Hyundai Ioniq 6 electric saloon spied testing ahead of 2022 debut

The latest model from Hyundai’s Ioniq electric sub-brand will be sleek four-door saloon, with a large SUV expected to follow in 2024

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is one of the best electric cars on sale right now, so it’s not surprising that the South Korean brand is moving quickly to follow it up with the Ioniq 6 saloon, which we recently spied testing on the road ahead of its 2022 launch.

The new photos show how much the Ioniq 6 has been influenced by the Prophecy concept, which was due to be unveiled at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show before the event's cancellation. Some details from the four-door electric coupe, such as its coach doors, don't seem to have made it to production, but that’s hardly surprising.

However, the Ioniq 6 prototype does sport a very rakish roofline and very short overhangs at the front and rear, which featured on the Prophecy concept. The latter had a radically different cabin, but we’ve yet to get a look inside the Ioniq 6 to see how much of that has been carried over.

Other than that, details on the Ioniq 6 remain thin on the ground. We do know that it'll sit on the same mechanical  platform as both the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. That means it should feature ultra-rapid charging capability – up to 220kW or faster – thanks to the platform’s 800-volt electrics.

For the same reason, we expect the Ioniq 6 will be available in rear and all-wheel-drive configurations, and produce over 300bhp in its most potent form. Likely rivals to the Ioniq 6 include the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, BMW i4 and Polestar 2 among others.

The Ioniq 6 will be the sub-brand’s 'halo' product until the larger Ioniq 7 full-size electric SUV arrives in 2024. They’re the next two models in Hyundai’s plan to release 23 new battery-electric cars worldwide by 2025, with at least one other being a city-car-sized electric SUV that’s set to launch in 2023.

Hyundai has previously claimed that each Ioniq model will follow a theme of "timeless value", whereby each is inspired by past models, but with a "bridge to the future". Initial images suggest the three launch cars will each have unique styling, albeit with strong common themes such as distinctive LED lighting and bold surfacing. They'll also retain Hyundai badging – unlike cars from the group's luxury spinoff brand Genesis like the Electrified G80 saloon and the GV60 coupe-SUV.

More humdrum zero-emissions models from Hyundai, including the Ioniq Electric hatchback, are still on sale, but that car is unlikely to be directly replaced when it comes to the end of its time on sale in 2022. However, the manufacturer will continue to sell models like the Kona Electric SUV alongside the new Ioniq 5, 6 and 7.

Hyundai is also currently working on a number of hydrogen-powered projects, including a high-performance fuel-cell car that we got our first glimpse of in the form of the Vision FK prototype. It produces over 670bhp and uses technology from electric hypercar company Rimac.

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