Click to buy Hyundai's new EV

Hyundai enters a brave new era with online-only sales of its new Ioniq 5 electric vehicle.
Rear of the Hyundai Ioniq.

Buyers wanting to secure one of the first examples of Hyundai’s new Ioniq 5 electric vehicles (EVs) will need a good internet connection and a quick mouse hand to secure one, thanks to the Korean car maker embracing an online-only ordering system.

Hyundai has broken plenty of new ground with its new Ioniq 5 EV, including making it available only via an online ordering process, which it describes as a direct-to-customer model.

Priced from $71,900 to $75,900 (MLP) the Ioniq 5 is also Hyundai’s most expensive EV to date and among its most expensive vehicles overall, with only the large seven-seat Palisade Highlander CRDi exceeding its price point. 

A statement from Hyundai said: “The sales process has been chosen in light of unprecedented high demand for Ioniq 5 in Australia and limited initial supply.” 

The company said the new direct-to-customer sales model aimed to provide a fair allocation to customers across Australia.

Just 400 examples of the Ioniq 5 will be available to Australian consumers in 2021, with a group of 120 potential buyers – who had earlier placed deposits with dealers – given the first opportunity place their order when online ordering opens on 27 September.

Charging the Hyundai Ioniq.

Customers who had previously registered their interest in the vehicle will be able to order online on 12 October, ahead of the order books being opened to everyone on 13 October. 

The company said it had received an estimated 11,000 expressions of interest for the new model, so the initial allocation of 400 vehicles is going to leave many potential buyers frustrated.

“We’re going to be very much supply limited with the car for the foreseeable future,” said a Hyundai spokesman. 

First deliveries of the 2021 batch of 400 units begin in October, with the initial allocation to be delivered to customers through 10 delivery partners chosen from the Hyundai dealer network.

However, after-sales support and servicing will be provided by all 32 Hyundai BlueDrive dealerships across Australia.

Hyundai was quick to point out its new online sales process was unique to the Ioniq 5 and the rest of the Hyundai range – including the Kona and Ioniq EVs – would continue to be sold through the dealership network. 

Front seats of the new Hyundai Ioniq.

This was no doubt designed to avoid the sort of negative publicity that plagued Japanese car maker Honda when it moved to a similar direct sales model for all its vehicles earlier this year, forcing the controversial closure of many long-established Honda dealerships. 

The futuristic battery-electric medium SUV will initially be offered in a single highly equipped “launch variant” specification, with a choice of 2WD (rear) or AWD powertrains. 

Pricing starts from $71,900 (MRLP) for the rear-wheel-drive model, rising to $75,900 (MRLP) for the all-wheel-drive.  

Built on Hyundai’s dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), Hyundai said the new model made the most of the EV architecture’s design freedoms, with a progressive exterior design, said to be inspired by the mid-70s Hyundai Pony, and a spacious, flexible interior.

The latter features a so-called “Living Space” theme, utilising a versatile sliding island centre console that can be slid fore and aft by up 140mm.

Other features of the hi-tech cabin include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch multimedia navigation unit, featuring Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility and a BOSE eight-speaker premium audio system.

Steering wheel of the Hyundai Ioniq.

The leather appointed seats are trimmed in what Hyundai calls “sustainable eco-processed leather”, with the slimline front seats featuring 12-way power adjustment and something called a “Relaxion” (zero-gravity) mode, while the rear seats are two-way power-adjustable. 

Sustainable materials are used throughout the cabin, including in the seats, headliner, door trim, carpets, and armrests., according to Hyundai. 

This includes materials made from recycled PET bottles, plant-based (bio PET) yarns and natural wool yarns, as well as bio paint with plant extracts.

Elsewhere, other luxury features of the launch edition include a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a vision glass roof with power sunshade and a smart power tailgate.

Safety features extend to seven airbags, including a front-centre side airbag, and an extensive suite of SmartSense advanced active safety and driver assistance technologies. 

The exterior design is notable for its daytime running lights (DRLs), which provides a distinctive light signature that is mimicked at the rear of the vehicle. 

Inside the new Hyundai Ioniq.

Other exterior design features include a “clamshell” bonnet, designed to minimise panel gaps, striking aero-optimised 20-inch alloy wheels, and automatic power operated flush door handles.

Under its skin the Ioniq 5 features a high-voltage 72.6kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, driving either a single, rear-mounted electric motor (rear-wheel drive), or dual rear- and front-mounted electric motors (all-wheel drive). 

The single motor unit boasts outputs of 160kW/350Nm, while the dual motor model has combined outputs of 225kW and 605Nm. 

The EV boasts world-first ultra-fast 400V and 800V charging capacity, as well as vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which allows customers to charge electric devices, such as electric bicycles, scooters, camping equipment, or even another electric vehicle. 

Standard charging time from 10-80% is just over 6 hours on an AC household plug, about an hour on a 50kW DC fast charger, or a brisk 17 minutes on a 350KW ultra-fast charger.
Consuming 17.9 and 19.0 kWh/100km respectively, the electric range (WLTP) of the 2WD single motor is 451km, while the dual-motor all-wheel-drive is 430km.

Top speed is 186km/h for both models, with the 2WD covering the 0-100km/h spring in 7.4 seconds and the dual motor in a rapid 5.2 seconds.

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