In Brief

Hyundai announce new Hybrid, the Ioniq

New Hyundai will go head-to-head with the Toyota Prius

151207-hyundai-ioniq.jpg

Hyundai has announced plans to make a new hybrid called the Ioniq, which will be released in 2016.

The new Hyundai will rival popular hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, of which Toyota has sold over 5 million in its various guises since 1997.

Hyundai are touting the Ioniq as the first production car to be available with three different powertrains. A fully electric version will be available alongside a conventional Hybrid, drawing battery power from an efficient petrol engine, likely to be a 1.6-litre four-cylinder as well as a plug-in Hybrid version.

The Ioniq will be built on an all new platform spun out specifically to accommodate the three different powertrain options, and Hyundai insist the chassis is optimised to deliver responsive handling regardless of which setup is powering the wheels.

"Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers' varied lifestyles, without compromising on design or driving enjoyment." Said Woong-Chul Yang, Hyundai Research and Development head.

According to Auto Express, the Ioniq is expected to be seen publicly at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and is expected to go on sale in September 2016, with the fully electric and conventional hybrids on sale first and the plug-in hybrid joining the rest of the range later. They also comment on the teaser image Hyundai has released for the new car, saying its sharp shoulder line and coupe like roofline at the rear is a lot sleeker than the Toyota Prius it will challenge.

Autocar suggest it will be shown fully in January in its Korean home market, before its European debut in March, and claim that it is no surprise Hyundai are keen to get a dedicated hybrid model on sale considering the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Sales of alternative fuel vehicles have grown by almost 80% year on year in the UK, and the introduction of the Ioniq will help the car company overcome tougher emissions legislation due in 2020.

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