Isn’t electric car jargon ugly? Previously we could salivate over horsepower, torque, injectors and manifolds. Now we’re stuck with miles per kWh and charging socket numberjumbles.
One of the terms you’ll see us regularly lauding is the ‘bespoke EV’ or ‘ground-up electric car’. That’s a car designed to only ever be electric (like a Honda e, Mustang Mach-E or any Tesla) as opposed to say, a Vauxhall Corsa-e. Stuff that’s born electric rather than retrofitted with batteries generally tends to be better sussed out.
This is why the Ioniq 5 is exciting long after you’ve drunk in its retro-angular shape. After all, we’re merely talking about a 5dr, five-seat Korean hatchback here. But because it lives on Hyundai’s all-new, EV-only platform, it presses home many advantages.
There’s a mighty three metres of tin between the axles. So, adults can sit behind adults in an easy-to-park box. The batteries – choose from a regular 54kWh or supersized 72kWh – are posted beneath your feet. Ideal for the centre of gravity, though don’t mistake this for a sporty car. You assume the commanding driving position of an SUV, with none of the fake off-road pretentiousness.
Said platform allows a totally flat floor, so the interior can morph to your whim. The centre console slides fully forward, while both front chairs have built-in footrests and recline almost bed-flat.
Welcome to the virtuous circle of not having to package an engine, gearbox or exhaust. Did I mention the boot’s massive and there’s stowage for your mucky charging cable under its base?
A generous family car, then. And yet Hyundai’s been brave enough not to wrap it in an unassuming body. The Ioniq 5 looks like an Eighties hot hatch that’s been beamed into the future. It’s head-turningly bold and peppered with talking point details. Those wheelarch strakes. The robot dot-matrix tail-lights. The solar roof.
Inside, twin 12.3in screens are bookended with a magnetic panel you can pin receipts, notes or perhaps family photos onto. The seats could’ve come from something French in the Seventies – all comfort, and forget the cornering.
It looks and feels like a machine designed for driving in the 21st century as it actually is, not as we wish it was. Roomy, relaxing, and right-sized. Some common sense, among the jargon.
For the full list of TopGear.com’s 2021 Electric Awards winners, click here
TopGear.com Electric Awards sponsored by Hankook