Hyundai sees its new Ioniq as its green flagship and a key image booster in Europe even if sales will be relatively small.
The Ioniq five-door hatchback comes as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or a full-electric car, the first time an automaker has offered those three green drivetrains in one body style.
The Ioniq's environmentally friendly drivetrains and its sleek, coupe-like profile will win new types of customers and raise the brand's profile, said Jochen Sengpiehl, Hyundai Europe's marketing boss. "We call the car's customer target group Generation Ioniq. They are not millennials and they are not a specific age group because all ages are interested in sustainable transport," he said.
The Ioniq’s plug-in hybrid and full-electric versions have impressive driving ranges under electric power. The plug-in hybrid can be driven for up to 50km using electric power alone. It has a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and a 45 kilowatt electric motor with an 8.9-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The all-electric variant has a range of up to 280km. It has a 28-kilowatt-hour battery pack and an 88 kilowatt electric motor (equivalent to 120 hp).
In all versions the battery pack is under the rear seats, which allows the Ioniq to offer 443 liters of cargo space with the rear seats up and 1,505 liters with the rear seats folded down. The Ioniq will be priced aggressively with the hybrid starting at 23,900 euros in Germany and the EV costing 33,300 euros. The plug-in hybrid will be priced in between.
Target customers: Green-car buyers who might be considering a similarly sized Toyota Prius or BMW i3 or the smaller Nissan Leaf.
Equipment: Standard advanced safety systems include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.
Guarantee: The battery pack has an 8-year, 200,000km warranty.
Connectivity: Apple CarPlay, Android Audio; wireless charging for mobile phones.
Launch date: Autumn (hybrid, EV -- Europe); 2017 (plug-in hybrid -- Europe)
Where built: Ulsan, South Korea
Annual sales forecast (2016): Global - 30,000; Europe - 4,500 (3,000 Ioniq Hybrid, 1,500 Ioniq Electric)
Lowest CO2 emissions: 79g/km (hybrid); 32g/km (plug-in hybrid)