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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