ELECTRIC car maker Tesla has set the world alight with its high performance high price Model S, revolutionising the battery powered car industry along the way. But it’s a rival car brand that looks set to bring the first fully electric compact to market, ahead of the American manufacturer fast becoming a household name.
Built by Hyundai, the IONIQ is the first car to offer a choice of three electrified power trains, including a full electric version and two hybrid models, with the company aiming to break hybrid stereotypes by delivering entertaining drive alongside class-leading fuel economy and appealing design.
Set for a global launch in January in Korea, followed by the Geneva and New York motor shows, with an Australian launch in the second half of 2016, the IONIQ will open its local presence with a petrol/electric hybrid powertrain (with a full electric and plug-in petrol/electric hybrid also planned).
Based on an exclusive new platform, made specifically for the car’s multi-power train options, the IONIQ chassis is optimised to deliver responsive handling while remaining efficient in each of its three power train 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 energy 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 new car’s name references elements of its creation. An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s clever combination of electrified power trains. 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.
The Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model.
Hyundai is recognised as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles and is committed to a future vehicle line-up comprising low to zero-emission vehicles. This latest leap forward builds on Hyundai’s heritage of world-first environmental developments. In 2013, Hyundai became the first car manufacturer to mass-produce a hydrogen-fuelled vehicle, the ix35 Fuel Cell.