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Hyundai's next electric car, the 2022 Ioniq 5, is like the 1980s on wheels

It was previewed by 2019's 45 concept

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 preview image
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 preview image
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Unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, back when there was a Frankfurt show to introduce cars at, the retro-inspired Hyundai 45 concept is well on its way to becoming a production model. It will wear the Ioniq 5 nameplate when it lands in showrooms, and preview images confirm its overall design won't stray far from the concept's.

Hyundai explained that the 45 concept was loosely inspired by the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed 1974 Pony, the first car it developed in-house, but the pixel-shaped lights on both ends and the flat, straight surfaces send us straight back to the 1980s. It's a look you'll either love or hate, and one that breaks all ties with current members of the Hyundai range. Designers pointed out that the clamshell hood minimizes panel gaps, and that the 20-inch wheels are the largest they have ever put on one of the South Korean company's electric cars.

Although the preview images keep the 5's overall proportions hidden, earlier spy shots taken in Germany confirm that the model will arrive as a compact hatchback with an unusually long wheelbase and correspondingly short overhangs on both ends. It's also a little bit taller than, say, the Elantra GT, which likely reflects an attempt to inject some crossover DNA into the overall design while masking the bulky battery stuffed under the cabin.

Hyundai did not release full technical specifications, but it confirmed the Ioniq 5 will inaugurate the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) developed solely to underpin battery-powered cars. That means enthusiasts hoping to see a high-octane evolution of the 5 with the Kona N's turbocharged four-cylinder engine will be disappointed. It will be all-electric, all the time, though whether it will offer one, two, or more electric motors remains up in the air.

Quick-charging technology will zap the battery with about 60 miles of range in five minutes, according to the firm. Users who don't need the pack's full capacity will be able to use it to power electric devices via a plug outlet located beneath the rear bench. Hyundai amusingly demonstrated this capability by publishing a video that shows a man roasting a turkey in an electric oven on a campsite seemingly located miles away from the power grid.

Additional details about the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will emerge in the coming weeks, and the model is scheduled to make its official debut online in February 2021. What remains to be seen is whether it will be sold here. Honda and Volkswagen chose to keep their battery-powered hatchbacks on the other side of the pond, and both are planning to ramp up their electric car offensive in the United States with a crossover. However, it's reasonable to think that the Ioniq range may gain a higher, bigger model that will be developed with our market in mind.

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