For some good time now, we’ve been aware of Hyundai’s intent to produce a new model lineup to go head-to-head with the Toyota Prius. So yes, that means Hyundai’s producing their own hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric sedan.
And here they are, meet the three variants to the all-new Hyundai Ioniq.
Starting with the looks, the Hyundai Ioniq is certainly much more palatable to the eye than the new and rather polarizing Prius with the latter’s hard and seemingly endless angles.
The Ioniq adopts a similar five-door-like shape, but with much more toned down design cues for a much more handsome and attractive package. Make no mistake, even though this is a boring mainstream hybrid and EV, it’s a good looking car for what it is.
The body is function on top of being aesthetically pleasing, serving up a drag coefficient of 0.24 Cd. This means excellent stability at speed on the highway and good fuel economy.
Roughly the size of the new Elantra, the new Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid models come with a newly developed 1.6L “Kappa” Atkinson-cycle four-banger that allows for a surprising level of thermal efficiency, about 40 percent, which is a huge leap over the average 20% or so thermal efficiency of standard cars.
Altogether power is rated at 139hp for both models thanks to 43hp and up to 125 lb-ft of torque from the electric motor, and 104hp and 109 lb-ft from the regular engine. Both are mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, unlike other hybrids which use a CVT.
As expected the Plug-In variant has a slightly higher fuel economy rating because of its plug-in capability while offering an all-electric driving range of up to 25 miles. This comes thanks to a 8.9 kWh lithium-polymer battery powering an estimated 60hp electric motor. The same 1.6L gas engine in the standard Ioniq Hybrid is applied here as well.
The Ionic EV on the other hand comes with a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery offering up to 110 miles of range with a 120hp and 215 lb-ft electric motor.
Hyundai boasts that the Ionic has a “fun-to-drive” demeanor and they took into consideration those who appreciate a properly sorted-handling vehicle, even if it’s a hybrid geared towards efficiency. Additionally, a hybrid with a dual-clutch transmission sounds tempting regardless, since CVTs even to this day are far from being sporty.
Nonetheless, Hyundai has built themselves what seems to be a formidable competitor to the Toyota Prius, and we’re curious to see if its a winner.
– By: Chris Chin