Motors

Isn't it Ioniq? Hyundai joins the hybrid and electric charge

There's nothing ironic about the Ioniq, Hyundai's new eco-champion. Choose from hybrid, pure-electric of plug-in hybrid drivetrains

HYBRIDS and electric cars might still represent a small proportion of the overall car market, but demand is growing rapidly as drivers catch on to their benefits.

If your annual mileage, style of driving and circumstances suit, there can be sound financial reasons for choosing an electric or hybrid vehicle over a conventionally-fuelled petrol or diesel counterpart.

These include the promise of lower running costs and, for company users, more attractive benefit in kind tax rates.

For a long time, Toyota and its Lexus sister owned the hybrid market, but they are facing increasing competition as rivals launch their own efforts.

Latest to arrive is the Hyundai Ioniq, which has the distinction of being offered with three different 'electrified' powertrains.

Hybrid and electric versions are on sale already, and will be joined next year by a plug-in hybrid.

At a fiver under £20,000, the Ioniq hybrid is more than £3,000 cheaper than the Prius, while the electric version is a competitive £24,495 once a government grant of £4,500 has been applied.

The hybrid boasts fuel consumption of 83.1mpg on the EU combined cycle, a potential range of 846 miles and CO2 emissions of 79g/km, making it free to tax.

It pairs a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and uses a six-speed double-clutch gearbox. Total system output is 139bhp and 195lb/ft.

In pure electric guise, a range of 174 miles is claimed. Power and torque are rated at 118bhp and 218lb/ft.

Rapid charge capability is standard, meaning an 80 per cent charge is possible in 33 minutes from a 50kW public charger. A home charger means empty batteries can be fully recharged in 4.5 hours.

Hyundai UK boss Tony Whitehorn said the Ioniq was a landmark car for the company.

"Not only is the all-new Ioniq the world’s first car to offer three electrified powertrains, but it’s also our first move into the electrified sector in Europe," he said.

"We have listened to our customers and we have responded with a full portfolio of electrified models, making low- to zero-emission mobility more accessible to more people."

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