The Hyundai Ioniq will become the first vehicle to use the same platform for a standard hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicle. It will become a direct rival for the fourth-generation Toyota Prius, which will not be available in Australia as a plug-in or EV.
From the outside the Ioniq follows a familiar new-generation Hyundai design, with a large prominent grille, yet it borrows some elements from its Japanese rival, thanks to a high-sitting rear taillight design.
The plug-in hybrid is differentiated from the standard hybrid with low-beam LED headlamps, the addition of a charging portal on the left front fender and unique 16-inch alloy wheels.
The full-electric model is again further distinguished with a cleaner face, which is no longer required to cool an internal combustion engine. The EV also wears a differentiated rear lamp design as well as eco wheels and tyres.
On the inside the Ioniq is equipped with a 7-inch TFT instrument cluster display and comes with connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to QI wireless charging of smartphones.
Although specifications for the Australian model are yet to be confirmed, the car was unveiled featuring a range of active safety technologies. These include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and active cruise control.
The standard model Hyundai Ioniq hybrid makes use of the ‘Kappa’ 1.6-litre directly-injected Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine, which Hyundai claims has a thermal efficiency of 40 per cent (same as Prius), with 78kW of power and 148Nm of torque. Supporting it is a 32kW and 169Nm electric powertrain that makes use of a lithium-ion polymer (unlike the outdated Nickel-hydrid in the new Prius) battery with 1.56kWh capacity located under the rear seats. In total it makes a combined 103kW of power.
Hyundai will not confirm the electric-only range of the hybrid, except to say that it can run on pure electric power for a 'short while'.
Unlike most other hybrid models that make use of a continuously variable transmission, the Ioniq hybrid makes do with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Like the standard hybrid, the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid uses the same engine and transmission, however is powered by a stronger 45kW electric engine powered by a 8.9kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Its pure EV range under normal city/highway conditions is 40km.
The Hyundai Ioniq electric takes it to an all new level, with a pure EV range of 177km thanks to a 28kWh lithium-ion polymer. Having ditched its petrol engine, the full-electric Ioniq has 88kW of power and 291Nm of torque, available from a standstill driven through a single-speed transmission.
Hyundai says customers can recharge the Ioniq electric to have around 140km (80 per cent) range in just 20 minutes using a 100kW fast-charger (SAE Combo Level 3 DC), though the company will also provide an integrated In-Cable Control Box (ICCB) to charge Ioniq using a standard household electric socket (no recharge time released).
Hyundai Australia is looking to bring in the hybrid and plug-in hybrid Ioniq models in 2017, though the exact timing is yet to be confirmed.