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Hyundai Koniq Electric CUV Rendering Looks Like Ioniq 5's Evil Bigger Brother
You may not like the exterior design of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 - after all, these things are profoundly subjective, aren't they? - but you have to admit it's a bit of a game-changer.

Hyundai Koniq Electric CUV Rendering Looks Like Ioniq 5's Evil Bigger Brother

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In fact, I'd be willing to bet that people would have acknowledged the disruptiveness of its appearance a lot more had Tesla not previewed the Cybertruck a little while ahead and set the bar a lot higher in terms of weirdness in the process. However, unlike the electric pickup that keeps getting pushed back (at the moment, it's 2023, but no further than a couple of months ago, it was 2022, so...), the IONIQ 5 is very much a real car that you can buy.

It would be a shame for Hyundai's bold move to stop here, and French designer Alexis Poncelet (currently employed by Volkswagen, ironically enough) seems to agree with that thought as he's come up with perhaps the most logical continuation for the South Korean BEV: an all-electric SUV.

The IONIQ 5 is actually a pretty deceiving piece of design. By now, pretty much everyone knows it's the size of a compact crossover, but when the first pictures started to circulate online, we all thought we were looking at nothing more than a hatchback.

That means the virtual KONIQ is only a step or two higher on the food chain than its very real sibling, and I get the feeling those big wheels and aggressive tires are partly the reason why I even mentioned the second step because, in terms of size, it doesn't look like you could easily squeeze another model between these two. However, the IONIQ 5 already proved just how deceiving images can be when it comes to estimating a vehicle's size, so I might have just wasted this entire paragraph blabbing on about something completely irrelevant...

The author views the Koniq as a vehicle that "would bridge an urban use and rugged attitude," which is basically the same thing that so many other companies have been doing with their SUVs over the past years - disguising family cars behind an off-roady, outdoorsy appearance. The KONIQ, however, would have two things going for it: its all-electric powertrain (still not that widely available in this segment, despite what some might tell you) and arguably (just for the sake of it because we all know it's true) the best exterior design on the market.

With the IONIQ 5, Hyundai has proven it's up there with the best of what the legacy carmakers have to offer in terms of EV performance and efficiency, which means the company could only move things forward with the KONIQ, ensuring it would remain competitive with the rest of the market. With that part covered, all that remains is the design.

This is where Alexis' touch really shines as he manages to capture the essence of what makes the IONIQ 5 so great, but also put enough spin on it to make the KONIQ seem a lot more than just a slightly modified copy of the existing EV.

The key features of Hyundai's remarkable hatchback/crossover hybrid are all there to be seen (the V-shaped taillight and headlight area, the menacing look of the optic blocks, the matrix-like pattern, the clean surfaces as well as the silver finish - the IONIQ 5 does come in other colors, but it's this one that springs to everyone's mind when thinking about the car), but they all receive just the slightest twist to make everything feel fresh.

If there's one thing, in particular, I like about the KONIQ is the absence of that crease that goes diagonally across the IONIQ 5's side. Without it, the CUV just gets a much more elegant look, but the clean surfaces also help to build up its utilitarian credentials.

The more I look at the KONIQ, the more obvious it becomes why this design is so easy on the eye. Alexis actually used an old trick (well, as old as electric crossovers, so not exactly that old) to make the CUV seem something it's not, but he did it very efficiently. By making the bottom part of the vehicle black, the designer successfully gave the EV a much leaner appearance - to the point where, if you squint your eyes, you might be forgiven for thinking this was a station wagon on stilts.

A nice touch brought forward by Alexis in his design that I think is worth talking about is the "gullwing" opening of the front cargo space (also known as frunk). The idea came from Hyundai's split front bumper on the IONIQ 5, a feature that's purely aesthetic on the EV but has a bit more implications once transposed to the hood opening.

There's no question it looks cool, but is it really useful? My answer would be "no," with the caveat that it could prove beneficial in some situations as long as there would be an option to open it the old-fashioned way as well. The thing is, a split opening also means a split storage space, which prevents slotting slightly larger objects in there. In almost every situation I can imagine, one big storage area is better than two smaller ones.

If designers are looking for ways to improve the usability of a frunk, they need to look no further than Ford's solution for the upcoming F-150 Lightning. OK, so it may be virtually impossible to load something from the side, but if I'm looking to put something heavy in there, I'd rather take two more steps to get in front and just slide the thing in than to have to lift it over a tall lip.

Anyway, you know you're looking at something special when you spend this long criticizing the way the frunk opens just because you have nothing else to pick on.

 
 
 
 
 

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