Hyundai is jumping into the hybrid market with both feet in 2016, when the company plans to unveil the production version of the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid sedan in Korea, ahead of appearances at the Geneva and New York auto shows. The Ioniq will offer customers a choice of three powertrains in one body style — an industry first!
“Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers’ varied lifestyles,” says Woong-Chul Yang, head of Hyundai’s research and development center. The Ioniq will have a “conventional” hybrid option like Hyundai’s own Sonata and Toyota’s dominant Prius line. It will also have a plug-in hybrid option as well as a battery electric version. This is great news for buyers who still view range anxiety as a major consideration. With Hyundai’s plan- and Hyundai Assurance, natch- a customer can choose the powertrain that best suits his or her driving style.
The new Hyundai Ioniq hybrid is being built on a new platform designed to deliver sporty handling and efficient propulsion – something which Hyundai says is lacking in the segment, according to AutoBlog. With its many powertrain options, the Hyundai Ioniq will compete with the Prius, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, as well as electric cars like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. No price information has been revealed as of yet, but Hyundai is usually very competitive with similar cars from other manufacturers.
Hyundai’s one size fits all approach illustrates the schizophrenia in the marketplace at the moment, as manufacturers struggle to meet ever-tightening fuel economy and emissions standards while American car buyers seem to gravitate to the biggest and least fuel efficient vehicles they can find. Sales of pickup trucks and SUVs are surging, too. Faced with such ambivalence, Hyundai hopes it can find a way to meet the letter of the regulations and still make a profit. Using one platform to support multiple powertrains will keep the company’s development costs to a minimum.
If the Hyundai Ioniq is a success, of course, you can expect other car makers to chart a similar course in terms of drivetrain choices. What do you guys think? Is this a great idea for hybrid car buyers, or just another false start towards an electric future?
Source | Images: Hyundai.