WE all do it. We all try to outsmart our cars.
If the satnav says we will arrive at 12:53, we have to beat it.
If the tyre-pressure warning light flashes up, we’ll keep going until the wheels are square.
If we have 40 miles of fuel and we’re 50 miles from home, we’ll slow to 50mph and risk it. Sometimes we make it. Sometimes we won’t. It’s like a game.
But what happens when we are all running about in battery-powered cars and run out of electrons? We can’t ask a friend to fetch a green plastic can.
Hyundai has the solution: An electric car that can recharge another electric car at the side of the road, in a field, anywhere. A mobile power bank, if you like.
It’s called Ioniq 5 and it also has a 220v socket under the rear seats to juice up pretty much everything else — laptops, e-scooters, even a microwave or mini fridge when you go camping.
Chelsea players used it to power football launchers. The video is out tomorrow.
There’s something else about this car that pleases me greatly: The solar-panel roof. It can add up to 1,200 free miles a year.
OK, on closer investigation that figure is for sunny places such as Spain, so maybe about 12 miles in Great Britainland. But still. It’s clever. It’s progress.
As is the 800-volt battery tech, which means you can top up 62 miles of range in less than five minutes and recharge to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes.
How far does it go? There are two battery sizes, 58kWh and 73kWh, as well as rear-wheel drive or 4WD. The 73kWh RWD combo will do 298 miles non-stop.
For maximum thrust, the 73kWh 4WD version is 300hp and takes just 5.2 seconds to box off the 0-62mph sprint. But it won’t go as far.
As you’d expect, the cabin is thoroughly modern and spacious. It combines recycled materials with digital screens and head-up display.
The front seats recline and have pop-up foot-rests so you can recharge while the car recharges.
The flat floor and sliding centre console mean you can exit from either side — handy if parked in a tight spot. The rear seats slide backwards and forwards for more knee room or boot space.
Hyundai calls it a “smart living space”.
I wouldn’t go that far. But it looks cool and expensive — which, of course, it is, with prices expected to start around £37k.
At this point I should mention that Ioniq is the name of Hyundai’s new electric car family and the 5 will be followed by 6 in 2022 and 7 in 2024.
Even numbers for saloons and odd numbers for crossover/SUVs.
There will be lots more to come, each with their own individual design.
Now, let’s finish on the retro/modern exterior. This car was trailed by the 45 concept in 2019, 45 years after the Pony Coupe from 1974.
Hence the sharp 45-degree lines and a £45k price tag for the Project 45 launch edition.
Never mind. I knew this car would be special the moment I saw those pixel lights. Good job, Hyundai.
HYUNDAI IONIQ 5
0-62mph: 7.4 secs
Top speed: 115mph
Range: 298 miles
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