we boarded the #1 rival to the Tesla Model 3

A few weeks before the marketing, we were able to discover and board one of the most anticipated vehicles of 2023. The Ioniq 6, announced rival to the Tesla Model 3, finally shows itself!

It is undoubtedly the most serious rival of the Model 3the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the new sedan from the Korean manufacturer. An actor who stood out with two of the most successful electric vehicles of recent years. Indeed, the Kona and the Ioniq 5 are two SUVs that are often at the top of recommendations when it comes to electric driving. The newcomer, the Ioniq 6, has at least as much ambition, but focuses on a different segment, that of sedans over which Tesla has almost absolute mastery with its Model 3.

Hyundai’s arrival on this ground could well be a game-changer, as the Ioniq 6 has strong arguments to challenge Tesla’s dominance. A few weeks before the official launch, the Ioniq 6 made a detour to Paris. We didn’t need more to take a closer look and especially to let you discover it.

Design: style, appearance and Cx

The design of the Ioniq 6 is very much inspired by the Prophecy concept car that Hyundai unveiled in 2020. It is a large sedan of almost 5 m with fine features that relies heavily on its aerodynamics. Hyundai engineers have indeed succeeded in significantly reducing the drag coefficient. Its Cx is only 0.21 making it one of the best production vehicles at this point. What this value implies is clearly greater efficiency. This obsession with reducing power consumption is also present on other aspects of the Ioniq 6, such as the camera mirrors. These are more impressive than those of the Audi e-tron, but their integration is more successful, we will come back to this.

From this first real encounter with the Ioniq 6 we will keep an impression that is certainly less sporty than what the official photos suggested, but far from unpleasant. On the contrary, with its Mercedes CLS-like profile and aubergine color, the Hyundai sedan surprised us with its class. Finally, not to mention our favorite for the rear of the Ioniq 6. With its double duck-tail spoiler and the pixelated optics across the entire width of the vehicle, this Ioniq 6 is almost more beautiful from behind than from face .

Interior: Tesla in the rear-view mirror?

Although many images of the Ioniq 6 have been in circulation since this summer, relatively few images focus on the interior of the car. So we were in a hurry to get on board. The first impression once on board is that of a very spacious car, both in the front and in the back.

Several elements catch the eye, starting with a double screen consisting of two 12-inch panels. If the whole thing is sober and pleasant, it should be noted that there is no new software. The bone of the ioniq 6 is the same as that of the ioniq 5. In contrast, the floating center console is no longer removable, but is full of storage space and seems very well integrated into the whole.

The third element not to be missed are the two extra screens on either side of the dashboard. They reflect what the camera mirrors capture. These are very legible and above all much better placed than those of the Audi e-tron which forced the driver to change his checking habits. At Hyundai it will probably take time to adapt, new technology will require, but the fact that the screens are in the trajectory of conventional mirrors will make the transition period easier.

Finally, it is worth taking a moment to consider the interior lighting work carried out by Hyundai. The lighting conditions in the studio our Ioniq 6 was housed in didn’t allow us to play around with the customization options enough, but they seem to be numerous and the cabin is in a way full of ambient LEDs Ambilight.

Performance: Not as powerful, but more versatile?

It’s not enough to launch a fancy electric sedan to shake the Model 3. To be a worthy opponent, Hyundai must also take care of the performance of its Ioniq 6. It is of course too early to tell you about its path. behavior, but fortunately the technical sheet gives an overview of the performance.
Hyundai will offer three power levels for its sedan: 170 hp, 218 hp and even a four-wheel drive version of 306 hp (605 Nm).

It is undoubtedly at this point that the Ioniq appears to be the most withdrawn compared to the Model 3. Indeed, in its most economical configuration, the Korean sedan cuts 0 to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds. At Tesla, depending on the Model 3’s finish level, this exercise is completed in between 3.1 and 6.1 seconds.

But of course, only a road test will tell where the Ioniq stands in terms of sensations compared to the Californian.

Autonomy: stronger than the Model 3!

The Ioniq 6 benefits from the same E-GMP architecture as the brand’s latest SUV, the Ioniq 5. It is an 800 V platform that allows the car to accept a record payload. Hyundai simply announces 350 kW in fast charging. As for the SUV, two battery levels are available, 53 kWh or 77.4 kWh, but the autonomy is much greater than that of the Ioniq 5. Indeed, in its best equipped version, the sedan has 614 km of autonomy, ie 100 km. more than the Ioniq 5 and a dozen more than the Model 3. This is significant and especially surprising because this significant gain is due solely to the aerodynamics of the car, in other words its Cd of 0.21.

Given the architecture of the beast, the charging times are very fast. In DC combo, it takes just 18 minutes to go from 10 to 80% battery, meaning the Ioniq 6 has the ideal profile of an electric street car. With 150 kW and 250 kW charge lockout depending on the model, the Model 3 cannot compete on this point, even if it can rely on a dense and efficient network of Superchargers.

How much will the Ioniq 6 cost?

The last unknown concerns the price. This is not yet official, but is estimated at around 50,000 euros, perhaps less expensive than the Model 3, which currently sells for at least 53,490 euros. Indeed, insofar as the Ioniq 6 is more or less a sedan version of the Ioniq 5, the production costs do not differ appreciably. As a result, the marketing price should follow that of the electric SUV.

This status of direct competitor is therefore confirmed for Hyundai. Given what we were able to discover on board this Ioniq 6, the duel promises to be exciting. More than a major rival, the Ioniq 6 should establish itself as the first electric sedan from a generalist manufacturer able to pick up Tesla at his favorite terrain. If we tell you that the competition promises to be tight… To get a more complete overview of the capabilities of Hyundai’s electric sedan, we will unfortunately have to wait until early 2023, the date of its marketing and thus of our future test.