Ioniq: From Overlooked Model to Its Own Brand

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ioniq from overlooked model to its own brand

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 [s]Cadillac[/s] 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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3 of 13 comments
  • El scotto El scotto on Aug 10, 2020

    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.

  • Land Ark Land Ark on Aug 10, 2020

    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.

    • Imagefont Imagefont on Aug 10, 2020

      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.

  • Cprescott My current ride is paid off in December. Hopefully there will be no more car payments ever. So expensive these days and you have to really pay attention as there are so few actual cars being made in the affordable range.
  • Jeff S Price seems high but then after Covid it probably isn't. Does appear that the car is complete and is restorable. Agree the seller will get at least that price and possibly more. I remember these early Mustangs well when I was growing up and remember the fastbacks were released in August of 64 as a 65 where the regular hardtop and convertible were released as 64 1/2s April 17, 1964. Brylcreem gave one of these original Mustangs away in a mail in contest.
  • Cprescott I can't believe how GM ruined the Camaro with this putrid platform. Cramped, awful interiors and visibility with exterior changes that became even uglier and tacky. Heir Yutz is so proud of it too! The only vehicle in modern history to take so long from concept to production other than the Ford Bronco. It seems it was announced for four years before we saw the hideous work in production.
  • Cprescott The good news is replacement sheet metal and parts are easily found. Would make a nice restoration project even if it is not the most desirable model. I love black cars with red interiors!
  • Cprescott Jim Farley and the Fire Starters. Perhaps he should throw his wig into the fire!