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A collage of 7 people who are involved in the documentary.
Sustainable mobility

Defying Convention: How Hyundai redefined the future of mobility with IONIQ

6 minute read

Here at Hyundai, we have always been explorers. Even in times when there was no set destination, we have learned how to forge our path towards a new concept of mobility. Over the years, that mindset has allowed us to grow into who we are today and led us to make IONIQ a multiple-award-winning electric line up. Today, a team of marketers, research engineers, and designers have come together to tell you more about how we took the IONIQ 5 from concept to the 2022 Best Car in the World.

Building progressive cars require a
progressive approach

In a recent campaign, motoring journalist and World Car Award juror Erin Baker drives the IONIQ 5 around London. She is one of the more than 100 jurors who picked this model as the best car in the world.

What sets the IONIQ 5 apart from the competition? According to the jury, it was its incomparable ability to combine bold, futuristic, and progressive exterior design with our innovative vision.

Yet, this isn’t a new approach for us. In fact, this is something we have prided ourselves on since the Pony, our first ever unique model, launched in 1974.

A profile photo of Erin Baker, one of the jurors who picked the IONIQ 5 as the Best Car in the World. She has cropped dark hair and is wearing a dark blue blazer, a white t-shirt and pearl earrings.

Seoul, 1974: The Pony

Until 1974, South Korea had only ever assembled cars, leaving us with no real reference for building and designing unique models of our own. However, our founder –Chung Ju-Yung – had a clear vision of what the Pony could embody for the automotive industry: The start of a whole new era.

Developed by a team of top-league engineers and the legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Pony quickly became the most popular car in South Korea, paving the way for our success in the automotive industry.

A line of 1974 Hyundai Pony cars and other cars from the 1970s  driving along a highway.

We can break through any obstacle with great willpower, once we make up our minds. – CHUNG JU-YUNG, FOUNDER OF HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP


A new vision: The IONIQ line-up

Carrying the bold spirit and design of the Pony, our IONIQ models are the result of years of research and development during which we have worked hard to understand and create the future of mobility.

Named after the combination of ION and UNIQUE, Hyundai’s new electric vehicle line up represents the brand’s ambition to develop innovative, sustainable, and attractive cars. After our success in Geneva in 2016, when we presented a new lifestyle vision centered on eco-friendly mobility, IONIQ became a line-up brand in 2022.

A silver IONIQ 5 driving along a highway at dusk with its white parametric pixel headlights on.
A green IONIQ 7 concept car driving along a wet road at sunset with its white parametric pixel headlights on.
The brand-new IONIQ 6 hatchback car driving along a highway with its white parametric pixel headlights on.

Our campaign was launched with the tagline “I’m in charge”, to show that IONIQ is here to empower people in their lives, whilst still being mindful of the impact their actions can have – KYUHUN SON, SENIOR MANAGER, BRAND STRATEGY TEAM

Changing the way we work

Creating the best car in the world doesn’t happen overnight. Everything from the interior and exterior design, to comfort, safety, tech, and reliability had to exceed expectations.

The process that led the IONIQ 5 to pick up multiple awards is emblematic of our innovative DNA here at Hyundai. With no benchmark for electric vehicles, our R&D Division had to restructure the way they worked so we could focus on building the future of mobility. It was only possible for us to reach our goal if all teams and departments aligned and worked towards the same direction.

To channel our research team’s desire for change into Hyundai’s innovative DNA, we had to first change the way we worked. - HEUI-WON YANG, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, HEAD OF TOTAL VEHICLE DEVELOPMENT TECH UNIT


Every detail required a great deal of attention, as the design had to fulfill a wide range of criteria. Even the often-overlooked elements such as the car sun-visors were redesigned, showing how every stage of the design process was crucial in setting the IONIQ 5 apart from the competition.

2 Hyundai employees – one man and one woman discussing something
4 Hyundai employees – one woman and three men working together and laughing.

We tried hard to develop an interior that reflects a cozy living room, breaking away from typical automotive design. – JIHYEON LEE, RESEARCH ENGINEER, HYUNDAI INTERIOR DESIGN TEAM 2


A young woman presenting something on a whiteboard. She is smiling, wearing a white t-shirt, and addressing a question from the audience.
A profile photo of one of the Hyundai engineers featured in the documentary. He is wearing a gray collarless shirt and glasses.
Hyundai’s E-GMP platform. It consists of 4 wheels and a white platform that sits at the base of the car.

The Power of the IONIQ 5

One of the most innovative parts of the IONIQ line up is the E-GMP – our dedicated platform for EVs. There were discussions within Hyundai about developing such a platform as far back as 2016 - before the development of the IONIQ 5 had even begun. At the time, our management team had noticed a trend in global vehicle development and decided that we should develop our own EV platform so we could lead the global vehicle industry in the field of EVs.

The E-GMP means that we can also offer a Vehicle-To-Load (V2L) feature which can be used to power appliances on the move. For example, IONIQ Ambassador and Environmentalist David de Rothschild used the V2L feature to capture more stories and shoot more photos without worrying about running out of power while driving around the hills surrounding Los Angeles.

After endless reviews and feasibility checks, finally, our first EV-dedicated platform, the E-GMP, was born. - HYUN IL KIM, SENIOR RESEARCH ENGINEER, INTEGRATION PACKAGE TEAM

Defying convention together

The journey towards the future of mobility has begun and Hyundai’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation is now clearer than ever. With more IONIQ models in the pipeline, such as IONIQ 6 and IONIQ 7, we are leading the way when it comes to defining what it means to “live electric” as our vehicles meet all needs. We are also working on next-generation robotics, Urban Air Mobility, PBVs, and electrified N models. Hyundai’s challenger DNA lives on and keeps inspiring us to rethink mobility and live our promise of pushing progress for humanity.

Rethinking mobility is not about just one decision, but rather about adopting an ever-evolving mindset.– JOSÉ MUÑOZ, GLOBAL PRESIDENT AND COO, HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY PRESIDENT AND CEO, HYUNDAI MOTOR NORTH AMERICA


Follow Hyundai (@hyundai ) on Instargram to find out more about how our all-electric IONIQ series of cars can power your life towards a more sustainable future.


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