The Ioniq 5 Is an Ideal EV Middle Ground Between Boring and Cybertruck

Concept car looks carry over into the first of Hyundai’s new electric lineup

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric hatchback
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is futuristic, yes, but still drivable.

A good percentage of the driving public look at electric vehicles and see problems — new mechanics, a learning curve, range anxiety, jargon fit for an electrician — when we should all be looking on the bright side. We’re on the cusp of a new automotive age! Sure, we’ll all have to learn a few new things along the way, but we’ll also get a flood of exciting, tantalizing, never-before-seen designs!

We will, won’t we? The first ones out of the gate weren’t very promising, the Tesla Roadster being built on a Lotus Elise and the Nissan Leaf paving the way for a variety of inoffensive, rounded blobs (Chevy Bolt, BMW i3, etc.). Then we got a wakeup call from the future when Elon Musk dropped the Tesla Cybertruck like an 8-bit bomb, and people quickly realized maybe never-before-seen isn’t necessarily better. 

Thankfully, you don’t need to pick sides. Somewhere in between boring and the Cybertruck lies the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, a new electric hatchback from the South Korean automaker announced this week. Not only does it artfully deliver some of that futuristic design we’ve all been promised, it does something that’s rare in the automotive world no matter the era: it stays true to the concept car it is based on. 

That would be the 45 concept, a vehicle unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in 2019, and which was itself based on an older Hyundai. As you can see from photos Car and Driver has of that concept car, it was geometric but sleek, practical thanks to the hatchback design but still sophisticated, and forward-looking without being gimmicky. Tron is a movie that gets referenced a lot when it comes to futuristic vehicles, so what we’re trying to say is this is Tron (2010) not Tron (1982). And the Ioniq 5 keeps pretty much everything we liked from that original design, from the sculptural body to the meditative interior to the pixelated headlights (what it’s calling Parametric Pixel lights), while adding necessities like door handles and side mirrors. 

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior
It’s not as spartan as the concept car interior, but it keeps the meditative vibe.

Aside from staying true to the concept car, there are a few important things to know about the Ioniq 5. Besides the name, it’s not the same as the Ioniq car you can go out and buy right now in hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric form. The Ioniq 5 is the first to carry the automaker’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), a dedicated EV base that will eventually be used in a variety of other vehicles, as we detailed earlier this year.

If you like the look of the Ioniq 5, which we should point out is classified as a midsize crossover, or CUV, it also features a top range estimated at just under 300 miles, is available with multiple battery pack options (58 kWh or 72.6 kWh) and motor configurations (rear only or front and rear), and can handle higher powered, faster charging, which you can read more about over at Roadshow by CNET.

The bad news? We don’t know the price yet, and it won’t be available to buy until Fall 2021. But until then, let us leave you with this last little detail from the press release:

“IONIQ 5 can also be equipped with an eco-friendly solar roof, which supports the vehicle’s electric power source by collecting energy and transferring it to the battery pack, improving efficiency.”

The future is here, and it looks dang good.

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