SEOUL, South Korea – The Hyundai Ioniq, the Korean automaker’s first hybrid-exclusive car that targets the Toyota Prius, will feature several technical innovations, Hyundai said on Thursday.
More details about the Ioniq, along with new photos, were released ahead of its debuts at the 2016 New York Auto Show and 2016 Geneva Auto Show.
Pricing and U.S. launch timing have not been announced.
The Ioniq will be offered in three different versions: a hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid. The first version to hit the market will be the hybrid, Hyundai said.
It will feature the new 1.6-liter Kappa GDi or gasoline direct-injection engine developed exclusively for Hyundai’s hybrid engines and a hybrid-exclusive dual-clutch transmission, the automaker said. The Ioniq hybrid will be equipped with the gas engine, an electric motor and a lithium-ion polymer battery.
The engine delivers 103 horsepower, while the electric motor delivers 43 hp.
Hyundai said the Ioniq will achieve “class-leading fuel economy.” The EPA has not announced official Ioniq fuel economy numbers.
The 2016 Prius delivers 54 mpg in city driving and 50 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.
Non-structural bodywork, including the hood, tailgate and suspension components on the Ioniq will be made from aluminum.
The car’s structure also features advanced high-strength steel “that can withstand collision forces,” Hyundai said.
The batteries are positioned low, giving the Ioniq a low center of gravity for stable cornering.
The Ioniq will also compete against the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan Leaf electric car.
Details of the Ioniq were released as average U.S. gas prices began 2016 under $2 a gallon, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
In response to the ongoing slide in gas prices, car shoppers have been snapping up trucks and SUVs, according to our December sales report, a trend that is expected to continue into the new year.
Edmunds says: If the Ioniq delivers on its promises, it will be a formidable competitor to the class-leading Prius, not to mention the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.