Hyundai Ioniq 2016 preview
The Ioniq is a brand new five-door hatchback from Hyundai that'll be offered in hybrid and electric forms only. I.e. it'll never be sold with just a diesel or petrol engine under the bonnet. It doesn't replace the Hyundai i30, though it's not a million miles away from it in size terms.
What will its rivals be?
The Ioniq Hybrid will be one of the first versions to arrive in Ireland and that's aimed directly at the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. The Ioniq Electric, which, as the name suggests, will be a pure EV, meanwhile competes against other electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf and, at a stretch, the BMW i3 and Renault Zoe. There's quite a wide range of prices there of course. Later in 2017 a plug-in hybrid version of the Ioniq will come on stream and as yet there are no non-premium brands offering such technology in such a compact package.
Any tech info?
It's all about the battery power here, isn't it? The Hybrid version features a 32kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor to boost the 1.6-litre petrol engine, with a modest 1.56kWh lithium ion battery. It uses a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to send power to the front wheels. The Ioniq Electric, meanwhile, has a much bigger capacity battery (28kWh) and a more powerful motor (88kW). Hyundai claims it can go as far as 280 kilometres on a full charge, which certainly leads the mass market electric car posse right now. The battery can be charged to as much as 80 per cent in just 33 minutes, apparently.
What will the range be like?
Hyundai Ireland remains tight-lipped on pricing and specifications, though we do know that there will be Hybrid, Electric and Plug-In Hybrid options. VRT relief and SEAI grants should be available depending on model and we'd guess that the Ioniq Hybrid will compete head-on with the Toyota Prius, which is priced from €31,450. Hyundai is traditionally generous when it comes to equipment and we expect the Ioniq to be no different. Other European markets include things like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) and individual Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and we'd hope that's the same here.
First impressions suggest that Hyundai has created a real star here. It looks good on the outside, has a great, high quality interior and offers useful performance and range to EV and hybrid buyers. Could be perfect timing too with diesel slowly going out of favour.