Hyundai Ioniq 6: A Sci-fi Streamliner Gunning for Luxury EV Sedans

With bold design choices inside and out, can Hyundai continue to wow drivers in the EV space?

byLewin Day|
Electric Vehicles photo

Hyundai has unveiled its new Ioniq 6 EV, sporting a radical curvaceous design with an emphasis on aerodynamics and efficiency.

The Ioniq 6 is built on the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5 SUV, with a design developed from the Hyundai Prophecy concept first revealed in 2020. Following on from its forebear, the Ioniq 6 epitomizes streamliner ideals, very much serving as a fresh and modern example of what 20th-century designers imagined cars might look like today.

The aerodynamics dominate the Ioniq 6 in both a visual and conceptual way. The car has a super-slippery drag coefficient of just 0.21, on par with the Lucid Air and just shy of the Mercedes EQS. This is achieved with the aid of technology, including slimlnie digital side mirrors, active flaps on the front of the car to direct air, and wheel gap reducers. Hyundai has seen fit to entirely cover the undercarriage, too, and has special "separation traps" on the rear bumper to guide the air and keep drag as low as possible.

The overall shape looks closer to a liftback than a traditional three-box sedan. With that said, looking at the lines between the panels, it appears the Ioniq 6 has a sedan-like trunk that opens in a way similar to the Lucid Air.

Hyundai's popular new design language continues here, with the Ioniq 6 sporting over 700 "Parametric Pixels" in the headlamps, rear lamps, and other locations. The design theme is continued through to the interior, with the small repetitive squares now a signature part of the Ioniq brand.

As a whole, the interior has a clean, uncomplicated look, except for all the disco lighting. Hyundai is following in the footsteps of brands like Mercedes, and has festooned the interior with a potent ambient lighting system. It comes complete with 64 color choices and six dual-color themes from the factory, prepared by color experts selected by Hyundai.

Command and control is via a 12-inch infotainment display, while the driver gets a 12-inch cluster screen as well. There are also four "Interactive Pixel Lights" on the steering wheel to "enable easy communication between the driver and vehicle." It reminds us of the blinking lights of R2D2 in the best possible way.

Other design decisions focus on comfort and personal space. Door switches were removed and window controls placed on the center console to create more room in the cabin. The E-GMP platform also provides a flat floor and plenty of legroom for passengers front and rear.

Hyundai has one eye on the future with the Ioniq 6, too, choosing to use sustainable materials in several areas on the vehicle. The interior gets "eco-process" leather or recycled PET fabrics depending on the trim, while the carpet is made from recycled fishing nets. Special paints derived from vegetable oils are used on the doors, while pigments were sourced from used tires and bamboo charcoal.

Full details of the Ioniq 6 will be revealed at the world premiere in July. Looking at the design, though, it's clear Hyundai isn't resting on its laurels. Instead, it's pushing to build vehicles with high-tech powertrains and cutting-edge designs to match. For those of us that want to feel like we live in the future that sci-fi always promised, it's surely a good thing.

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