New 2021 Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric car: prices, details, pictures and on-sale date

Two battery sizes, near-300-mile range and single or dual-motor setups for new Ioniq sub-brand's first model

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Hyundai has released official details and pictures of its new Ioniq 5 electric car, which is based on the Hyundai 45 concept that was unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. It's expected to slot into Hyundai's electric range at a higher price point than the existing Ioniq hatchback and Kona Electric SUV models – expected to be around £38,000 for the entry-level version.

The Ioniq 5 debuts a new, cleaner and more minimalist design language that'll feature on all electric Hyundais from now on. All of them will bear the Ioniq name; this has become a sub-brand for all of the company's zero-emission models, in similar fashion to Volkswagen's 'ID' and Mercedes' 'EQ'. Following the Ioniq 5 will be the Ioniq 6 saloon and Ioniq 7 large SUV.

This is also the first electric Hyundai model to use it and sister brand Kia's dedicated electric-car platform – in contrast to the current Ioniq, Kona, e-Niro and Soul EV, which sit on platforms used for both electric and combustion-engined cars.

Customers were able to reserve a limited-edition Ioniq 5 launch model – named 'Project 45' and priced, appropriately enough, at £45,000. This proved extremely popular and the 3,000 examples sold out rapidly within days of being announced. Hyundai has received over 230,000 expressions of interest in total from potential buyers across Europe for the Ioniq 5.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 range, battery, charging, motors and performance

Hyundai is offering Ioniq 5 buyers a choice of motor and battery configurations. Available battery sizes are 58 or 72.6kWh, while either a single-motor (rear-wheel-drive) or dual-motor (four-wheel-drive) setup can be specified, making for a total of four possible configurations.

The range-topping version will pair a 208bhp rear motor and 94bhp front motor with the larger 72.6kWh battery for a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds. Official range testing hasn't been completed yet, however Hyundai estimates this setup will return something approaching 300 miles on a single charge.

The rear-drive 72.6kWh model will have a 215bhp motor and a 7.4-second 0-62mph time – this is also likely to be the longest-range version, although that hasn't been confirmed yet. The four-wheel-drive 58kWh battery model will have a 71bhp front and 161bhp rear motor and a 6.1-second 0-62mph time, while the entry-level Ioniq 5 will be the rear-drive 58kWh battery model, with a 168bhp motor for an 8.5-second 0-62mph time.

Charging won't take very long – provided you can find a quick enough public rapid charging point. The Ioniq 5's 800v electric system allows for rapid charging at up to 350kW, which is enough for 10-80% top-up of the larger battery in just 18 minutes, or 60 miles of range in five minutes.

That matches the charging capability of the considerably more expensive Porsche Taycan, but chargers that can replenish batteries as fast as that are few and far between for the moment. Ioniq 5 owners in the UK will have to make do with the 50-150kW speeds typical of public rapid chargers in this country for the time being.

One useful feature of the Ioniq 5 is what Hyundai calls 'Vehicle to Lifestyle' (V2L) charging. This allows the car itself to charge another electric vehicle or accessory, such as an e-scooter, electric bicycle or camping equipment, at speeds up to 3.6kW, drawing on the power in its battery. In an emergency, this function could also be used to rescue another electric car that had run out of charge or needed a top-up to make its destination. The Ioniq 5 is also rated for towing a 1,600kg trailer.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Design and styling

At the front, the Ioniq 5 gets a clamshell bonnet with minimal panel gaps, which optimises its aerodynamics to boost range. The front bumper has an eye-catching 'V' shape and incorporates the car's daytime running lights (DRLs), made up of tiny pixel-like clusters. The Ioniq 5 also features 'aero-optimised' wheels, in sizes up to 20 inches, which are the largest ever fitted to an electric car from Hyundai.

Moving down the side of the car, the doorhandles lie flush with the surface – in similar fashion to the Tesla Model S – in another bid to optimise aerodynamic smoothness. The strong shape of the C-pillar recalls that of the Hyundai 45 concept car, which was itself inspired by the Hyundai Pony, the brand's first production model from 1975. Nine exterior colours are available to choose from.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Interior and technology

The key feature of the Ioniq 5's interior is what Hyundai calls the 'Universal Island'. This is a moveable centre console that can slide back and forth by 140mm. When combined with the car's flat floor, this allows greater freedom of movement inside; the driver, for example, can easily slide into their seat from either side. There are three different interior colour themes.

The front seats are power-adjustable and their thickness was also reduced in order to free up more space for those sitting in the back. In common with other electric models like the Renault ZOE and Mazda MX-30, the Ioniq 5 uses many eco-friendly, sustainable materials as interior trim; these include recycled plastic bottles, plant-based yarns, natural wool yarns, eco-processed leather with plant-based extracts and 'bio paint' with plant extracts.

The boot offers 531 litres of capacity, which can be expanded to 1,591 litres with the second row of seats folded down. There’s also a small storage area beneath the bonnet that could be used for the charging cables; it measures 57 litres in single-motor versions and 24 litres in four-wheel-drive editions.

On the technology front, the Ioniq 5 features a configurable dual-screen cockpit with a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and 12-inch digital gauge cluster that can be customised to the driver's preference. There's also a head-up display with augmented reality (AR) functions; Hyundai says this "turns the windscreen into a display screen".

For safety, the Ioniq 5 is equipped with a suite of Hyundai's 'SmartSense' driver-assistance systems, including semi-autonomous driving capability, forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, speed-limit assistance, driver attention alerts and automatic high-beam headlights.