Hyundai says its new Ioniq Hybrid will be sporty, as well as efficient

The Hyundai Ioniq will be the first car to offer buyers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric powertrains as part of the same model line, but Hyundai says it will emphasize sporty driving as much as efficiency. Aimed squarely at the Toyota Prius, the Ioniq debuts this week in South Korea, but consumers in other markets won’t get an up-close look until March.

Teased multiple times already, the Ioniq has a five-door hatchback shape that should look familiar to drivers of older Prius models. The design is a bit more restrained than the latest generation of Toyota’s hybrid icon, which may be a good thing, depending on your perspective. There’s a lot of contrasting black material, including trim that connects the Hyundai-signature grille to the headlights. Hyundai also claims a drag coefficient of 0.24, matching that of the 2016 Prius.

Hyundai will begin the rollout with the Ioniq Hybrid. This model uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, teamed with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, which is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Hyundai says it chose a dual-clutch unit to deliver a sportier driving experience, foregoing the CVTs that are loathed by car enthusiasts, but used in many efficiency-focused vehicles.

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid will likely feature a similar powertrain, but maybe with a larger battery pack and more powerful electric motor, as with Hyundai’s Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid duo. Fuel-economy figures will have to wait until the Ioniq’s U.S. launch, although Hyundai says the hybrid can drive on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph.

Shown previously, the interior looks fairly conventional at first glance, but Hyundai says efficiency was as much a focus here as on the rest of the car. The Ioniq uses recycled and “eco-friendly” materials, including recycled plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone, which Hyundai says is actually 20 percent lighter than comparable materials. The carmaker also tried to rely less on oil-based products, and used soybean-based paint on some interior trim pieces.

The Ioniq features a 7.0-inch TFT instrument cluster display, as well as a traditional infotainment display in the center stack, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Qi wireless phone charging will also be available, along with a system called Eco-Das (Eco-Driving Assistant System) that analyzes a driver’s route and coordinates battery charging and gasoline-engine use accordingly.

Finally, there’s a full array of safety systems, including blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control will also be available.

The Hyundai Ioniq will make its official debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March, followed by the 2016 New York Auto Show later that month. Sales should start before the end of the year, with the hybrid arriving before the plug-in hybrid and all-electric models.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for December 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles, as well as bundles that feature games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.