Exclusive test: we have already driven the Hyundai Ioniq 6!
Hyundai wants to “cause a sensation with every new model,” says design chief Simon Loasby. And the least we can say is that it surprises the new Ioniq 6, which is expected at best in concessions at the end of the year. Although it shares its underside with its sister Ioniq 5, which sports faux ’70s Golf attitudes, the “6” plays the “flat” sedans with a rear end with Porsche 911 accents. But if its final forms are known, the Ioniq 6 we’ll be riding today is cloaked under thick camouflage.
A sober interior
However, the Korean is less mysterious on board, revealing a near-final interior. Almost, because if the dashboard shows neat materials, those of the storm doors simply remind us that we’re on board unfinished prototypes. But it is no longer necessary to recognize the sobriety of the interior atmosphere. The inevitable screens are spread across a one-piece dashboard, brightened by three thin strips that elegantly hide the air vents. From its Ioniq 5 matrix we recognize the steering wheel, the commodo (right side) that acts as a shifter and the same control block in the center (menu shortcuts, air conditioning, etc.). The Ioniq 6 is characterized by its flat console between the seats – designed to put a laptop and work while charging the car, which is a priori common in Korea. We especially notice these “ears” at the ends of the dashboard. Simple design cues on the non-retro camera-equipped variants, these appendages support two mini-screens when the “6” is equipped with it. Having been tested at Hyundai’s Namyang facilities, it’s difficult to give a definitive verdict on their effectiveness. But I confirm that one quickly gets used to looking at these screens rather than classic retro screens.
surprises along the way
In a version without these devices, I take to the Korean streets for a very instructive first contact. Who says Ioniq says 100% electric and my “6” is the best equipped variant of the range. It has the large 77.4kW battery and two electric motors, one in the front, one in the rear to provide all-wheel drive. In total we have 325 hp and 605 Nm of torque, with 0 to 100 km/h in 5.1 s. But it’s not the liveliness at launch that surprises. These are the incessant alerts, culminating in the electronic voice raking on a loop: “Caution, speed limit ahead” (Caution, front braking bump). I don’t know if this “assistance” is common in Korea, but in my sanity I would have ripped out some wires to silence them. In any case, one has to acknowledge that this Ioniq seems very frequentable. Good position at the wheel, relaxed driving, four regeneration levels adjustable via steering wheel paddles, careful noise insulation, easy brake adjustment in everyday life… this Ioniq 6 is of the forgiving type. While picking up speed on these heavily radar-patterned Korean roads isn’t easy, body movements feel fairly subdued, the steering feels taut in Sport mode, and, Thanks to the lower center of gravity, the “6” feels less heavy than an Ioniq 5whereby he, like him, far exceeds the 2 tons.
Trembling, but plenty of space
A good omen, even if we don’t escape our fears about the suspension with 20-inch wheels, despite the very correctly paved Korean roads. While we wait to see if this large sedan (4.86 m long), very aerodynamic (Cx of 0.21) is as sober as advertised (14 kW/100 km in the 53 kWh version), we admit itit welcomes its residents. Neither the sloping roof makes access to the bench seat difficult, nor the height under the ceiling of the spacious rear seats, but the generous wheelbase of 2.95 m makes up for it. The only downside, the trunk, where its rather narrow access is, suffers from the lack of a tailgate – Hyundai thought about it, but since its fasteners would have reduced the height for bench seat occupants, a trunk was preferred.
However, this weakness should not affect the success of the Ioniq 6 in the 4-door South Korean market. : The Hyundai Grandeur has been the best-selling car there for years. The situation is more complicated in France, where the appetite for sedans has decreased if we put the Tesla Model 3 exception aside! But to see the energy the Koreans have put into all their businesses, we think Hyundai might surprise once again.