Since they can't be sold to the public, the vast majority of pre-production prototypes end in up a crusher. In some cases, the automaker decides to save one and put it on display in a museum or hide it away in storage. Other plausible scenarios include donating the car for educational purposes or destroying it in a crash test. In this case, Hyundai had something completely different in mind for the Ioniq 5.
Following a year of service as a pre-production test car, the South Korean brand decided to retire the electric crossover and dismantle it down to the very last bolt. Rather than scrapping the dedicated EV altogether, some of the bits and pieces were repurposed to create an air purifier. The new "Rebirth" ad released today puts the spotlight on how Hyundai strives to reduce waste.
Gallery: 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 (US)
It goes without saying some extra work was necessary since turning the Ioniq 5 into an air purifier wasn't just the automotive equivalent of an alternate Lego build. From the cooling fan to the 20-inch alloy wheel, Hyundai used quite a few components from the donor vehicle. Even the two side-by-side screens of the infotainment found a new home in the device used to clean indoor air.
Sections of the hood and door panels live a second life in the device, as do the pixel-themed LED taillights and the IONIQ emblem between them on the electric crossover. Although there seems to be a generous amount of CGI used during the making of the ad, it looks as though Hyundai actually built an air purifier, and it might even work.
After all, if Microsoft can build and sell an Xbox fridge, why shouldn't there be an Ioniq air purifier?