Hyundai is no stranger to hybrids; the Sonata Hybrid is now in its second generation. However, while that car is not for Australia, Hyundai is putting the final touches to a car that may be heading our way.
The Ioniq name is a development of the moniker applied to the Hyundai i-oniq concept of 2012, though don't expect the production car to mimic the concept's swan-hinged doors or three-door shooting brake bodystyle (below).
Rather, expect a fast-backed five-door small hatch with low-friction tyres and an aero-optimised shape. In other words, expect the Ioniq's silhouette to be broadly similar to that of the Prius.
The i-oniq concept featured a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor with a single-charge range of some 120km. A 1.0 litre three-cylinder sat up front as a range-extender should the driver exceed the car's EV-only range.
While the Ioniq production car is also expected to be offered as a plug-in hybrid, a 1.0 three-pot isn't likely to motivate it. Instead, Hyundai's recently-revealed 1.6 litre direct-injection petrol 4-cyl is a sure-fire bet for the Ioniq.
That engine utilises an Atkinson combustion cycle, which favours efficiency over power, and features cooled exhaust gas recirculation, and a long stroke specification to maximise thermal efficiency.
Overall the new engine is able to achieve 40 percent thermal efficiency - 10 percent higher than the average 1.6 litre petrol motor.
Outputs for the "Kappa" 1.6 GDI are rated at 77kW and 147Nm, not including the additional power and torque that will be added by the Ioniq's attendant electric motor.
Expect to hear more closer to the Ioniq's anticipated debut in 2016.
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