begins testing in the U.S.

On August 13, 2021, YouTuber KindelAuto posted spy pics of the Ioniq 6 being tested in the United States. The spy shots show less body camouflage suggesting the final form is just about ready.

Source: KindelAuto/Youtube

Ioniq 6 Price & Subscription

Prices of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 could start around $45,000 in the U.S. and £40,000 in the UK. These could be the retail prices before potential incentives from the government. The closest competitor of the second Ioniq EV would be Tesla’s Model 3, which costs $43,990 onwards in the U.S. and £41,000 onwards in the UK.

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 will likely be available on a subscription basis in the United States. However, the subscription service will probably only instigate customer trials and not provide a permanent alternative to outright purchase. Expect the subscription tenure to be short, maybe one to three months.

The Hyundai Prophecy Concept

Hyundai Prophecy Concept 2021 Munich Motor Show IAA 2021
“We can get a glimpse of the next Ioniq offering with the Ioniq 6 concept car (Hyundai Prophecy) on our booth today,” Michael Cole, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor Europe, said while presenting the Prophecy Concept at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021) on 6 September 2021.

Hyundai unveiled the 1930s era-inspired Prophecy electric vehicle concept in March 2020 as a precursor to the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Hyundai calls this the Ultimate Automotive Form, built on the E-GMP with its extended wheelbase and short overhangs, featuring a boat-tail line.

Summary of Luc Donckerwolke’s comments on the Hyundai Prophecy Concept

  • The propeller type wheel is also functional as it extracts the hot air from the brakes.
  • The folding roof – sleek shape had to be complemented by a spoiler in order to get the right aerodynamical values for such a sleek vehicle with a low back-end.
  • Notice the contrast between nice fluid forms, but the pixels are there for how digitalized we are in the company and also to contrast with the fluid forms.
  • We also gave life to the Hyundai badge – the styling is puristic and silent because we are designing an electric vehicle that does not emit any sound – we want the styling to also reflect this kind of concept.
  • You will notice the interior is clean, dark and puristic – normally we do show cars which are light inside, in this case, we are inspired by one of the tropical wonders of Korea – Jeju island – its a volcanic island where you see shawls in volcanic ashes – dark which with the blue waves – is what inspired the topographic layering of the flat floor.
  • We substituted the steering wheel with a digital command which are the two joysticks you see inside the vehicle – they help you command the vehicle with precision, also liberate a lot of space, whether you are driving or you are in the ‘Relax’ mode. It gives you access to the panoramic screen behind for entertainment and feedback of the cameras.

Hyundai switching to ZEVs, but isn’t turning off engines immediately

Hyundai plans to sell only zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in Europe by 2035. In other main markets where it’s possible, the company will phase out all regular internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrid vehicles by 2040. Similarly, Hyundai (the brand) plans to go carbon-neutral worldwide, but there is no deadline yet. What’s clear is that they will be using electric vehicles as well as hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to get there. Genesis, present in much fewer markets, plans to go ZEV-only by 2030.

Hyundai CEO Jaehoon Chang has told Automotive News that the company expects to sell 220,000 EVs from the Hyundai and Genesis brands this year. Hyundai aims to increase this number nearly eight-fold to 1.7 million in 2026. In addition to the E-GMP platform, the company will have another dedicated EV platform to launch bespoke EVs. “We are not simply looking at only one platform,” Chang said. Details about the new platform are not in the public domain yet. Further, localising EV production in the U.S. could significantly boost Hyundai’s EV sales in the coming years. China already gets locally manufactured Hyundai EVs.

Hyundai Motor Company will no longer develop new internal combustion engines, and will shift its focus entirely to zero-emission vehicles, The Korea Economic Daily said in December 2021. The company has shuttered the engine development division at its R&D centre in Namyang, South Korea, claimed the South Korean publication.

HMC is converting its powertrain system development centre into an electrification test centre and its powertrain performance development centre into electrification performance development centre. Moreover, it has set up a battery development centre under the electrification development division, explained the report.

Officially, HMG hasn’t stopped developing internal combustion engines and doesn’t plan such drastic measures anytime soon. Any such move in the near- to- mid-term would be detrimental, eroding profits and driving away investors. Michael Stewart, Senior Group Manager, Hyundai Motor America, has released a statement to Motor1 to debunk the rumors.

Hyundai Motor Group can confirm that it is not halting the development of its engines following recent media speculation. The Group is dedicated to providing a strong portfolio of powertrains to global customers, which includes a combination of highly efficient engines and zero emissions electric motors.

Michael Stewart, Senior Group Manager, Hyundai Motor America

Ioniq 6 FAQs

What is the Ioniq 6?

The Ioniq 6 is Hyundai’s next-generation sedan design, an electric car that will launch later this year.

What will be the Ioniq 6 price & competitors?

The base Ioniq 6 could cost around $45,000 in the U.S. and £40,000 in the UK. The Tesla Model 3 & VW Aero B would be its competitors.

What is the range of the Ioniq 6?

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is expected with a range of over 500 km (WLTP) with 80 percent charging possible in 18 minutes.

When is the Ioniq 6 expected in the U.S. market?

The Ioniq 6 should reach U.S. showrooms in the second half of the year.

Featured Image Source: YouTube channel 뉴욕맘모스_NYMAMMOTH