Hyundai has announced its first alternative-fuel vehicle will be known as the Hyundai IONIQ.
Set for launch in 2016, the electrified compact vehicle will be available with electric, plug-in petrol/electric hybrid or petrol/electric hybrid powertrains options, all in a single body type – a first for the industry.
Hyundai claims the IONIQ not only has class-leading fuel efficiency, but is also fun, responsive to drive and attractively styled – traits it says haven’t been achieved by a hybrid vehicle thus far.
From the single teaser image released with the announcement, the IONIQ appears to have a similar silhouette with the Holden Volt electric hybrid car.
Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Centre said, “Hyundai Motor has a heritage of building innovative, fuel-efficient vehicles, so we are proud to advance our eco-friendly car line-up with the introduction of IONIQ. Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers’ varied lifestyles, without compromising on design or driving enjoyment. IONIQ embodies Hyundai Motor’s vision to shift the automotive paradigm and future mobility; IONIQ is the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market.”
The new car’s name references elements of its creation. An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s combination of electrified powertrains. The second part of the name references the unique offering it brings to the Hyundai range, demonstrating the brand’s environmental commitment and willingness to maximise choice for its customers. Finally, the Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model.
Based on an exclusive new platform designed specifically for the car’s multi-powertrain options, the IONIQ’s chassis is said to be optimised to deliver a responsive handling while remaining efficient in each of its three powertrain configurations.
In its fully-electric (EV) form, the IONIQ is powered by a high capacity, ultra-efficient lithium ion battery. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version combines a fuel-efficient engine with battery power obtained by charging the car with electricity, boosting its range while cutting its emissions. Finally, the hybrid (HEV) utilises the petrol engine and motion of the car to charge the on-board battery, which returns enhanced efficiency by supplementing the engine’s power.
The Hyundai IONIQ will make its official debut in Korea in January 2016, follow by the Geneva and New York motor shows in March.
Hyundai Australia has confirmed the car will launch locally in the second half of 2016, starting with the petrol/electric hybrid powertrain. The local arm is also keen to secure the plug-in petrol/electric hybrid, pending the business case outcome.