Back in 2015, Hyundai surprised the motoring world when they announced that the Genesis name will be relaunched as its luxury brand. Five years since and Genesis (the brand) now offers the G70, G80, and G90 sedans, as well as the all-new GV80 luxury crossover. Clearly, the gamble worked in their favor as sales of Genesis are on the rise not just in Korea, but in the US as well. More importantly, however, Hyundai was able to establish itself as a premier luxury automaker that can compete against brands like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and the like.
Now, Hyundai is on the same path once again. This time around, they are gambling on the electric vehicle market. Like the Genesis name, the automaker has announced that the Ioniq name will now serve as a sub-brand for their upcoming zero-emissions vehicles.
Before, the Ioniq name was synonymous with the brand's sleek electrified four-door. It was available as a plug-in hybrid, hybrid-electric, as well as a fully-electric battery-powered vehicle. But with market trends pushing towards more electrification and zero-emissions vehicles, Hyundai decided now was the right time to repurpose the Ioniq name.
There will be a total of three models available from Hyundai's new EV brand – Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6, and Ioniq 7. The first that will be launched will be Ioniq 5 which will be a midsize crossover due to be released in early 2021. Ioniq 5 will be heavily based on the 45 Concept which debuted during the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. It pays homage to Hyundai's first-ever concept introduced 45 years ago and features an angular shape.
Come 2022, the Ioniq 6 will be revealed and will be based on the Prophecy concept. The Ioniq 6 will serve as the company's first-ever electric sedan. Last but not least is the Ioniq 7, a large SUV that is set to be launched in 2024 and will feature an 'aerodynamic silhouette' as claimed by the brand.
All three electric vehicles will be underpinned by the company's E-GMP platform. Short for Electric Global Modular Platform, Hyundai states that this will enable fast charging capability, as well as a generous driving range. In addition, E-GMP will allow the designers what they call a 'smart living space' in each model. Moreover, features such as highly-adjustable seats, wireless connectivity, and drawers could mean that the Ioniq cars will have a more lounge-like cabin.
With the company looking to sell around 1 million units of battery-electric vehicles by 2025 under Hyundai's Strategy 2025, Hyundai wants to be the third's largest automaker of eco-friendly vehicles in five years' time.
Can Hyundai's new Ioniq brand pull it off? Well, with the market already familiar with the Ioniq name since 2016, Hyundai's gamble to rename all of its future EVs under the new brand may actually help the company. The only question now is, will people actually get into it? Looks like we'll all just have to see if they'll be able to draw more buyers into EVs.