Typically when pre-production cars reach the end of their useful lives — after cold weather testing or whatnot — they’re unceremoniously scrapped. It seems wasteful to junk an otherwise functional car, but there’s simply too much liability for manufacturers if they sell them into the wild. That’s why Hyundai decided to repurpose one of its Ioniq 5 test cars — as an air purifier.
A video indicates that the Ioniq 5 served as a test car for exactly one year, from December 10, 2020, to December 10, 2021. During that time, it underwent wind tunnel testing, NVH evaluation at Hyundai’s proving grounds, and sound testing for pass-by noise regulation and the acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) that provides the high-tech whine so pedestrians know an EV is creeping up behind them in parking lots.
At the end of the testing cycle, engineers at Hyundai brought the Ioniq 5 into their labs and begin the work of stripping it down. The car is completely disassembled, each piece carefully laid out across the lab like the parts to a giant Revell model kit.
The engineers then went about reassembling select pieces, like the cabin air filter, and cooling fan, to create the mechanism of the air purifier. To contain it, the hood and door panels are re-constituted to form the housing. The 12.3-inch center touchscreen is recycled into the air purifier’s main control interface.
Even the Ioniq 5’s distinctive LED “pixel” taillights, a design cue used to great effect in an official resto-mod of a 1986 Hyundai Grandeur, are used as indicator lights on the contraption. To top it all off with some style, one of the Ioniq 5’s 20-inch alloy wheels becomes the top cover.
It’s a pretty clever use for the defunct test car, and a stylish air purifier to boot. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to have an ionizing function, as the name would suggest.