Under the Hyundai Mobis brand, the South Korean manufacturer demonstrates to the world how wild a modified Ioniq 5's steering systems can become.
Even though the Ioniq 5 was named our 2023 SUV of the Year, it could use something similar to the rugged GMC Hummer EV SUV's "crab mode" to be more SUV-like. The GMC is crab-walked at odd angles thanks to that four-wheel steering trick, which allows all four tires to point in the same direction. We are aware that comparing the Hyundai to a Hummer might sound absurd, but maybe not. The two electric SUVs would share a lot more features if Hyundai could incorporate the e-Cornering System from Hyundai Mobis into the frame of an Ioniq 5.
The system is intended to be utilized in the autonomous people movers Hyundai Mobis M.Vision TO and HI, although you probably won't see that for a while. In addition, Hyundai Mobis provided a more in-depth look at the one-of-a-kind steering setup during CES 2023. The e-Cornering System, which can be found on the M.Vision To, uses a brand-new motor, steering, and suspension package to spin and pivot the vehicle in place. This puts GMC's Crab Mode hardware to shame.
The e-Cornering System is a complete system with its own suspension, steering servo, and electric motor that can be bolted to each vehicle corner. The stock drive axles would not work with this extreme of a steering setup, whereas the standard Ioniq 5 uses two motors for its AWD system—one for the front and one for the rear. Certainly not at full opposite lock, as you can see here, where the tires on the front and rear practically point in the same direction.
The Ioniq 5 test vehicle is able to drive diagonally, pivot in place, and even pull off a true zero-degree turn without having to drive each wheel individually thanks to these steering angles. In addition, it is able to perform a real, fully sideways crab walk instead of just a slight forward angle like the Hummer.
The bad news is that the front and rear bumpers of the Ioniq 5 needed to be cut in order for the system to be able to turn 90 degrees in each direction. Because the packaging is rather large and bulky, it probably also required extensive modifications to its wheel wells and subframes to accommodate the experimental e-Cornering System. However, the Hyundai's lower control arms have been modified to align with the system's kingpin inclination.
On the other hand, as can be seen on the displays of the M.Vision To, Hi, and e-Cornering System, the package is significantly less compromised when it is incorporated into a vehicle that was designed to accommodate it. Regardless of your thoughts on the concept of autonomous people movers and even electric vehicles, the engineering involved in making this system function in such a compact package is quite impressive. It's possible that we'll see it on an electric Hyundai city car one day, but for the time being, we'll have to settle for the excellent Ioniq 5 as it is. This is fine with us.