Hyundai finally released full pictures and details of its new eco-warrior, the Ioniq. Uniquely for a manufacturer, Hyundai plans for the Ioniq to offer a variety of different powertrains, all using the same body:
A standard hybrid, to battle the Toyota Prius and its ilk
A plug-in hybrid, to battle the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in and similar
An electric version, which will compete with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt
So far, Hyundai has only released details on the standard hybrid version, which seems to be very similar in specification to the Toyota Prius: a small 1.6-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with 104 horsepower and an electric motor with another 43 hp. Where the Ioniq differs from the Prius is that it uses a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox rather than the latter’s mooing CVT, which promises to bring a bit more involvement to the driving experience. Whether the Ioniq is indeed much more enjoyable to drive than the segment leader remains to be seen, but the start is good.
Looks-wise, the Ioniq follows a formula established by the Mk II Prius, with a slippery shape and a bluff rear end. However, thanks to tightly-drawn details, such as the grill/headlight combo, and a nicely squat stance with large wheels, it looks much better to these eyes than Toyota’s pioneering model, especially the awkward Mk IV. The same is true of the interior, which is quietly handsome and looks to be of high quality.
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