Opinion

Hyundai Ioniq – An Atom that may gain

It might be surprising, but Hyundai has yet to put a dedicated hybrid into production. Well, now the Korean automaker is ready to make up for lost time by introducing one vehicle in three flavors of electric performance, and it brought them along to the 2016 New York Auto Show,

As the debate over the relative merits of different hybrid technologies and pure-electric power trains continue to simmer if not quite rage, Hyundai offers a compellingly simple solution: sell them all.

The company was planning to offer 3 power train choices for its Ioniq: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric. Now, with its official unveiling at the Geneva Auto Show, here are further details for this Prius competing notchback.

Although, the Ioniq is not on sale yet, but here’s what we know. There will be three models: a hybrid, an EV, and later in the spring of 2017, a plug-in.

Hyundai IONIQ

The 2017 IONIQ is a brand-new model designed to be offered with only hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric drive train. Here is a comprehensive preview on this vehicle:

Engine and Performance:

Both the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-in use Hyundai’s new Kappa 1.6-liter four-cylinder direct-injected engine. This produces 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque and has been tuned, predictably, for maximum economy. Those models also have an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which was chosen, the company says, to avoid the rubber-band sensation of a continuously variable automatic.

Then things start to diverge, with the plug-in being more than just a hybrid with a plug. The hybrid’s permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor makes 43 horsepower and draws juice from a lithium-ion-polymer battery pack rated at 1.6 kWh and located under the rear seats. The plug-in may share the same 1.6-liter engine and dual-clutch gearbox, but it gets a meatier, 60-hp electric motor wired to a bigger, 8.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Hyundai says its targeting more than 25 miles of range on electric power.

The Ioniq electric ditches the whole internal-combustion power train in favor of a single, 120-hp motor that drives the front wheels through a single-speed direct-drive gear. It gets a 28.0-kWh battery, which is estimated to be good for 110 miles of range. A 100-kW fast charger can recharge the battery to 80 percent of its maximum capacity in about 20 minutes, but it also will be possible to charge it from a household socket, albeit much more slowly.

More details:

Although the performance numbers claims aren’t yet revealed, the IONIQ sits on a new “eco” platform that will also underpin the Kia Niro Hybrid later this year. Weight is kept down by the use of high-strength steel and aluminum, and the Ioniq’s shape has been designed for aerodynamic efficiency. The three versions are distinguished by different front-end treatments, the Ioniq EV doing without an open grille on the basis that there’s no engine radiator in need of cooling air. It also has different rear lights to distinguish it from its old-fashioned fossil-gargling siblings.

Hyundai IONIQ

Interiors:

This EV gets a copper-colored character line and interior detailing in the same hue to, as the official release puts it, “create the impression that electricity is flowing through the whole car’s interior.” That sounds painful. The cabin otherwise seems quite conventional, with the hybrid and the plug-in getting console-mounted shifters and the electric model offering push buttons to select gears. The cars on the stand in Geneva featured a large central touch screen in the dashboard with the promise of integration with both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. There’s also a reconfigurable TFT instrument cluster and an inductive charging pad for compatible smart phones.

Hyundai has made no secret of the fact it wants to get to where Toyota is as quickly as possible, and the Ioniq is aimed squarely at a part of the market that the Japanese giant has owned ever since the Prius debuted. Hyundai is committed to producing 12 hybrids, six plug-in hybrids, two EVs, and two hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by 2020, with the Ioniq in its three guises leading the way. On first impressions, it looks set to be the Prius’s toughest challenger when it goes on sale later this year.

Hyundai IONIQ Interiors

Bottom Line:

A car with a 200-mile range on the EPA Test Cycle would put Hyundai well in line with automakers like GMC, Tesla Motors as well as Nissan. A car with 250 miles or range for 2022 seems like a logical progression. This seems like a perfect strategically thought out decision. That said, Hyundai’s long-standing 7-year warranty program is all the assurance needed for this car. So, that said, would you consider a 200-mile electric car from Hyundai? Also, would it be really worth the money?

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A wanderlust, a foodie, an amateur photographer and a die hard automobile enthusiast. Gifted with the art of playing with words (and sentences) I've been writing (initially started with satirical writing) for a couple of years. Meet me on a good day and i'll definitely narrate my story (with a cup of tea and hopefully some delicious pakoda's) on how writing scripted my life. Happy reading :)