IONIQ from Hyundai is the latest sub-brand from a global manufacturer to differentiate its battery electric vehicle range from its 'regular' vehicles. Hyundai launched IONIQ with a splash by turning the London Eye into a giant 'Q', lighting it up blue to represent the brand's colour.
In case you were wondering the name IONIQ itself, which you will likely know from its so-named electric/hybrid/PHEV saloon car, comes from a combination of the words 'ion' and 'unique'.
Like ID. from VW, the growing prevalence of EVs is causing manufacturers the world over to create dedicated brands for them. And it's not just the brand and new vehicles which will be launched. Through IONIQ Hyundai is also looking to “offer customer centric EV experiences centred on connected lifestyle solutions in line with Hyundai's vision of 'Progress for Humanity'.”
In plain English, that means that IONIQ will combine its current expertise with EVs with future innovations in design, technology and in- and out-of-car experience. Wonhong Cho, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai said; “The IONIQ brand will change the paradigm of EV customer experience. With a new emphasis on connected living, we will offer electrified experiences integral to an eco-friendly lifestyle.”
Hyundai is overhauling the way it designates vehicles within the IONIQ brand. Electric saloons will be assigned even numbers, with SUVs gaining odd numbers, and the first car to be launched under the IONIQ brand will be the IONIQ 5 mid-sized SUV, due to land early next year.
The IONIQ 5 is based on the '45', a concept EV revealed at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. At the time we reported that the 45 concept was a showcase for Hyundai's future design direction for its EVs, and used styling cues from the original Hyundai Pony Coupé (a 45-year-old design, hence the name) and fused them with modern materials and brand design touches. Among these were 'parametric pixels' – a feature which will be incorporated into all future IONIQ models.
Following the 5 will be the IONIQ 6 in 2022. This is based on an altogether more dynamic and exciting looking EV concept – the Prophecy – which was revealed at the not-the-Geneva-Motor-Show. The Prophecy's smooth, minimalist and aerodynamic exterior does away with fussy details and we truly hope that Hyundai keeps as much of the concept's look as possible in IONIQ 6. Don't expect the concept's joystick controls to make it into production, however...
Finally, the IONIQ 7 will come in 2024, taking the form of a large SUV.
All new IONIQ models will sit on the brand's E-GMP platform which will deliver decent real-world range and fast charging capability. Being a 'skateboard' type platform, it also allows Hyundai to play with interior space and create what it calls a “smart living space” with much more flexibility than traditional car interiors.
IONIQ will go a long way in helping Hyundai achieve its Strategy 2025 goals, including selling one million EVs by 2025 and taking a 10 per cent share in the EV market. It is also aiming to become the world's third-largest maker of 'eco-friendly' vehicles by 2025, and will continue to pursue FCEV technology as part of this.
We are certainly very positive about the launch of IONIQ and, if the brand sticks closely to the 45 and Prophecy concepts when they become the IONIQ 5 and 6 respectively, they're very much onto a winner.