Hyundai today published the first photos of its Ioniq, a Prius-fighter that will be the world’s first car offered with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric powertrains.
You’ll notice none of the images you see here show the front of the car; that’s because Hyundai hasn’t provided any, so all we know is the going-away view, plus some facts gleaned from those infographics. That said, there are some visual cues in that rear three-quarter photo that suggest shared elements between this car and the second-gen Sonata Hybrid, and it’s possible that’s a link the company doesn’t want to give away just yet.
Hyundai says the Ioniq’s hood and tailgate will be fashioned from aluminum, along with some suspension and structural elements, while more than half the body structure will be made from high-strength steel to save weight and boost crash safety.
Under the hood, Hyundai will bolt in a new engine exclusive to the Ioniq that boasts 40 percent thermal efficiency and generates 104 hp and 109 lb-ft of torque. It’ll work alongside an electric motor good for 43 hp and 125 lb-ft, and both power sources will be put to work through a new six-speed dual-clutch transmission that reinforces Hyundai’s apparent reluctance to use CVT technology in its hybrids: both generations of the brand’s Sonata hybrid have used a tranditional six-speed automatic. The electric motor will get its juice from a compact lithium-ion-polymer battery placed under the rear seat, where it will nestle up to the gas tank.
First to market will be the hybrid model, which will be revealed for real this March at the Geneva auto show.