All roads lead to Rome – and probably at least as many to Milan. And if you don't want to travel by train or plane, you can take the rather dull transit from Germany by car through the Swiss Gotthard tunnel or the paved road over the Brenner Pass and then around Lake Garda. But if the trip to the fashion metropolis is to begin in "Italy's northernmost city" - Munich - there is another tried and tested alternative, even the most beautiful in terms of landscape: Almost as the crow flies through Austria to Sankt Moritz, and from the posh Swiss ski resort on towards Lake Como. It's already clear that you don't need to plan a coffee stop at George Clooney's there, but rather continue the 60 kilometers to Milan.
With a total of almost 500 kilometers, the route is the shortest connection between Munich and Milan. And distances are of course still an issue if the journey is to be completed fully electrically. In this case with the new Hyundai Ioniq 6 - after all, things can be a bit extravagant for the design metropolis. The aerodynamic rear with stylistic borrowings from the 911 actually attracts interested looks on the go. Even if some passers-by cannot identify the vehicle themselves: the elegance is convincing. Of course, the long wheelbase, the recessed and therefore almost invisible door handles and the spacy-looking cameras instead of the exterior mirrors also contribute to it.
The drive is still more important for the journey. The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is equipped with the 77.4 kWh battery pack. This is definitely the better choice compared to the 53.0 kWh standard, which with 151 hp would have to struggle with the curb weight of 1.9 tons, especially on mountain routes. At the latest on the Maloja Pass, which at 1,812 meters connects the Bergell with the Engadin, the fun would stop. It's only just beginning there. Because the Ioniq 6 not only has the large battery pack, but also all-wheel drive. The two electric motors bring it together to 325 hp.
Without a doubt: the Ioniq 6 never claims to be a sports car, but presents itself as a consistently comfortable sedan. But alas, you come to the winding Alps and the "Grand Tour of Switzerland" with its wide radii. Then it's hard to be reticent. The ease with which the Ioniq 6 accelerates and, above all, the high level of traction, which keeps the car firmly on track during quick steering movements and in curves, achieve a quality that makes it more of a sports car than some contemporaries who have been given this title advertises. At no time does the chassis become rough or punish the driver with excessive hardness. However, he has the option of adjusting individual parameters – from the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal to the steering.
The fact that the overall setting can also be adjusted with Eco, Normal and Sport is normal, but still has a small surprise in store. When switching to Sport mode, the car suddenly leaps forward as if to show what it's now ready for. If, for example, an overtaking maneuver on the country road is prepared with this button press, but not immediately swerved, this is rather unpleasant, especially for passengers. You have to give the Ioniq 6 credit for the fact that the gradations between the three driving modes are very clear and are not a useless gimmick. The fact that the degree of recuperation can also be calibrated in fine steps is certainly a good thing - whether this has to be done in the style of shift paddles behind the steering wheel is a matter of taste.
The combination of vehicle temperament and route can be guessed at even before the start of the journey: The WLTP range of 518 kilometers in conjunction with the fitted 20-inch wheels (583 kilometers with 18-inch wheels) is not enough for this road trip, which is almost exactly 80 percent charged is started. The stop that is due is made comparatively early near Landeck: a lonely 150 kW charging station is waiting here. Programmed as a destination in the navigation system and with a correspondingly preconditioned battery, charging becomes a real delight: it takes almost 20 minutes for the battery to be 80 percent full again with a charging capacity of up to 140 kW. In any case, it goes faster than the "snack sandwich" is carefully prepared and eaten. In the end, almost half an hour has passed, but the Ioniq 6 is 97 percent charged again. Here it mercilessly exploits the advantages of its 800 volt technology.
As quickly as Austria is left, Nauders remains on the left, Samnaun on the right, it also goes through the Swiss canton of Graubünden, past the high alpine, still snow-covered mountains. The urge to move forward ends abruptly when the Italian border is crossed at Dogana. From Chiavenna, the roads are narrow and traffic is heavy, which gets worse on the left bank of Lake Como up to Como. Now the time has come for other digital assistants: the all-round cameras are suddenly valued helpers. This also shows that the position and quality of the digital exterior mirrors leave nothing to be desired. The function whereby the image is also superimposed on the instrument cluster when the indicator is turned on has proven to be extremely useful, especially when turning right.
During the unavoidable "Buongiorno Italia" espresso stop in a bar with a view of the lake, the charging app makes it clear: there is no shortage of charging stations all the way to Milan - but there is a lack of powerful systems. The majority are 22 kW stations, and hyperchargers can only be found along the freeways. It's a good thing that the Ioniq 6 driver doesn't care: when it reaches Milan, the battery is still almost half full, the remaining range is well over 200 kilometers. This allows you to relax and make Bella Figura around the cathedral, Scala and in the fashion district of Via Monte Napoleone.