The design statement Hyundai is making with the battery-electric Ioniq 6 is probably giving the Korean automaker the feedback it was after — healthy debate with plenty of support and few, if any, onlookers demanding the sedan be sent somewhere out of sight. Chief designer SangYup Lee — the man with his name on models like the 2010 Camaro, Bentley Bentayga, Hyundai Palisade and Ioniq 5, and Genesis Speedium Coupe — is already gung-ho on the possibilities of adding more variants. When Auto Express asked him if designers had thought about drawing a hatch instead of the Ioniq 6’s trunk, Lee said, “I can make a great hatchback out of that; a shooting brake.” AE took his statement as “suggesting that a more practical model is on the cards,” although it sounds to us like Lee is merely phrasing his boosterism to stress what’s possible, not probable.
Admittedly, Genesis does sell a G70 Shooting Brake in Europe. However, with the Electrified GV70 (which is battery-electric only, in fact) due here before the end of the year, it seems more likely there’d be an Electrified GV70 Shooting Brake if Europe shows an appetite for it, before an Ioniq 6 wagon.
Lee showed the same enthusiasm when asked about a sporty N version, telling AE the new EV “would also make a great performance model.” We know there’s an Ioniq 5 N coming in 2023, and that certainly won’t be the last battery-electric model the N branding lands on. Hyundai has its RM20e in the electric touring car championship, and said last year it “looks to build upon its success with N brand in e-performance possibly with electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.”
Perhaps the comments most likely to be reflected in the market soonest are Lee’s thoughts on how vehicles will be updated. By launching bold EV designs that could have longer staying power, an automaker might not need to focus so much on a cosmetic mid-cycle refresh, and instead concentrate on improving the vehicle through over-the-air updates. We know Tesla defies all sorts of legacy rules, but it’s the best example of this, constantly adding features instead of tweaking bumpers, colors, and lighting signatures. We’ll see if mainstream buyers would accept the change in philosophy, but the opportunity, according to Lee, is that, “Making a timeless EV makes lifecycle management much easier.”