2017 Ioniq hybrid begins Hyundai’s eco assault
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Hyundai’s never been short of ambition, and that was clear as the Korean automaker’s director of eco-vehicle development announced the company’s plan to have 26 alt-energy cars and SUVs — including six electric vehicles and two with hydrogen fuel cells — on sale by 2020.
It’s a bold goal, particularly since it coincides with Hyundai’s plan to launch six vehicles for its Genesis luxury brand in the same period. Few automakers have tackled bigger engineering challenges, and none have done it so publicly.
The all-new Ioniq hybrid car that goes on sale in the U.S. late this year is Hyundai’s first move. The compact Ioniq was developed specifically to challenge the Toyota Prius as the world’s best hybrid, director Byung Ki Ahn said over lunch at the Rattlesnake Club on the Detroit riverfront last week. It uses a new architecture that was developed specifically for hybrids and electric vehicles. The architecture, developed under the program name AE, also underpins the Kia Niro hybrid SUV, also expected to go on sale late this year. The Hyundai Group controls Kia. The two brands share engineering and technology but have very different designs.