There have been many hybrid vehicles on the market for years, but none have sold or carried the same clout at the Toyota Prius. The Prius was the first affordable hybrid vehicle that truly showed what hybrid was all about. Now Hyundai is poised to take aim at the Prius with its own version of a hybrid car that offers a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and a fully EV hybrid mode. This new car will be called the Ioniq and has already been seen testing on tracks with photos revealed which typically means it’s close to production and a tour on the auto show circuit.
The engine we expect to see in the normal hybrid model of the Ioniq is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that will be backed up with the electric motor and vice versa. So far we haven’t been graced with the information regarding the range or the fuel economy to make the comparisons needed with the Prius to show which one is actually the leader of the two. Even without this information the knowledge that there will be a version from Hyundai that just might be equal to the Prius is extremely exciting.
Looking at what the Ioniq offers we see a car style that is very similar to the Prius. This car is wedge-shaped and offers a clean angle from the front end up over the hood and windshield to the roof. This finishes at a high rear end that allows the airflow to be complete. The sides of the body are smooth save for the beltline which is actually positioned above the door handles instead of in their typical location which is to go directly through the door handles. Overall, the look is extremely similar to the Prius, but with enough differences to make it interesting.
This car is not being built as an add-on to other platforms that already make up the Hyundai lineup. The Ioniq has its own platform to use, but many of the parts are from other Hyundai models to make the most affordable build possible. The rear offers an independent suspension and the interior takes it design cues directly from the Elantra to make this a car you will want to drive. As a hybrid model this car is expected to be highly efficient for us to drive. As we prepare for the Ioniq to debut in Korea and then in Geneva in March the question might be in the timing of the car.
The only reason we should ask why the Ioniq is being presented now is because of the fall of gas prices over the past few months, but hybrid models will always be cars we want to have on the market. I expect this car to sell extremely well in states that are working toward low to no emissions on their vehicles and once it gains some footing in the market it may be the car of choice for those who have long commutes to work every day to give them a car that will deliver the fuel mileage they are looking for.