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Game-changing new Hyundai Ioniq 5 takes the fight to the Tesla Model 3

Stunning retro looks, a near-300 mile range, and super-fast battery charging - there’s a whole lot to love about the newly-unveiled Hyundai Ioniq 5.

And when a fully-electric vehicle has got this much going for it, you can bet it’s got the Tesla Model 3 worried.

It’s fair to say this car has taken a few people by surprise

The current range of ‘Ioniq’ badged Hyundais - including the ‘Hybrid’, ‘Plug-in’ and ‘Electric’ - play it fairly safe, particularly in terms of the styling. The Electric, for example, has a modest range of 193 miles and sacrifices performance for comfort and practicality.

The new compact crossover Ioniq 5, however, appears to have well and truly ripped up that particular rule book.

Hyundai itself admits the design ‘represents a departure from past norms’ - and what a design it is. The looks are actually based on the old Hyundai Pony, a hatchback that ran from 1975-1990 and represented the firm’s first ever UK model.

With the Ioniq there’s a ‘clamshell’ hood, unique daytime running lights that include small, pixel-like clusters at the rear, as well as auto-flush door handles and super-sized 20-inch alloys - the largest rims ever fitted to a Hyundai EV.

Step inside the cabin and it’s as impressive as any Tesla, replete with a movable centre console - called the ‘Universal Island’ - so you can optimise space, as well a pair of 12.5 inch infotainment screens, Augmented Reality Head-Up Display (AR HUD), which essentially turns the windscreen into a display screen, as well as a high-end Bose audio system.

Tech wise, there’s a raft of driver assistance gadgets, including Highway Driving Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

An interior that’s crammed with recycling material - including plant-based yarns and bio paint - will do little to hurt your eco credentials either.

But perhaps most important is what’s powering the Ioniq 5.

You’ll be able to enjoy the Ioniq 5 as either a single motor, rear-wheel drive car, or as a dual motor, all-wheel drive version. There’s also a choice between either a 58kWh or 72.6kWh battery.

The biggest battery, combined with all-wheel drive, delivers a power output of 225-kWh (around 300 hp) as well as 605 Nm of torque.

That equates to a blistering 0-62mph time of just 5.2 seconds.

And when equipped with two-wheel drive and a 72.6-kWh battery, the Ioniq 5 has a maximum driving range on a single charge of up to 298 miles. That’s more than the standard Model 3’s range, but can’t match the 353 miles ‘Long Range’ Teslas can manage.

Crucially, the EV platform of the Ioniq offers super-fast 800-V charging capability as standard, along with 400-V charging, without the need for additional components or adapters.

With a 350-kW charger, the new Hyundai can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes - and after just five minutes you’ll have enough juice to drive 62 miles.

What’s more, the Ioniq 5 also comes with what Hyundai is calling a ‘Vehicle to Load’, or ‘V2L’ function, which means you can actually charge high-power electric equipment - and that includes another electric car - via a nifty port located under the second-row seats.

Combine all of that with a family-friendly 531 litre boot and we appear to have ourselves a winner.

The Ioniq 5 will be available in the UK by mid 2021, with the first cars available to order being fully-loaded ‘Project 45’ models, costing from £45,000, including the Plug In Car Grant.

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Monday, 04/10/2021