By on August 10, 2020


Low-end electric cars don’t get a lot of press these days, not with Silicon Valley upstarts and established OEMs rolling out mega-torque, high-zoot green vehicles at a steady clip. Yet the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has provided an alternative to the base Nissan Leaf since 2016, combining a usable-but-not-class-leading driving range with a relatively bargain basement price tag.

Joined by a super-efficient hybrid as well as a plug-in variant, the Ioniq lived in the shadow of competing nameplates its entire life. It’s bound to get more attention now, given that Cadillac Hyundai is turning the model into a brand.

Announced Sunday, the Korean automaker claims the Ioniq brand will cover three distinct electric models sharing the same E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform) architecture.

The models, slated to land starting early next year, include an initial midsize SUV called Ioniq 5. That’ll be followed up with, what else, the Ioniq 6 sedan in 2022. Coming on the heels of that introduction is the Ioniq 7, a “large” SUV due in 2024.

Hyundai claims the trio of models “will have a common theme of ‘Timeless Value’.”

“The vehicles will be inspired by past models, but they will be a bridge to the future,” the automaker stated. The first two models were foreshadowed by two concept vehicles: the 45 and Prophecy. Expect serious visual changes from the conceptual lineup seen above.

While the automaker doesn’t much much to say about the capability of these models, it did say that “highly adjustable” seats, wireless connectivity, and easy-to-use interfaces will factor into each of their cabins. Hyundai also didn’t say whether or not the Hyundai badge or name will appear on any of them, leaving some confusion as to whether this will be a true standalone brand and not a sub-brand (like the upcoming GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV).

Naming aside, the upcoming line of Ioniq EVs is part of Hyundai’s strategy to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025, with a global EV market share of 10 percent. A tall order.

Weirdly, Hyundai made no mention of the existing Ioniq lineup and how that trio of affordable green cars fits into the automaker’s future.

[Image: Hyundai]

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13 Comments on “Ioniq: From Overlooked Model to Its Own Brand...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’d love to see Hyundai get serious about EVs, but these “1 million by 2025” claims are ridiculous.

    For starters, Hyundai’s EVs are only sold in CARB states (one of which I visited to get my Ioniq EV), so ramping up by orders of magnitude from essentially zero EVs in the US market in a few short years seems impossible. Even today, they struggle to meet demand for the Kona EV because of battery production constraints.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sure they are talking globally for that 1 million by 2025 claim, and they are likely including Kias too, so the fact that they currently only sell the Ioniq in EV form in states of Californication isn’t really relevant. If they wanted to they certainly could offer them in other states as well. Yes battery supply is certainly a potential deterrent to meeting that goal.

      • 0 avatar

        “battery production constraints.”: It’s hard to say what’s happening there. All of the companies are secretive about what they are doing around batteries. Some of the companies might be holding back on investing heavily in a battery technology they know they’ll be ditching in a few months. Once that technology is available, then they can put the money into a good production facility. I’m just speculating though.

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      A friend of mine has a regular hybrid version of the Ioniq. I’ve driven it and, while not what one would call fast, it’s a surprisingly fun, pleasant and livable car. With a real transmission – not a CVT!

      If a line of Ioniq branded vehicles does come out I would at least consider them. But I would restrict my interest to the regular hybrids – assuming they are offered. I’ll leave pure EV’s and plug-ins to the virtue signalers.

      And I’d be looking to turn off all that connectivity Hyundai has planned. Why do the automakers assume that if you’ll consider a hybrid or EV, that you want a high level of intrusive connectivity?

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve rented a few Kia Niro’s and I enjoy driving them, same drivetrain as the Ioniq with what I assume is a more utilitarian configuration overall. They consistent get about 42mpg is mixed driving, the computers always lie to you. But 42 is pretty good in my opinion. But paying more for an al electric vehicle with limited range and limited and restrictive charging options is a no go. I have to be able to drive a car when I want to drive it, as much and as far as I need to go, without prior notice. EV’s will remain niche – people will only buy them if they have to or if they just really want them.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        “I’ll leave pure EV’s and plug-ins to the virtue signalers.”

        Because only stereotypes buy such vehicles – got it.

  • avatar

    I’m admittedly not a marketing person but I don’t see the point of launching these as a subbrand. Why not just put the Hyundai badge on them and tout your green cred as a major maker going electric?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That was also my concern about GM considering doing the same thing. It allows the parent company to quarantine the failure if/when it happens, which indicates that they’re not really all in.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I’m pretty sure the Hyundai dealer in Terre Haute IN had a buy a car, get a free minivan deal at one time. People remember bottom feeder marketing. If I’ve got the brands straight; sell the Genesis and Ioniq in a different showroom.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    They tried to give away an Ioniq on today’s episode of Let’s Make a Deal. It was the Big Deal of the Day but the contestant didn’t pick Door #1.

    And that’s the extent to which I have thought about the existence of the Hyundai Ioniq in 2020.

    • 0 avatar

      It doesn’t help that Hyundai styling is the equivalent of shooting ones self in the foot twice in a row. Hopelessly ugly cars, cars that you buy in spite of their styling, hoping they have good personalities. You have to constantly remind yourself that it’s functional and a good deal and therefore okay to be horrendously ugly.

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