Can Hyundai's Ioniq hatchback hypermile ahead of the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius?

Hyundai has published the first official images of the brand new 2017 Ioniq, a small, eco-friendly hatchback aimed squarely at the Toyota Prius and the Chevrolet Volt.

The Ioniq is hailed as the first car in the world to offer a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an all-electric drivetrain. Motor Authority reports the hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants will use an Atkinson-cycle 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine tuned to deliver roughly 105 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 108 lb-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The four-banger will work with a 43-horsepower electric motor connected to a lithium-ion battery pack, and the drivetrain’s total output will be sent to the front wheels via a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission.

Official documents translated by enthusiast website reveal the Ioniq plug-in hybrid will return up to 53 mpg in a mixed South Korean cycle. The standard hybrid model will be rated at a little over 47 mpg in the same cycle. Technical details about the all-electric version are being kept under wraps for the time being.

Teaser sketches suggest the Ioniq’s front end falls in line with Hyundai’s latest design language by adopting styling cues such as a hexagonal grille with horizontal slats flanked by thin, swept-back headlights. The cabin gains a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster, and a clean, uncluttered dashboard with a large touch screen and blue accents. At first glance, the Ioniq looks a lot less futuristic inside and out than Toyota’s fourth-generation Prius.

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq is scheduled to bow at a private event that will be held in South Korea later this month. It will make its European debut in March at the Geneva Auto Show, and it will land on our shores in April, right in time for the New York Auto Show. U.S. sales will kick off shortly after.

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