Driving report Hyundai Ioniq 6: line streamer
A technical basis, two completely different models – this has been a familiar principle in the automotive industry since the VW Group’s modular strategy at the latest. However, what Hyundai has done with its Stromer Ioniq 6 is once again amazing. Viewed soberly, the 4.86 meter long coupé sedan is just one variant of the “Electric Global Modular Platform” (E-GMP) specially developed for battery electric vehicles, which made its debut with the multi-award-winning bestseller brother Ioniq 5. But what the designers have put on it is intoxicating in more ways than one.
The body is intended to pay homage to the iconic streamliners of the 1920s and 30s. In fact, the curved hood with the contoured fenders and the roof line stretching to the rear look like they came straight out of a sketch pad. A bold and spectacular eye-catcher, the likes of which have not been seen since the appearance of the first Audi TT. Whereby the Koreans did not repeat the fatal mistake of the Ingolstadt company and secured the wing-like back section from the outset with an integrated double spoiler against unwanted lift on the rear axle. Viewed from above, associations with early Porsche 911 RS models are even aroused. If the brake pedal is pressed, the upper spoiler shines with hundreds of light pixels together with the continuous rear light strip underneath. The brand-typical light blocks, which were introduced for the first time in the Ioniq 5, can also be found below the standard full LED headlights, on the front and rear aprons and in the interior, where four pixels replace the brand logo on the steering wheel and interactively indicate the charging status.
Speaking of which, similar to the Ioniq 5, the interior is dominated by a modular display panel that integrates two 12.25-inch displays for the digital cockpit and infotainment system. These include the controls for the air conditioning and a bridge-like center console, which also houses the buttons for the side windows, among other things. A bit counter-intuitive and takes some getting used to. The same applies to the two optional digital exterior mirrors, in which a camera projects the rearward image onto two OLED monitors on the edges of the dashboard, while the view always wanders outside first.
Otherwise, however, you can find your way around straight away in the tidy and two-tone illuminated ambience, which can change depending on the driving speed. The driver and front passenger sit on contoured sports seats; both are optionally designed as relax seats, with the backrests being folded far back for a relaxed position, for example during the loading process. Connectivity is just as important in the Ioniq 6 as networked assistance and comfort systems. Apple and Android smartphones can be integrated into the infotainment system, including four Type-C and one Type-A USB ports, and a Bluetooth multi-connection can pair two devices at the same time. The software can also be updated wirelessly “over the air” (OTA). The Ioniq 6 also relies on sustainable materials, depending on the equipment level with eco-leather, plastics from recycled PET bottles and fishing nets or bio-rubber for the dashboard.
Let’s move on to the disadvantages of the beautiful shape. When you get in at the back, you have to duck your head – even for people over 1.78 meters tall. And once you’re inside, there’s hardly any space left over the top of your head. But with a wheelbase of almost three meters, there is an almost wasteful amount of legroom. Unfortunately, the feet cannot be pushed under the front seats, so intuitively the thighs have to be spread slightly so that they can rest – this turns a five-seater into a four-seater. But the trunk is also limited by the unusual design, because the flap is not (as in the TT) in the roof, but under the rear window. On the other hand, it is a bit measly with 401 liters. Conversely, there is a so-called “frunk” under the front hood for the charging cable system, which does not – like in many other electric vehicles – have to be laboriously fumbled out of a loaded luggage compartment.
But in addition to the aesthetics, the streamlined shape also has aerodynamic advantages. Thanks to the flat front section, active air flaps in the bumper, a fully lined underbody or the digital exterior mirrors, the car with the remarkable Cd value of 0.21 rushes like no other – only the Mercedes-Benz EQS with Cd 0.20 is still one Tick better – by the wind. Of course, this reduces consumption and increases the range, which can be more than 100 kilometers at best 614 kilometers compared to the upright five-brother (cw 0.29 and 507 km) with the same drive and battery configuration.
The sedan essentially takes over the technology and drives from the five-series Ioniq. The Ioniq 6 also starts with three power levels and two battery options, albeit with slightly different data in the basic version. The sedan comes in with 111 kW (151 hp), 53 kWh battery and rear-wheel drive, while the Ioniq 5 has 125 kW (170 hp) and a 58 kWh battery. With the larger 77.4 kWh battery they are the same: Here the electric motor transfers 168 kW (229 hp) to the rear axle. In the top model, on the other hand, an electric motor on the front and rear axles generates 239 kW (325 hp) and safe all-wheel drive.
As a result, the driving experience is extremely sporty, analogous to that of its five brother. As you know it from the Stromer, the Ioniq 6 with its 605 Newton meters of torque zooms seamlessly into everything that is not off the track at three. Traffic light starts and acceleration lanes are always great fun, as is fast merging and changing lanes in the city. The car can also be braked with just the accelerator pedal, whereby the strength of the recuperation can be regulated via the shift paddle on the steering wheel, even down to a standstill.
Intermediate sprints and overtaking maneuvers on country roads are also great fun. The drive mode button on the steering wheel (greetings from Porsche) can be used to set three driving profiles Eco, Normal and Sport with the corresponding function. The effect is only really noticeable with the latter, however, when the car pulls the reins noticeably – and the on-board computer immediately subtracts 40 kilometers from the remaining range. The four-wheel drive vehicle then accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just under five seconds, it does the intermediate sprint from 80 to 120 km/h in 3.3 seconds and is limited to 185 km/h – even if such quartet data hardly affects the typical e-driver might be interested. But all the more the consumption, which should officially be 16.9 kWh according to the WLTP standard. That’s okay, after our almost one and a half hour drive on 20-inch rims with a good third city, country road and motorway share each, including some sprint and sprint sections, the on-board computer registered an average of 16.8 kWh. Speaking of which, despite the large wheels and the 2.1 ton total weight, the Stromer rolls along relatively comfortably. He takes bumps and speed bumps without complaint, only transverse joints and rumble slopes he passes on to the occupants quickly and noticeably.
However, the Ioniq 6 only achieves the mentioned maximum range of 614 kilometers in the medium constellation with a large battery, rear-wheel drive and 18-inch rims. In the best-case scenario, the four-wheel drive version we drove only covered up to 519 kilometers. But either way, thanks to the E-GMP architecture, the sedan also has 800-volt fast-charging technology, with which the large battery can be charged at a 350-kW charging station in just 15 minutes for a range of 350 kilometers should be charged.
The on-board navigation system finds suitable charging stations, including intelligent EV route planning that displays charging stops and duration for long-distance journeys. Hyundai offers a Europe-wide charging service, in which drivers can take out an annual subscription that gives them access to more than 440,000 charging points in 30 countries across Europe. Using an RFID card or app, users can access the Digital Charging Solutions (DCS) network, which provides real-time information about the prices of the charging points. Vehicles can be charged throughout Europe via eRoaming without having to conclude additional contracts with other providers, as payments are made via a single monthly bill.
The Ioniq 6 is also the first Hyundai to offer the Plug&Charge service. This allows the user to connect and charge their e-car to the charging station without an app or charging card, because the car and the charging station authenticate themselves automatically. And just like the “five”, the “six” naturally also masters so-called bidirectional charging. With the Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function, any electrical device can also be charged in reverse, whether for camping, outdoor projects or power outages. Two sockets are available, one on the outside of the charging flap (adapter available as an accessory) and one in the interior below the rear seat, for charging notebooks, mobile phones and other devices. This works both when stationary and while driving.
It gets tricky again with the pricing policy. There is already a lavish standard equipment in the basic version from 43,900 euros, which includes a navigation system, heated leather steering wheel, heated seats, full LED headlights, electric tailgate and a decent assistance package including adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, highway and emergency brake assistant. The special gimmicks, however, are hidden in the three optional equipment packages “Dynamiq” (plus 5100 euros), “Techniq” (plus 8200 euros) and “Uniq” (plus 11,300 euros). For example, there is an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, a smartphone charging cradle, or a cross-traffic warning system with an emergency braking function only with the Dynamiq package, matrix LED headlights and a head-up display in the Techniq package, or bidirectional charging, relax seats and Bose Sound system only with the Uniq package. The digital exterior mirrors then still cost 1300 euros extra, as do the 20-inch wheels (800 euros). Then there are the surcharges for the large battery and the more powerful electric machines (5000 euros) and the all-wheel drive (9000 euros). The top model quickly becomes 20,000 euros more expensive. (cen/Frank Wald)
Data Hyundai Ioniq 6 (239 kW)
Length x width x height (m): 4.86 x 1.88 x 1.50
Wheelbase (m): 2.95
Drive: 2 E synchronous motors, all-wheel drive, 1-stage reduction gear
System output: 239 kW / 325 hp
Max. torque: 605 Nm
Top speed: 185 km/h
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 5.1 seconds
Energy consumption (WLTP): 16.9 kWh
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
Battery size: 77.4 kWh
Range (WLTP): 519-583 km
Curb weight (EU)/ payload: min. 1985 kg / max. 500 kg
Trunk volume: 401 liters
Base price: 61,100 euros