Hyundai announces Ioniq: electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains available in a single body

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 9, 2015

Hyundai Motor has given us a preview of Hyundai IONIQ, the advanced, compact and alternative fuel vehicle that will be launched in 2016. The car is the first of its kind as it offers three powertrains as options housed in a single body – electric, gasoline/electric hybrid and plug-in gasoline/ electric hybrid, a new feature not available in any other production model to date.

In a world of digital future mobility, Hyundai Motor aims to unveil IONIQ as a unique model that can cater to the customer’s fast changing lifestyle with its enhanced hybrid features. IONIQ boasts of being the world’s first model that offers three powertrains for its customers as options, combining high fuel economy with an exciting highly-responsive fun drive encased in an impressive design.

Hyundai Motor has a rich legacy of producing highly innovative and fuel efficient vehicles. This heritage is being further advanced with the arrival of IONIQ. As commented by Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center, the company has expanded future mobility choices by offering three powertrain options to cater to various kind of lifestyles but in a way that doesn’t compromise design and driving experience.

The introduction of IONIQ is yet another step in the direction of Hyundai’s efforts in becoming the leading manufacturer of green cars in the global market. The name ‘IONIQ’ has been thoughtfully decided as it has references of creative elements. ‘Ion’ which is an electrically charged atom, refers to the vehicle’s smart combination of all three electrified powertrains.

‘Unique’ is the word reflected in the second part of IONIQ which depicts Hyundai’s eco-friendly commitment to bring in maximum choices for customers. Lastly, the Q represents a visual breakthrough which this car offers as an advanced, low-emission vehicle.

The IONIQ chassis has been specially designed for the car’s multiple powertrain options. It is optimised to provide responsive handling with maximum efficiency in all types of powertrain configuration. The IONIQ can be powered by a high capacity lithium ion battery in the fully electric or EV form. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) runs on a highly efficient engine combined with a battery powered by electricity.

As a result, its range is increased while its emissions are kept low. The third version, i.e. the Hybrid or HEV, uses a petrol engine and charges the on-board battery by car motion, which gives back the much needed efficiency with the engine’s power.

Hyundai Motor is largely committed to produce low- to zero emission cars as one of the leading hybrid vehicle manufacturers of the world. The company’s many firsts in environmental friendly innovations is now being further enhanced by the introduction of IONIQ.

In the past, the ix35 Fuel Cell was the first ever mass produced hydrogen fuelled vehicle, presented in 2013 by Hyundai. The IONIQ will have its world premiere in January in Korea and then it will be on display in March 2016 at the Geneva International Motor Show and New York Auto Show.

Press Release


  • A world first - electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains available in a single body
  • The IONIQ breaks hybrid stereotype by delivering entertaining drive alongside class-leading fuel economy and appealing design
  • Global launch set for January 2016 in Korea, followed by Geneva and New York auto shows, an important step as Hyundai Motor works to be global green car market leader

High Wycombe, 7 December 2015 – Hyundai Motor has announced the name of its advanced, alternative-fuel compact vehicle due for launch in 2016: the Hyundai IONIQ. The car will be available with electric, plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid, or gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain – the first car from any manufacturer to offer customers these three powertrain options in a single body type.

As part of Hyundai Motor’s ambition to chart the direction of future mobility, the IONIQ responds to rapidly changing customer lifestyles by breaking the mold for hybrid vehicles. As the world’s first model to offer customers the choice of three powertrain options, the IONIQ combines class-leading fuel efficiency with a fun, responsive drive and attractive design - a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle.

Woong-Chul Yang,Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center said, “Hyundai Motor has a heritage of building innovative, fuel-efficient vehicles, so we are proud to advance our eco-friendly car line-up with the introduction of IONIQ. 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. IONIQ embodies Hyundai Motor’s vision to shift the automotive paradigm and future mobility; IONIQ is the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market.”

The new car’s name references elements of its creation. An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s clever combination of electrified powertrains. The second part of the name references the unique offering it brings to the Hyundai range, demonstrating the brand’s environmental commitment and willingness to maximize choice for its customers. Finally, the Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model.

Based on an exclusive new platform, made specifically for the car’s multi-powertrain options, the IONIQ chassis is optimised to deliver responsive handling while remaining efficient in each of its three powertrain configurations. In its fully-electric (EV) form, the IONIQ is powered by a high capacity, ultra-efficient lithium ion battery. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version combines fuel-efficient energy with battery power obtained by charging the car with electricity, boosting its range while cutting its emissions. Finally, the hybrid (HEV) utilizes the petrol engine and motion of the car to charge the on-board battery, which returns enhanced efficiency by supplementing the engine’s power.

Hyundai Motor is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles and is committed to a future vehicle line-up comprising low- to zero-emission vehicles. This latest leap forward builds on Hyundai Motor’s heritage of world-first environmental developments. In 2013, Hyundai Motor became the first car manufacturer to mass-produce a hydrogen-fueled vehicle, the ix35 Fuel Cell.

Following its world premiere in Korea in January, the IONIQ is due to be shown at the Geneva International Motor Show, followed by the New York Auto Show, both in March 2016.


About Hyundai Motor

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond. The company, which leads the Hyundai Motor Group, an innovative business structure capable of circulating resources from molten iron to finished cars, offers top-quality best-sellers such as Elantra, Sonata and Genesis. Hyundai Motor has eight manufacturing bases and seven design & technical centers worldwide and in 2014, sold 4.96 million vehicles globally. With almost 100,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with localized models and strives to strengthen its leadership in clean technology, starting with the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered vehicle, ix35 Fuel Cell.

About Hyundai Motor UK

Hyundai has sold vehicles in the UK since 1982. In 2005, Hyundai opened its own UK subsidiary, Hyundai Motor UK Ltd, based in High Wycombe. Since 2008, the company has risen from 21st to one of the top manufacturers in the UK and last year sold a record 82,159 vehicles. Hyundai Motor UK employs over 3000 people through its UK operations and dealer network.

Hyundai offers a full range of vehicles from the award-winning New Generation i10 city car through to the capable Santa Fe SUV and iLoad LCV. All passenger cars come with Hyundai’s industry-leading 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty package.

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