LOS ANGELES – To the uninitiated and purposely dismissive, battery-electric vehicles are dull green machines unless one buys electrified luxury. Nothing could be further from the truth. And Hyundai, which has had to claw its way to credibility since the 1990s, is determined to outdo its longer-established rivals in the BEV world.
Already turning heads with the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, the South Korean automaker is showing the Ioniq 5 N at this week’s Los Angeles auto show. The hot hatch produces 601 hp in normal driving, and 641 hp when the cheekily named “N Grin Boost” mode is engaged. With the boost, the Ioniq 5 also generates 567 lb.-ft. (769 Nm) of torque. The standard Ioniq 5 produces 320 hp and 446 lb.-ft. (605 Nm) of torque.
Hyundai actually revealed the Ioniq 5 N earlier this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K., but some additional specs were revealed this week in Los Angeles, a market Hyundai figures to be fertile for sales.
Hyundai claims the hatchback will go 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.25 seconds. Top speed for the 4-door is 162 mph (261 km/h).
The battery onboard is 84 kWh and will charge at up to 238 kW on a fast charger. We can’t tell you how fast yet because Hyundai is holding back the final range of the car until closer to launch in March 2024.
As is expected these days, the colors available on the Ioniq 5 N will include two matte finishes: Performance Blue Matte and Ecotronic Gray Matte.
Ioniq 5 N is lower and wider than the standard all-wheel-drive Ioniq 5 and comes with bigger 21-in. wheels. Hyundai execs say engineers did that, combined with a modified adaptive suspension, to lower its center of gravity.
More LA Auto Show Highlights
The Los Angeles auto show has long been a chosen stage to unveil “greener” vehicles as California has been at the epicenter of hybrids and full-electric vehicle unveilings. Here are the major “reveals” this year:
Kia EV 3/EV 4: BEVs for Everyone
Ready or not, here they come. While there is a current slowdown in demand for EVs in the U.S., sales are still growing at a healthy clip, and Kia is upping its production plans to establish itself as a leading brand in electrification along with its cousin brand Hyundai.
The South Korean automaker, which shares its ownership, as well as technology, with Hyundai, is showing the EV3 (pictured, left) and EV4 concepts stateside for the first time. They are concepts in name only as both are expected to go into production for U.S. buyers in the near term, though an exact date has not been nailed down.
Both vehicles are built atop the global Hyundai-Kia E-GMP platform that is shared with the Hyundai Ioniq lines. The EV3 is a 4-door subcompact and EV4 is a liftback sports sedan. We are told to expect electric ranges of below 300 miles (483 km) on both.
Hyundai Santa Fe: Boxy is Beautiful
The ’24 Hyundai Santa Fe has been eating its Wheaties, including the box.
The new Santa Fe (pictured, below) has adopted some unmistakable Land Rover influences, even eliciting some memories of the out-of-production Jeep Commander. It is longer and slightly wider and has a standard third row of seating. Hyundai notes the “rectangular” surfacing of the new design. We agree on the description.
Powered by a standard 2.5L turbo 4-cyl. that produces 277 hp and 311 lb.-ft. (422 Nm) of torque, the engine is coupled to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The CUV also comes with an available hybrid powered by a 1.6L direct-injected, turbocharged 4-cyl. linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 232 hp and estimated torque of 271 lb.-ft. (367 Nm).
Hyundai also unveils a new XRT variant for those who want a sporty look and may want to drive off-road to a trailhead. This package features blacked-out roof rails and bodywork, as well as all-terrain 18-in. tires, an additional 1.5 in. (38 mm) of ground clearance and a tow package rated for 4,500 lbs. (2,041 kg).
Santa Fe goes on sale in March 2024, with the hybrid version following shortly after.
Prelude to a BEV?
Honda devotees remember the Prelude coupe with some fondness. The automaker dropped the Prelude Concept on the show floor without a lot of fanfare after recently revealing it at the Japan Mobility Show.
The Prelude Concept (pictured, left) is hailed as a hybrid, not a plug-in hybrid or BEV. Honda has made it clear that it sees some runway yet for hybrids to help mitigate the effects of carbon emissions before it goes into the deep end on BEVs.
Honda says it is monitoring the public and media response to the concept before making any firm commitments to producing it.
The Book on Genesis
Genesis, the promising and up-and-coming premium brand of Hyundai Group, is bringing out styling derivatives of its models just as much of the buying public is discovering it for the first time.
In the case of the GV80 Coupe (pictured, below) seen in LA this week, it has subtracted storage space in favor of styling that tapers and snugs the rear of the CUV compared with the standard model.
Along with turbocharged 2.5L 4-cyl. and 3.5L V-6 options shared with the GV80, GV80 Coupe gets a 415-hp version of the 3.5L V-6. The extra ponies come by way of an electronically controlled supercharger. Upgrades also include a 27-in. (69-cm) infotainment display.