The exterior of the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 6 has brought mixed reactions from potential buyers. Some think it's rather good looking, while others have strong feelings against. Hyundai likely knew this during the design phases of development, but chose to move ahead with the car as you see it for one very good reason: aerodynamic efficiency.
Hyundai's focus on efficiency and range has resulted in the "single-curved aerodynamic profile" and makes the IONIQ 6 the slipperiest vehicle from the brand ever.
“Continually improving the efficiency of our vehicles is always a top priority for our development teams,” said Olabisi Boyle, vice president, product planning and mobility strategy, Hyundai Motor North America. “Instead of just adding a larger battery to increase the range, we chose to optimize IONIQ 6’s aerodynamic performance and its Electric-Global Modular Platform for efficiency to produce these long driving ranges.”
The IONIQ 6’s ultra-low drag coefficient of 0.22 is achieved through a number of factors including a low nose, active air flaps, wheel gap reducers, elliptical wing-inspired spoiler with winglet, slight boattail structure, separation traps on both sides of the rear bumper, full underbody cover, and deflectors and reduced wheel-arch gaps. In their home market of Korea where cameras are allowed instead of side mirrors, Hyundai says they are able to achieve a CoD .21 however, here in the US side view mirrors are required.
You may ask, "why make a car that is so focused on aerodynamic efficiency? What difference does it make?" The big reason: range.
As a result of being so aerodynamically efficient, the IONIQ 6 maximizes the use of the 77.4-kWh battery pack to achieve a range of up to 361 miles (EPA-estimated). That's enough for the sedan to just beat the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD, which has a 358 mile EPA-estimated range, and much more than it's sibling the IONIQ 5 SUV which tops out at 303 miles.
It is worth pointing out how much of a difference wheel choice makes in the official range and efficiency ratings. While the 361 miles is achieved with the 18-inch wheels, choosing the larger 20-inch wheels drops the rated range by 56 to 305 miles. That's still pretty good, but 56 miles lost isn't insignificant.
It's also worth noting that the IONIQ 6’s 140 combined MPGe rating matches two Lucid Air models that are at the top of Fueleconomy.gov’s 2023 Top Ten Vehicles list. That's quite an accomplishment.
Hyundai IONIQ 6 EPA-estimated Range Figures
It would seem that regardless of which trim level is chosen, the IONIQ 6 is going to drive quite a long way before needing to be plugged in, something that non-EV owners have claimed has been a roadblock in their decision-making process. Perhaps these range figures will have more people considering an EV for their next vehicle.
Source: Hyundai USA