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Hyundai Ioniq 5's transforming interior teased ahead of Feb. 23 debut

The upcoming electric vehicle takes advantage of its flat floor with a motorized, sliding center console and reclining front seats built to "relax and recharge."

Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior preview 1
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Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior preview 1
Hyundai

As we approach the debut of Hyundai's new full-electric Ioniq 5, the automaker has released a teaser image of... its cupholders. Peering more closely, this awkwardly cropped and framed shot actually tells us quite a bit about what we can expect to see in the Ioniq 5's "Living Space" interior when the curtain is drawn back on Feb. 23.

The reinvented Ioniq 5 -- which we've so far only seen enshrouded in shadow -- will be the first new vehicle built on the automaker's Electric-Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP (and no, it's not pronounced "E-Gimp"). One of the benefits of dedicated battery-electric vehicle platforms such as this is the extra cabin space freed up by the flat floor. Not having to accommodate a combustion engine, gearbox and all their accoutrements also gives EV designers and engineers more freedom in the chassis design, allowing Hyundai to stretch the Ioniq 5's wheelbase longer than similarly sized midsize crossovers, which should mean even more room for people and their legs.

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Hyundai

The sneak peek gives us a bird's eye view of the EV's front seats, center console and a portion of the dashboard. The dashboard appears very flat in design, featuring what appears to be a faint purple ambient glow and a pair of large screens -- one serving as the instrument cluster and the other as central infotainment. Next to that is the two-spoke steering wheel with a trio of stalks protruding from its column. Presumably, you've got your standard turn-signal/lights and wiper stalks with the third appearing to be a shifter of sorts.

The column shifter makes sense seeing how the Ioniq 5 doesn't have or need a transmission tunnel, which allows Hyundai to outfit the EV with a motorized "Universal Island" center console. In the preview, the console -- with its center storage and dual cupholders -- is shown sliding back in tandem with the passenger seat. Hyundai says that the console should move backward far enough to allow the driver and passenger to easily enter or exit either side of the vehicle without having to clamber over a hump.

The front seats have extended range of movement and integrated footrests. The center console can also slide.

Hyundai

That passenger seat also appears to be reclining to reveal a footrest, taking full advantage of the EV's extra-spacious interior with a wider than average range of front seat motion. Hyundai says that both the driver and passenger seats will feature this "relax and recharge" leg rest, which allows passengers to kick back and put their feet up while the vehicle is parked and charging. I assume you'll have to return the driver's bucket to the upright position before hitting the road.

It won't be long before we get an unobscured, clear look at the sustainable eco-processed leather upholstery, cloth center seat panels made of natural and recycled fibers and the rest of the Living Space cabin -- as well as, hopefully, range and performance numbers -- when the electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 makes its virtual world premiere on Feb. 23.

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Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.

Updated Feb. 16, 2021 12:07 p.m. PT

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Written by  Antuan Goodwin
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
antuan-roadshow-headshots-jpegs-1893-007.jpg
Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
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