Hyundai wants to “create excitement with every new model”, says chief designer Simon Loasby. And the least we can say is that the new Ioniq 6 is surprising, expected at best in concessions at the end of the year. Although it shares the bottom with its brother Ioniq 5, which boasts fake Golf airs from the 70s, the “6” plays “low-slung” sedans, with a rear with Porsche 911 accents. But, if their final forms are known, today the Ioniq 6 that we are going to drive are hidden under thick camouflage.
a sober interior
However, the Korean is less mysterious on board, revealing an almost definitive interior. Almost, because if the dashboard looks neat materials, those of the inner doors, basic, remind us that we are on board prototypes not yet finished. But it does not take more to realize the sobriety of the interior environment. The inevitable screens are spread over a one-piece dashboard, lightened 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 gear lever, and the same control block in the center (shortcut menu, air conditioning, etc.). The Ioniq 6 is distinguished by its flat console between the seats – designed to leave a laptop and work while the car recharges, which, a priori, is common in Korea. Most of all, we notice these “ears” at the ends of the dashboard. Simple design elements on variants not equipped with retro cameras, these appendages support two mini-screens when the “6” is equipped with them. Having tested them at Hyundai’s Namyang facility, it’s hard to make a final judgment on their effectiveness. But I confirm that you quickly get used to looking at these screens instead of the classic retro ones.
surprises while driving
It is in a version devoid of these gadgets that I join the Korean roads 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 a large 77.4 kW battery and two electric motors, one in front and one in the rear, to provide four-wheel drive. In total we have 325 hp and 605 Nm of torque, with a 0 to 100 km/h announced in 5.1 s. But it is not the liveliness at startup that is surprising. These are the incessant warning messages with, at the head, the electronic voice that sounds in a loop “be careful, speed bump ahead”. (caution, speed bump ahead). I don’t know if this “assistance” is common in Korea, but for my sanity, I would have ripped out some wires to silence it. In any case, it must be recognized that this Ioniq seems very frequentable. Good position at the wheel, relaxed driving, four levels of regeneration adjustable from the paddles on the steering wheel, careful soundproofing, easy adjustment of the brakes in daily use… this Ioniq 6 is of the conciliatory type. If it’s not easy to pick up the pace on these heavily radar-guarded Korean roads, body movements seem fairly well contained, the steering steadies nicely in Sport mode, and, thanks to the lower center of gravity, the “6” looks less heavy than an Ioniq 5while it exceeds, like her, widely the 2 tons.
Concerns but plenty of space.
A good omen, therefore, even if we don’t escape suspension fears here with 20-inch wheels despite very properly paved Korean roads. Waiting to see if this very aerodynamic (Cd 0.21) large sedan (4.86 m long) is as sober as advertised (14 kW/100 km in the 53 kWh version), let’s admit thatwelcomes its occupants. The slope of the roof does not complicate access to the sidewalk, nor the height under the roof of the generous rear seats, rescue of the generous wheelbase of 2.95 m. The only drawback, the trunk, where rather its narrow access, suffers from the absence of a tailgate. – Hyundai thought about it, but since its fasteners would have reduced the height for the occupants of the curb, a trunk was preferred.
However, this weakness should not affect the success of the Ioniq 6 in South Korea, a market fond of 4 doors. : The Hyundai Grandeur has been the best-selling car there for years. The situation seems more complicated in France, where the appetite for sedans has diminished if we set aside the exception of the Tesla Model 3. But seeing the energy that Koreans put into all of their businesses, we thought that once again Hyundai could spring a surprise.
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