The Hyundai Ione: Is This Hyundai's New Mystery Model?

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Latest trademark filing deviates from the Ioniq brand's new naming convention.

Long before automakers reveal new models or share glitzy press releases with the world's motoring media, trademark filings often give us our first genuine clues that something interesting is brewing. Although a lot of guesswork is involved, our assumptions often prove correct.

Last year, Honda filed a trademark for the TrailSport name; this obviously hinted at a more rugged Honda and that was exactly he case when the Passport TrailSport debuted last year. We've seen much the same with the Bronco following the Warthog trademark and with Hyundai after the Palisade trademark was filed.

Speaking of Hyundai, it has just filed a new trademark for the name Ione (ione with an i, not lone), but what is it? Filed via Argentina's National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), the Ione trademark was filed under the category that includes vehicles, passenger cars, vans, and trucks.

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It's safe to assume that this is a new vehicle, but it's not clear where it would fit in. Obviously, Ione has an 'Ioniq' ring to it, so perhaps this is a new EV that will join the Korean's range. However, what's perplexing about this is that Hyundai's new-generation EVs were all expected to adopt the Ioniq name. We already have the Ioniq 5 hatchback-masquerading-as-a-crossover and the upcoming Ioniq 6, a sleek midsize sedan. A larger Ioniq 7 midsize crossover is also on the horizon.

By 2030, Hyundai is set to introduce 11 new EVs including three sedans, six SUVs, one light commercial vehicle, and another car that the brand cryptically referred to as a "new type model" last month. The Ione name could potentially apply to any one of these 11 EVs, but perhaps the "new type model" is the one that will break from the new Ioniq 5/6/7 alpha-numeric naming convention and get its own name.

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This vehicle is likely to enter a segment Hyundai doesn't currently compete in, so the Ione could be anything from an electric pickup to rival the Ford F-150 Lightning to a sleek sports car. Another exciting possibility is the i-oniq EV concept revealed by Hyundai in 2012. An electric sports hatchback with a ravishing design, it would fit the brief of being a "new type model" perfectly. We already know how good Hyundai's ICE, N-badged hot hatches are, so something that looks as good as the i-oniq and is as blisteringly quick as the RM20e prototype would be sensational. If we could pick a car to take the Ione name, that would be it. We'll have to wait and see what Hyundai has up its sleeve when more details of the Ione emerge.

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