Hyundai is investing heavily in hybrid technology, and the Ioniq is just the beginning
Hyundai Ioniq, new Lexus, Jeep Compass & more
LOOK REAL CLOSE, AS THIS car is Hyundai’s next big plan for India. This here is the Ioniq, a proper hybrid car (as opposed to all the mild hybrids) that will demonstrate Hyundai’s technological prowess, the first time they are foraying in to something apart from mainstream cars. Hyundai have worked long and hard to change perceptions of being a budget brand to one that can have aspirational value as well. Next on their agenda seems to be this — making sure we know that they're capable of so much more.
Here are the essentials: the Ioniq is about Verna's size (with a fastback rear end design), will be assembled locally and will be democratising (relatively speaking, of course) hybrid tech by making it more affordable than the CBUs (Accord, Prius) available today. Ioniq is Hyundai's only dedicated clean energy brand, not a hybrid variant of its conventional cars and will spawn more models in the future.
Internationally, the Ioniq is available with an option of three different types of powertrains — conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric. However, only the conventional hybrid is coming to India at the moment. The Ioniq Hybrid features a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, direct-injection petrol motor, that makes 103.5bhp and 147Nm by itself. The engine has been specially optimised to work with a hybrid powertrain. Accompanying this is an electric motor that is fixed to the transmission’s input shaft, with a multiplate clutch bringing the engine in to play as and when required. By itself, the motor makes 42.5bhp, and 170Nm while combined, the total output of the powertrain is 139bhp and 265Nm. The motor is powered by a 1.56kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery placed under the rear seats. The Ioniq can operate on purely electric mode at speeds of up to 120kmph, and with the petrol engine running, it will hit a top speed of 186kmph. But the real important numbers here are of efficiency and emissions — Hyundai claim that the Ioniq hybrid will deliver 29.4 kilometres to the litre, while only emitting 79g/km of CO2.
But Hyundai haven’t just stuck to hybrid tech to keep efficiency high — they’ve innovated in other areas like weight shedding and aerodynamics. The Ioniq’s drag coefficient is just 0.24 — to put that in perspective, a BMW i8’s is 0.26. It gets all sorts of fancy stuff, unseen on a car in this segment — front wheel air curtains, active air flaps in the grille, floor undercover, a spoiler and diffuser to keep it slippery.
The Ioniq will be only the second hybrid car to be assembled in India (the Camry Hybrid was the first), and it will be priced at around `25 lakh. Hyundai have never shied away from showing commitment to the Indian market. But a mass player like them having a crack at the otherwise stagnant hybrid space, that too with a product that has just recently been unveiled internationally only reinforces their commitment to India. All you've got to do is wait for Auto Expo 2018, as that's where Hyundai are planning to launch it.
Hyundai have never shied away from committing strongly to the Indian market
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