The Ioniq sub-brand will initially feature three all-electric models, all due in the next few years

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Hyundai is making good on its goal to keep pushing forward with its pre-COVID-19 plans. One of those plans involves the creation of a new sub-brand that will become the official home of the automaker’s all-electric vehicles. The sub-brand, called Ioniq, will serve as a complement to Hyundai’s other sub-brand, Genesis, and offer battery electric vehicles. Three new all-electric models will serve as the foundation of the new sub-brand. A mid-size crossover EV will arrive first in 2021, followed by a sedan model in 2022 and a large SUV in the early part of 2024. All of this is part of Hyundai’s long game for battery-electric vehicles, which primarily involves selling 560,000 EV models by 2025. If for nothing else, Hyundai’s best-laid plans before the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to its knees is still moving along, proving that resiliency is as much a part of Hyundai’s DNA as anything we’ve seen from the automaker in the past.

Where did Hyundai get the name "Ioniq" from?

Hyundai's Push To Roll out the Ioniq Sub-Brand is a Sign of Automotive Resiliency
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Hyundai’s had plans to launch an all-electric division for some time now. Those plans evolved into a sub-brand altogether, but then the coronavirus pandemic happened, and a lot of those best-laid plans across the entire auto industry were either shelved or completely scrapped. As it Turns out, Hyundai’s undeterred with what it set out, and it even picked a name close to its heart for its new sub-brand.

Ioniq, for those who have forgotten, is the name of Hyundai’s compact five-door liftback that’s offered in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric variants.

Where the Ioniq fits into Hyundai’s plans moving forward is unclear, but the model is just four years old, so expect it to remain in Hyundai’s lineup even when the Ioniq sub-brand comes to life in 2021 with its first offering.

What’s the Ioniq 5?

Hyundai's Push To Roll out the Ioniq Sub-Brand is a Sign of Automotive Resiliency
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The Ioniq 5 will be the first of three models that Hyundai plans to release in the next four years. Based on the Hyundai 45 Concept that the Korean automaker unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Ioniq 5 is a mid-sized crossover that already hit the on-road prototype testing stage back in February 2020. Very little was revealed from the heavily camouflaged crossover, though it’s worth pointing out that it lacked the sharp-edged styling that was one of the 45 Concept’s most defining qualities. Even with all the wraps, the test mule looked a lot like a production prototype.

Powertrain details are still a mystery at this point but it should be offered with dual motors - one on each axle. The Ioniq 5 is the first of three Ioniq models that will eventually serve as the foundation models of the new all-electric sub-brand. It’s scheduled to hit the market in 2021.

2019 Hyundai 45 EV Concept specifications
Engine electric motor
Horsepower 201 HP
Torque 291 LB-FT
Range 258 miles
Battery 64-kWh Li-ion-polymer

What’s the Ioniq 6?

Hyundai's Push To Roll out the Ioniq Sub-Brand is a Sign of Automotive Resiliency
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Once the Ioniq 5 hits the market in 2021, the new all-electric automaker only has one year to prepare for the launch of its second model, the aptly named Ioniq 6.

This model is a sedan — no surprises there — and it’s based on another recently launched concept: the Hyundai Prophecy. Neither Hyundai nor Ioniq have provided details on the 6, but if it is based on the Prophecy Concept, expect the four-door sedan to carry a sloping roof that extends all the down to the rear end. Think of it as a Korean Porsche Panamera, albeit a little shorter with impressive design cues of its own. The Ioniq 6 will debut in 2022.

What’s the Ioniq 7?

Hyundai's Push To Roll out the Ioniq Sub-Brand is a Sign of Automotive Resiliency
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The last of the three all-electric models that will make up Ioniq’s initial lineup is the Ioniq 7.

Predictably — again — the Ioniq 7 is a large SUV, and that’s about all we know about it.

Hyundai did reveal a teaser image of the three models using their concept inspirations. It’s worth noting that the large SUV in that image — that’s the inspiration for the Ioniq 7 — looks like a cross between the Vision T Plug-In Hybrid SUV Concept and the Grandmaster Concept, two recent concept SUVs that Hyundai revealed in the past two years. The horizontal LED bar that stretches across the entire width of the SUV’s front section is a new setup that wasn’t present in either of the two aforementioned concepts. Perhaps that’s Hyundai’s way of telling us that the Ioniq 7, like the Ioniq 5 and the Ioniq 6, will be unlike anything we’ve seen from the Korean automaker. The Ioniq 7 will debut in 2024, two years after the Ioniq 6 goes on sale.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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