Hyundai Caught Testing Ioniq 5 XRT and Ioniq 9 in the US


Hyundai’s electric onslaught is in full swing. Having given the Ioniq 5 a nip and tuck, the Korean brand is preparing to extend the lineup with a rugged-looking XRT trim. It’s now been spotted in the United States where the larger Ioniq 9 is under final testing as well. The latter is a three-row SUV, which apparently won’t be called Ioniq 7 as originally intended.

The Ioniq 5 won’t be Hyundai’s first model to get the XRT treatment, but the trim level will make its debut on an EV. Already available for Santa Cruz, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Palisade, the XRT is essentially an appearance package. Don’t expect real off-road upgrades since it’ll mostly be about black accents, new wheels, and possibly those chunky tires as well. We wouldn’t hold our breath for a lifted suspension or any other mechanical upgrades for that matter.

The Ioniq 5 should arrive for the 2025 model year alongside the already available high-performance N model. Logic tells us the US-spec variant will inherit the updates we saw on the global model, which also spawned an all-show-without-extra-go N Line. Hyundai tweaked the bumpers and grille, along with adding a rear wiper and a few more buttons inside.

The Ioniq 9 will essentially be Hyundai’s equivalent of the Kia EV9, with room for six passengers. Speaking of how many people it can seat, the Concept Seven introduced in November 2021 was a preview of the brand’s biggest electric vehicle to date. The name change will leave room for a smaller Ioniq 7 that could arrive further down the line.

While the concept (pictured below) did away with B pillars, the subsequent production model will add them back. In addition, the sliding rear doors will make way for a conventional setup. The most striking angle of the Concept Seven was its rear with a massive glass tailgate but that seems to be going away as well. The cutout in the camouflage for the license plate indicates the glass no longer extends all the way down.

How big is it? Well, the Kia EV9 stretches 197.2 inches long. Hyundai didn’t reveal the Concept Seven’s overall length, but it did say it had a massive wheelbase of 126 inches. That’s a full four inches longer than the distance between the EV9’s axles. It should translate into an even more spacious cabin, especially for third-row occupants. Looking at the prototype’s profile, we notice the roofline gently slopes toward the rear whereas on the Kia it’s pretty much flat. The arched-back silhouette could eat into headroom and cargo volume.

Both the Ioniq 5 XRT and Ioniq 9 are expected to premiere later this year. Automotive News reports US sales of the three-row SUV won’t start until mid-2025.

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