Hyundai is getting set to take on the Toyota Prius with its own high fuel economy sub-brand called the Ioniq. The big thinkers in Korea have decide to use one chassis to build a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a battery electric car, which is fairly innovative thinking. Recently it was photographed without any protective coverings or camouflage by Motor 1 on its way to a publicity photo shoot. The first public showing of the car will take place in Korea in January. It will then travel to Geneva before being present at the New York auto show in March.
Little is known about the technical specifications for the car, other than the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Ioniq will both use a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine. There are no range specifications for the plug-in or the battery version of the car available at this time.
The good news is that the car is clearly a crossover SUV style vehicle. That just happens to be the hottest part of the automobile market right now, so Hyundai is doing itself a favor by positioning the ioniq to compete in that segment. The bad news is that Hyundai — which has some of the best looking cars on the road — seems to have recorded a swing and a miss with the styling of this car.
In essence, it is the same type vehicle as the Tesla Model X — a 4 door sport utility vehicle with a hatchback. But it does not look nearly as appealing as the Model X. The front is ordinary in a way that other current Hyundai models are not. From the rear doors back, the car bears an unfortunate resemblance to the late and largely unlamented Pontiac Aztek. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with the appearance of the Ioniq, but there’s not a lot that’s especially right about it, either.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, and if the price is right, lots of buyers will be shopping for precisely this kind of car. From these photos, the Ioniq appears to be somewhat larger than the Prius, which will appeal to many folks. The Ioniq may be more appealing once more is known about its electronics and interior appointments.