Hyundai details Ioniq; Prius-fighting hybrid will be first to market
Following several teasers and partial announcements, Hyundai has finally detailed launch plans for the 2017 Ioniq Hybrid.
The company claims the model will be the first vehicle to offer all-electric, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains in a single body type. The basic hybrid will be the first variant to arrive on the market, taking aim at the dominant Toyota Prius.
The Ioniq Hybrid introduces a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder Kappa GDI engine, providing 104 horsepower and 108 lb-ft of torque. The gasoline mill is accompanied by a single electric motor, bringing combined output up to 139 ponies and 195 lb-ft of twist. Power is delivered via an six-speed dual-clutch transmission, newly developed with low-friction bearings and low-viscosity oil to maximize efficiency.
Engineers embraced a lithium-ion polymer battery pack, claimed to provide superior memory sensitivity when compared to traditional nickel-metal-hydride technology. The module has been placed underneath the rear seats for a low center of gravity and increased cargo volume.
The Ioniq’s silhouette resembles the Prius, balancing Hyundai’s latest design language and aerodynamic considerations. Unsurprisingly, both rivals share a drag coefficient of 0.24.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the mild hybrid has received a combined rating of 53 mpg (22.5 km/l) in Korea, slightly better than the Prius’ 49 mpg (21 km/l) benchmark in the market, however it is unclear if Hyundai’s new entrant will beat Toyota‘s fuel efficiency benchmark in the US and other markets.
Additional details surrounding a US launch could be announced at the New York auto show in late March.