THE Hyundai Ioniq range of EV, hybrid and petrol C-segment sedans is expected to land in Australian showrooms in 2017, yet the new Toyota Prius rival also points to the next i30 hatchback.
Shown at the New York Motor Show only weeks after the official unveiling at Geneva, the Ionic range is made up of three sedans, each with a different powertrain. There’s a full EV, as well as both plug-in and regular hybrids.
They’re built on a brand new front-drive platform not used for any other model range. With Hyundai’s i30 one of the oldest cars in the showroom – and most important in terms of sales – the Ioniq’s C-segment sized platform is a natural match for Hyundai to amortise the costs of the new architecture.
Hyundai would not confirm where the Ioniq’s platform would show up next, but some of the technology would be ripe for the Hyundai i30 (pictured below) to become an even stronger rival to the Volkswagen Golf, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.
They not only include the hybrid technology, but also tech such as fuel-saving stop-start engines and a dual-clutch transmission.
On sale in the US towards the end of 2016, the Ioniq will be offered in 50 US states – the same commitment made over at the Toyota stand for its plug-in model, the Toyota Prius Prime. And although Hyundai won’t directly compare its Ioniq to the Prius, Hyundai Motor America product planner John Shon said that it would have to be price competitive with similarly sized rivals.
“C-Segment is where it’s most likely to be cross-shopped,” said Shon. “I think for the US, you will see a bit of a hybrid premium versus, say, our Elantra, which is a compact car. But, we haven’t really established what that would be. But you can expect a bit of a price premium.”
Hyundai Australia is chasing the plug-in and regular hybrid Ioniq for a proposed launch in 2017.
“Nothing’s been locked in at this stage – and we’re not ruling out the full electric, either,” said Hyundai Australia spokesman Guido Schenken.