Hyundai Ioniq 6 reveal: Could it become a Tesla Model 3 beater?

Hyundai takes aim at Tesla Model 3: Sleek Ioniq 6 guns for Britain’s most-bought electric car offering an expected range of more than 300 miles and sub-£50k price tag

  • Hyundai’s Ioniq 6 ‘streamliner’ is due in showrooms from next year and could start from around £45k 
  • The dramatic silhouette and clever air-flow tech will make it one of the most aerodynamic cars on sale in 2023
  • With its bullet-like shape and the Korean brand’s largest battery pack, it should be good for a 300-mile range
  • It will go head-to-head with electric rival saloon models, including the Tesla Model 3, BMW i4 and Polestar 2
  • This is Hyundai’s new electric ‘streamliner’ that’s set to be on sale next year – and its radical svelte design could have Elon Musk panicked.

    It’s called the Ioniq 6 and is the latest battery-powered model from the Korean car maker that’s due in showrooms from 2023 with a range in excess of 300 miles and price tag of less than £50,000.

    That means the rakish four-door saloon will go into direct competition with the current most popular electric model, the Tesla Model 3, which was the second most-bought passenger car in Britain last year.

    Hyundai's svelte new electric streamliner: This is the Korean car manufacturer's latest EV, which features rakish looks and performance to match the Tesla Model 3

    Hyundai’s svelte new electric streamliner: This is the Korean car manufacturer’s latest EV, which features rakish looks and performance to match the Tesla Model 3

    Hyundai took the covers off the eagerly-anticipated Ioniq 6 overnight, confirming that it will be appearing in dealership from next year to add to the brand’s growing line-up of impressive electric vehicles (EV), which already includes the Kona SUV, Ioniq saloon and retro-inspired Ioniq 5 crossover.

    Its bold looks is the biggest talking point, with the brand describing it as an ‘electrified streamliner’ rather than a conventional family saloon.

    The sleek silhouette closely mimics that of Hyundai’s dramatic Prophecy concept, which appeared at last year’s Munich motor show.

    The manufacturer says its ‘single-curved aerodynamic profile and carefully crafted contours’ have created its most slippery and aerodynamic car yet and has debuts a ‘new typology for the EV mobility era’.

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    It features a low nose, active air flaps at the front, wheel gap reducers and the option of replacing traditional mirrored wing mirrors with slim digital side mirrors that display live images on interior screens.

    At the back, there’s an ‘elliptical wing-inspired’ spoiler and a boat-tail rear section with two pixel-heavy brake light strips that really catch the eye, especially when the car is unlocked and a light display is activated.

    These clusters include just some of the 700 Parametric Pixel lights dotted throughout the car, including the headlamps and front lower sensors as well as inside in the air vent ‘garnishes’ and centre console indicator. 

    Hyundai confirms the entire underside of the Ioniq 6 is covered, its wheel-arch gaps made as minimal as possible and door handles flush with the panels so that it can slice through the air as efficiently as a piping-hot knife through pre-melted butter.

    It all results in a drag coefficient (the measure of how well a car cuts through the air) rating of just 0.21, putting the Hyundai among the most aerodynamically-efficient production vehicles on the market today. 

    In fact, only the £100,000-plus Mercedes EQS (0.20) and Tesla Model S (0.21) are a match for its aerodynamic proficiency in the electric segment.

    In terms of its size, the Ioniq 6 is 4.9 metres long, almost 1.9 metres wide and 1.5 metres tall. Importantly, the wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) is nearly 3 metres, meaning it will be incredibly spacious inside, especially in terms of legroom in the back.

    The manufacturer says its 'single-curved aerodynamic profile and carefully crafted contours' have created its most slippery and aerodynamic car yet

    The manufacturer says its ‘single-curved aerodynamic profile and carefully crafted contours’ have created its most slippery and aerodynamic car yet

    At the back, there's an 'elliptical wing-inspired' spoiler and a boat-tail rear section with two pixel-heavy brake light strips that really catch the eye, especially when the car is unlocked and a light display is activated

    At the back, there’s an ‘elliptical wing-inspired’ spoiler and a boat-tail rear section with two pixel-heavy brake light strips that really catch the eye, especially when the car is unlocked and a light display is activated

    Hyundai's new bullet-like four-door saloon will go into direct competition with the most popular electric model of the moment, the Tesla Model 3 (pictured), which was the second most-bought passenger car in Britain last year

    Hyundai’s new bullet-like four-door saloon will go into direct competition with the most popular electric model of the moment, the Tesla Model 3 (pictured), which was the second most-bought passenger car in Britain last year

    BMW i4

    Polestar 2

    Other rivals for the Hyundai Ioniq 6 include the BMW i4 (picutred left) and Polestar 2 (pictured right)

    Will it fit in my garage? Hyundai Ioniq 6 

    On sale: 2023

    Price: from approx £45k

    Segment: Junior executive saloon (Hyundai calls it a ‘streamliner’) 

    Battery size: from 58kWh to 77.4kWh

    Range: in excess of 300 miles (for 77.4kWh battery)

    Doors:Seats:

    Dimensions:

    Length: 4855mm 

    Width: 1880mm 

    Height: 1495mm

    Wheelbase: 2950mm 

    Drag coefficient rating: 0.21 

    The dimensions are almost like-for-like with Tesla’s Model 3 and other likely rivals from the executive saloon sector, including BMW’s new i4 and the Polestar 2.

    Despite unveiling the car this week, Hyundai has remained tight-lipped about the performance capabilities and specification of the Ioniq 6.

    It will use the same platform that underpins electric cars from its two sister brands, Kia’s EV6 and the Genesis GV60, which offer 800V hardware for charging speeds of up to 350kW and ‘vehicle-to-load’ technology – also known as V2L – which allows the battery to charge domestic appliances, such as your laptop or a kettle.

    While not confirmed, the Ioniq 6 will likely be available with a range of battery sizes up to 77.4kWh, which is the biggest fitted to any electric Hyundai currently.

    The combination of the biggest battery and the svelte shape should provide a full-charge range in excess of 300 miles. 

    Hyundai says its entire undercarriage is covered, wheel-arch gap made as minimal as possible and door handles flush with the panels to make the Ioniq 6 slice through the air as efficiently as a piping-hot knife through melted butter

    Hyundai says its entire undercarriage is covered, wheel-arch gap made as minimal as possible and door handles flush with the panels to make the Ioniq 6 slice through the air as efficiently as a piping-hot knife through melted butter

    The Ioniq 6 is so slipper that only the £100,000-plus Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S are a match for its aerodynamic proficiency - based on its drag coefficient rating - in the electric segment

    The Ioniq 6 is so slipper that only the £100,000-plus Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S are a match for its aerodynamic proficiency – based on its drag coefficient rating – in the electric segment

    Despite unveiling the car this week, Hyundai has remained tight-lipped about the performance capabilities and specification of the Ioniq 6

    Despite unveiling the car this week, Hyundai has remained tight-lipped about the performance capabilities and specification of the Ioniq 6

    Design bosses say the ‘clean, simple lines and a pure aerodynamic form’ is part of a ‘customer-centric commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility’.

    ‘Ioniq 6 connects an emotional convergence of functionality with aesthetics,’ explains SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai’s Design Centre. 

    ‘The distinctive streamlined design is the result of close cooperation between engineers and designers, with obsessive attention to detail and customer-centric values at the core.’

    It will use the same platform that underpins electric cars from its two sister brands, Kia's EV6 and the Genesis GV60 and feature 'vehicle-to-load' technology, which allows the battery to charge domestic appliances, such as your laptop or a kettle

    It will use the same platform that underpins electric cars from its two sister brands, Kia’s EV6 and the Genesis GV60 and feature ‘vehicle-to-load’ technology, which allows the battery to charge domestic appliances, such as your laptop or a kettle

    Inside, the car has a 'cocoon-shaped' cabin that serves as 'a comfortable hideaway'. It includes a massive landscape-orientated infotainment cluster, housing a pair of 12-inch screens - one for infotainment, the other for driver information

    Inside, the car has a ‘cocoon-shaped’ cabin that serves as ‘a comfortable hideaway’. It includes a massive landscape-orientated infotainment cluster, housing a pair of 12-inch screens – one for infotainment, the other for driver information

    The steering wheel doesn't have Hyundai's logo etched into the centre, with the 'H' badge replaced with four pixel dots. These communicate to the driver how much range is left in the battery, and also glow green when the car is being charged

    The steering wheel doesn’t have Hyundai’s logo etched into the centre, with the ‘H’ badge replaced with four pixel dots. These communicate to the driver how much range is left in the battery, and also glow green when the car is being charged

    Inside, the car has a ‘cocoon-shaped’ cabin that serves as ‘both a comfortable hideaway and personal space, replete with practical features and sustainable materials to facilitate a mindful, eco-friendly mobility experience and lifestyle’.

    In the centre of the dashboard is an ‘ergonomically designed control unit’ that is designed to reduce driver distraction. 

    It includes a massive landscape-orientated display unit, which houses both the 12-inch full-touch infotainment screen and the same-size digital cluster showing all vital information, such as speed and battery range. 

    The steering wheel itself doesn’t have Hyundai’s logo etched into the centre, with the ‘H’ badge replaced with four pixel dots. These communicate to the driver how much range is left in the battery, and also glow green when the car is being charged.

    Dividing the two front seats is a bridge-style centre console, which offers extra storage space.

    The interior also features dual colour ambient lighting that can illuminate the whole cabin, with owners able to choose from a spectrum of 64 colours and six themes developed by experts to help passengers feel ultra-relaxed during journeys

    The interior also features dual colour ambient lighting that can illuminate the whole cabin, with owners able to choose from a spectrum of 64 colours and six themes developed by experts to help passengers feel ultra-relaxed during journeys

    While no official price has been announced, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is expected to start from around £45,000 when it hits showrooms next year

    While no official price has been announced, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is expected to start from around £45,000 when it hits showrooms next year

    To make journeys as soothing as possible, there is dual colour ambient lighting that can illuminate the whole interior, with owners able to choose from a spectrum of 64 colours and six themes developed by experts to help passengers feel ultra-relaxed. 

    As is the case for most new cars unveiled in 2022 – especially super-green EVs – the cabin is awash with eco-friendly materials, including recycled pigment paint from end-of-life tires, eco-process leather seats, recycled plastic insets, a ‘bio skin’ material on the dashboard and recycled fishing net carpets.

    While no official price has been announced, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is expected to start from around £45,000.

    With Tesla recently increasing the price of its most affordable Model 3 to £48,980 (the most expensive version – the Model 3 Performance – costing a massive £61,490), Mr Musk could have a real challenger on his hands when Hyundai dealers begin stocking the Ioniq 6 next year.