Hyundai’s soon-to-come 2017 Ioniq comes in three flavors – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric. All use the same dedicated platform but with distinctly different electrified powertrains, styling cues, and characters.
The Ioniq Hybrid combines a new Kappa 1.6 liter, direct-injected, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with a 43 horsepower electric motor and 1.56 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery. The engine, specifically designed for hybrid application, has an impressive 40 percent thermal efficiency and provides 104 horsepower. Engine and motor together produce a total of 139 horsepower. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid also uses the Kappa engine but substitutes a more powerful 60 horsepower electric motor and more substantial 8.9 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery, the latter to provide an all-electric range of over 25 miles.
Both hybrids use a six-speed double-clutch transmission. The highly-efficient DCT uses low-friction bearings and low-viscosity transmission oil to achieve both excellent performance and fuel efficiency. Enhancing efficiency and dynamic driving are selectable SPORT or ECO modes. SPORT holds lower gears longer and combines power from the engine and electric motor for maximum performance. In ECO mode, the DCT optimizes gear selection for efficiency, upshifting earlier to achieve fuel economy.
The battery electric variant features a 120 horsepower electric motor, 28 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery, and a single-speed transmission. This brings an estimated range of 110 miles and expected 125 MPGe rating. An integrated In-Cable Control Box allows charging from a household electric socket and quicker charging from a 220-volt wall charger is optional. If a public SAE Combo Level 3 DC 100 kilowatt fast-charger is available then battery charging up to 80 percent capacity takes only about 20 minutes.
The sporty hatchback’s fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize aerodynamic body lines that achieve a 0.24 coefficient of drag. Features like front wheel air curtains, a rear spoiler and diffuser, side sill moldings, floor undercover, and closed-wheel design all contribute to the model’s high aerodynamic efficiency. The Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid have a three-stage active air flap in the front grille as well.
Unique details provide each of the three models with own identities. The Hybrid’s Bi-Xenon HID headlights are surrounded by C-shaped LED positioning lamps that complement Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille and vertical C-shaped LED daytime running lights. The Plug-In also features low-beam LED headlamps and specially-designed 16-inch alloy wheels. Differentiating the Electric is a sleek, closed front fascia since it has no need for extensive powertrain cooling, plus unique eco-spoke alloy wheels and LED low-beam front headlamps/rear combination lamps sporting a unique pattern.
Weight reduction also contributes to low fuel usage and dynamic handling. The aluminum hood and tailgate reduce weight by 27 pound, lithium-ion polymer battery packs are 20 percent lighter than non-polymer lithium-ion variants. Eliminating the lead-acid auxiliary 12 volt battery in hybrid models saves about 26 pounds.
Placing the battery system beneath the Ioniq’s rear seats results in a low center of gravity and an uncompromised cargo area in the Hybrid. Even the Plug-In and Electric variants, despite larger batteries, offer generous interior volumes. All three use permanent magnet synchronous motors optimized by reducing the thickness of core components up to 10 percent and adopting rectangular-section copper wire to decrease core and copper loss.
Ioniq’s light-yet-rigid body features 53 percent advanced high strength steel. The chassis benefits from superior rigidity for responsive handling and safety, with high impact-energy absorption and minimized cabin distortion to protect passengers in the event of a collision. This rigid structure also includes 475 feet of advanced structural adhesives, which provide both light weight and rigidity benefits.
The hybrid and plug-in use a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension system with dual lower control arms that minimize ride and handling compromises often associated with less sophisticated geometry. Extensive use of aluminum in front and rear suspensions saves about 26 pounds. The Electric uses a torsion-beam rear axle to provide more space for the larger batteries, again placed below the rear seats.
Recycled or ecologically-sensitive materials are used in the Ioniq for less reliance on oil-based products. For instance, interior door covers are made of plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone, headliner and carpets feature raw materials extracted from sugar cane, and paint uses renewable ingredients extracted from soybean oil.
Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system provides enhanced safety, diagnostics, remote, and guidance services. Blue Link connectivity includes remote start with climate control, destination search powered by Google, remote door lock/unlock, car finder, enhanced roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com website, or Hyundai’s Blue Link smartphone app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear and Apple Watch smartwatch apps. Plug-In and Electric Ioniq drivers will also be able manage and monitor charging schedules remotely via the Blue Link smartphone app.
Innovative active and passive safety features help protect drivers and passengers. These include blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and a lane departure warning system. The Ioniq is also fitted with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Smart cruise control allows a constant speed and following distance to be maintained from the vehicle ahead without depressing the accelerator or brake pedals. It’s automatically cancelled when speed drops to 5 mph or below. The electric Ioniq takes it a step further by providing advanced smart cruise control offering fully automatic stop/start function as well.