You've probably heard of
Ioniq. I drove one not that long ago and thought it was a fantastic EV for the money, but Hyundai has big plans for Ioniq. The name, though -- not the model.
See, Hyundai announced plans to spin off the Ioniq name as a separate brand for its electric vehicles (a la Polestar and Volvo) on Sunday, but weirdly, the Hyundai Ioniq hatchback isn't being invited to the party. While that may seem a little odd, it's likely because the current crop of Ioniqs is only a year or two from needing a reboot anyway.
The Ioniq subbrand's first vehicle release will be called the Ioniq 5 (dull, I know) in 2021, and it will be based on the super handsome Concept 45 hatchback. I'm keeping fingers crossed that the production model is close to the concept, even if Hyundai calls the 5 a "midsize CUV (crossover utility vehicle)". After the Ioniq 5, Hyundai plans to release two other models over the next four years, specifically the Ioniq 6 sedan in 2022, based on the gorgeous Prophecy EV concept, and a large SUV called the Ioniq 7, which is slated for 2024.
"The Ioniq brand will change the paradigm of EV customer experience," said Wonhong Cho, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer at Hyundai Motor Company, in a statement. "With a new emphasis on connected living, we will offer electrified experiences integral to an eco-friendly lifestyle."
Interestingly, Hyundai has also confirmed that while Ioniq will be its own brand, it will be sold in Hyundai dealerships alongside regular Hyundai-branded models. This is a different approach than the brand took with Genesis. But it could work in the nascent EV brand's favor, with fewer costs being shouldered by the dealers, since, in theory, they won't need to build new buildings, etc.
Watch this: All hail the new mpg king? We test the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
The Ioniq brand made its official debut in London by turning the London Eye into a giant letter Q, which represents the first part of the brand's launch campaign, which it's calling, "I'm in charge." The campaign is meant to promote the empowerment of the environment and diverse lifestyles through the Ioniq brand. It seems like a tall order, but hey, we'll see.
Hyundai Prophecy EV concept goes heavy on the curves