Barely a week after showing off a concept version of its next all-electric model, the Ioniq 6, Hyundai is teasing what will be its biggest BEV, the Ioniq 7.
At the same time, the automaker is signaling it may also take the new Ioniq sub-brand down market, with smaller cars and crossovers, including a possible replacement for the current Kona EV.
That would fit into the broader electrification strategy the South Korean carmaker has laid out in recent months, with a broad mix of battery and fuel-cell powered products. Hyundai promises to have 10 electrified models in its U.S. line-up by next year, though that will include conventional and plug-in hybrids, as well as BEVs and FCVs.
A growing EV family
A number of hybrids are already available, including both conventional and plug-in versions of the latest Elantra sedan. The all-electric Kona soon will get company in Hyundai showrooms as the compact Ioniq 5 goes on sale this autumn.
It was supposed to be followed, in short order, by the larger Ioniq 6, but that model’s launch was pushed back. Several factors appear to be behind the delay, including a decision to increase the electric SUV’s range. A near-production version finally made its debut at the Munich Motor Show earlier this month.
It will be followed in 2024 by the Ioniq 7, the big SUV set to become the flagship for electric sub-brand. A new teaser image appears to show what’s coming, though Hyundai referred to the Palisade-sized SUV only as an “Ioniq large SUV.” But it previously said a large SUV would cap the Ioniq range.
Like the Ioniq 5 and 6 models, the Ioniq 7 will be underpinned by Hyundai Motor Group’s flexible E-GMP platform — the same, skateboard-like architecture to anchor Kia and Genesis BEVs.
The size and likely mass — and the public’s demand for increasing range — would suggest a large battery pack and, according to a report on the Korean Car Blog, the Ioniq 7 will have a capacity of at least 100 kilowatt-hours. That is expected to give it about 300 miles between charges.
The report suggests the big SUV will make about 304 horsepower. Other sources, meanwhile, believe the Ioniq 7 will be offered with a choice of battery pack sizes and multiple powertrain layouts. That could include single or twin motors, the latter yielding all-wheel drive.
The SUV also will continue the evolution of the new Ioniq series’ design language. The Ioniq 5 hews close to what we see with current Hyundai SUVs. The Ioniq 6 sedan gets a little more radical, picking up the styling cues of the Hyundai Prophecy concept. Ioniq 7, at least based on these teasers and earlier renderings, goes much further. If the look holds in production, it will feature a bold, vertical face, albeit with a solid front fascia eliminating the grille found on gas-powered Hyundai SUVs.
It also would be reasonable to expect a high-tech interior with lots of screens and few conventional knobs and switches, at least if Ioniq 5 and the Ioniq 6 concept are any indication. It also is expected to get the latest update of Hyundai’s semi-autonomous Highway Driving Pilot technology.
Big, bigger, biggest?
The carmaker’s initial focus on big, bigger, biggest BEVs has left some wondering what might follow and, clearly, there is numeric room beneath the initial Ioniq 5.
“It would make sense to extend all the benefits associated with the E-GMP platform to smaller vehicles,” Thomas Schemera, Hyundai’s global marketing chief, told Automotive News Europe. “I would vote for such a project,” Schemera said during an interview at the Munich auto show.
While he declined to confirm whether the current Kona EV could show up with an Ioniq badge when it’s time for a replacement, Schemera added, “It seems to be likely.”
The Kona EV has proven quite popular, especially in Europe, but it relies on a modified version of the gas-powered SUV. Switching to the E-GMP platform would allow for a bigger battery pack — and better range — while also letting the product development team expand the cabin into space currently used for a conventional drivetrain.
During his interview, Schemera also suggested Hyundai may be looking at ways to drive down the cost of an entry-level European EV to less than 20,000 euros, or under $27,000. He didn’t indicate how or when such a model might be introduced — nor what sacrifices, such as range, would be needed to get there.