Take a look at the jaw-dropping new Hyundai Ioniq 6 - a battery-powered saloon that’s being billed as an ‘electrified streamliner’.
So, what is a ‘streamliner’ exactly, anyway?
It’s a term that refers to a style of coachbuilding that came to prominence in the 1930s, and a label that was typically slapped on ultra-aerodynamic trains and planes.
Think of famous sculpted locomotives like the Mallard and the Union Pacific, or the Lockheed Vega 5B plane flown by female aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.
The streamliner trend then got adopted by the car manufacturing industry, as they wanted to build vehicles that could slice through the air with ease, thus making them quicker and more efficient.
When it comes to iconic ‘streamliner’ cars, you might look to the Volkswagen Beetle or the Citroen DS as decent examples.
And now Hyundai is bringing the streamliner back - in the form of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 fastback, which comes complete with a striking ‘boat-tail’. It’s due to launch in 2023.
Hyundai hasn’t yet revealed what will power the Ioniq 6 though it’ll likely have the same ‘Electric Global Modular Platform’, or ‘E-GMP’, underpinnings as the Ioniq 5.
That means a 77.4kWh battery and a range in excess of 300 miles between charges.
For now, until further details are made public, Hyundai is waxing lyrical about the way the Ioniq 6 looks, saying it boasts a ‘timeless design’ and the lowest ‘drag-coefficient’ - ie, the least amount of resistance in the air when it’s on the move - that the firm has ever created.
A Hyundai spokesperson says:
“Ioniq 6 is an electrified streamliner that realises the idea of Emotional Efficiency by simultaneously satisfying the customer’s aesthetic and functional needs. The aerodynamically sculpted silhouette with simple yet sensuous curves offer a new typology for the EV mobility era.”
There’s a low nose, active air flaps at the front, wheel gap reduces, slim digital side mirrors, and a rear-end that apes the shape of an aeroplane wing.
The undercarriage is also fully-covered, making it even more aerodynamic.
The interior should be more than plush, with Hyundai saying it has designed a ‘mindful personal space on wheels’.
A flat floor in the cabin, and a ‘stretched’ interior, has created bags of legroom while there’s a 12-inch full-touch infotainment display and 12-inch digital cluster.
You can also expect sophisticated ambient lighting as well as a liberal use of recycled materials throughout.
SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Design Centre, adds:
“The distinctive streamlined design is the result of close cooperation between engineers and designers, with obsessive attention to detail and customer-centric values at the core. We have created the IONIQ 6 as a mindful cocoon that offers personalised place for all."
While the styling is a real departure from the sharper, more angular Ioniq 5, if the Ioniq 6 is anywhere near as capable as the ‘5’ it’ll be another winner for Hyundai. After all, the Ioniq 5 has won a clutch of industry awards, including the coveted ‘World Car of the Year 2022’ gong at the World Car Awards.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 also comes after Volkswagen revealed details of its own sleek electric saloon - the VW ID. Aero - earlier this week.
You can expect those two cars to face-off against each other when they hit the roads next year.
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