You'll never guess what they made with all the spare parts.
Hyundai is starting to build a reputation for being wildly innovative across all parts of its massive enterprise. It recently launched a showroom in the metaverse, established the most insane dealership for Genesis we've ever seen, and continues to invest in hydrogen technology.
The South Korean brand even takes a different approach to getting rid of pre-production cars. These cars can't be sold, so they're usually crushed or written off by journalists at vehicle launches. Even though it's safer to destroy said prototypes, one can't help but feel sorry for a car that had a callous life. A more dignified exit is the way to go.
This is precisely what Hyundai did with one pre-production Ioniq 5.
As you can see in the "Rebirth" video above, Hyundai challenged a team of engineers to strip an Ioniq 5 down to the last bolt. They then had to create something out of the parts, which is also a statement. Recycling EVs is a particularly tough task, but this shows that it can be done, albeit in a massively oversimplified way.
This particular prototype was used for NVH testing on a proving ground, wind tunnel noise testing, NVH evaluation, AVAS regulation, and pass-by noise regulation tests.
The speed at which these guys took it apart is impressive. For some reason, it's also highly satisfying watching a car come apart like this.
So, what did the engineers come up with? We'd build a stripped-down EV racer with just a steering wheel, and a single seat bolted to the electric skateboard if it were us. Thankfully, these guys are more responsible and made something you'd never have expected: An air purifier.
What surprises us most is that it doesn't look like some quick hatchet job. The result looks like something that also spent years in a development cycle. The alloy on top is also a nice touch, not to mention the LED taillight indicating how much battery power the unit has left.
The engineers used the Ioniq's cooling fan, cabin filter, and all of the parts mentioned above to make it work. It's likely the world's most expensive air purifier ever, but it is a thing of beauty.