- We expect the Ioniq 6 to cost in the low $40,000 range, but Hyundai didn’t give any hints about pricing.
- The Ioniq 6 will be offered with three engines, one of which will have a range of 340 miles between charges.
- It will be available next spring.
Hyundai’s next electric car will be a stunning, agile sedan with a range of up to 340 miles on a charge. The company officially unveiled the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.
That’s what makes the car’s signature, swoopy sound all-new. But you may have seen the pictures before. Hyundai has been teasing the midsize sedan for months now, with reveal event after reveal event. Micah Muzio has gone to Korea to drive it.
That was the global introduction of the car. But automakers change cars to suit the laws and tastes of different markets. This week’s event showed off the Ioniq 6 that we’ll have in the US when it goes on sale next spring.
The price is still a mystery
Hyundai revealed everything but the price, which was hard to predict. Most of the electric vehicles (EVs) released by mainstream automakers this year carried price tags in the US$40,000 range.
They’re starting to go downhill—Chevrolet planned one at $30,000. But because Hyundai makes its electric cars outside of North America, it doesn’t qualify for the $7,500 federal tax incentive. That may force Hyundai to lower the price, if possible, to stay competitive with US-made cars.
The company is building an electric vehicle plant in Georgia but has not said if it will make the Ioniq 6.
Three engines, three range options
Address grab number is range. Next spring, you’ll be able to buy an Ioniq 6 with up to 340 miles of range.
Not all of them will have this number. Hyundai will offer the car with a choice of three engines, and buyers can swap in a combination of power.
The Discount model will use a single motor on the rear axle, getting 149 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It has a smaller 53.0-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery, and though Hyundai has revealed range numbers for every other Ioniq 6, it’s keeping that number quiet for now.
The step-up provides 225 horsepower, which also comes from a single rear-mounted engine. It uses a 77.4 kWh battery pack and gets that flagship – 340 miles of range on a charge. That’s longer than any Tesla Model 3 except for the Long Range, which Tesla is announcing but not currently building. The longest-range Model 3 you can order today, the Model 3 Performance, comes with a range of 315 miles.
The higher-powered model uses a two-wheel-drive four-wheel-drive engine with 320 horsepower and a range of up to 310 miles. Hyundai says one can go from 0-60 mph in “less than five seconds”—a figure only sports cars could claim not so long ago.
The company says the Ioniq 6 can charge from 10% to 80% of its battery in just 18 minutes when connected to a Level 3 DC fast charger. However, these chargers are relatively rare. In real numbers, it will take about 7 hours to charge a level 2 home charger.
Electric cars are still a relatively new technology, and automakers are still working to make them more efficient. Hyundai has a new trick we haven’t seen before with the Ioniq 6. If you use its navigation system to find charging stations, it heats up the battery to the optimum temperature for fast charging so you get the most out of that charger when you get there.
Hyundai says this navigation system can plan longer routes to take advantage of chargers and even track which chargers are along your route (an annoyingly common problem). We’ve asked for more details on how this functionality works.
Distinctive looks and curvy have function
The Ioniq 6 feels like a typical exercise with its unusually slippery shape. But this shape has a function beyond turning heads in traffic.
Hyundai says it has a drag coefficient of 0.22—a number we usually associate with exotic supercars. This is part of how the Ioniq 6 gets more range and has nearly the same mechanical bits as its cousin, the Ioniq 5.
Hyundai reps couldn’t help but point out that the figure is 0.21 outside the United States. And in other markets, small cameras replace side mirrors. US regulations require physical side mirrors.
Another distinguishing feature of the exterior are the lights. Hyundai says the car has more than 700 parametric pixels inside and out. Outside, small squares make up the vehicle’s lighting. Headlights, taillights, indicators – all made up of many small boxes like an 8-bit graphic. It contrasts beautifully with the car’s unusual curves and exudes a funky, futuristic feel.
This is what we imagined cars would look like in the future when we all had Atari Walkman game consoles with orange foam ear pads.
Cabin clean and simple
Inside, the design language is elegant and simple. Two pairs of identical screens — 12.3-inch, landscape-mounted — sit side by side, serving as the driver’s instrument panel and the central infotainment screen. Window switches are located on the center console (Hyundai says that increases storage space in the doors. Maybe, but it also uses fewer wires and makes manufacturing easier).
This lighting theme carries over into the interior. Hyundai says the interior lights can be set to 64 different colours.
Hyundai says the speakers will produce a “virtual drive sound called Electric Active Sound Design, or e-ASD” to provide unique in-cabin driving sounds and the ability to adjust volume. We’ve seen electric vehicle designers use everything from engine-like noises to music composed by Hans Zimmer, so we can’t wait to see what Hyundai thinks an electric vehicle should sound like.