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Hyundai Ioniq to take on the Toyota Prius

Hyundai has given us the first proper glimpse of the Ioniq, a car that will go toe-to-toe with the mighty Prius when it launches later in 2016.

The Hyundai Ioniq will be the first car of its kind to come with a choice of three powertrains, covering all of the electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid bases.

Customers will first be offered the hybrid, which is powered by an exclusively developed 1.6-litre Kappa GDi diesel that outputs 103bhp and 108.5lb/ft of torque, and a permanent magnetic electric motor that adds another 46bhp.

Hyundai says this engine has a ‘class-leading thermal efficiency’ of 40 per cent (same as the Prius), with the head and block deliberately split to improve cooling.

It also has 200 bar, six-hole direct fuel injectors that are said to further improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but is yet to state either figure.

Yet more alleged class-leading performance comes in the form of the six-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic, which is said to be 97.5 per cent fuel efficient.

Details of the other two powertrains are scarce, but we know the all-electric model will make use of a lithium-ion battery, while the hybrid plug-in hybrid will use a petrol engine to charge the onboard battery (usual stuff).

Hyundai has used a new platform for the Ioniq, which is shared with Kia. It is made from 53 per cent ‘Advanced High Strength Steel’, with lightweight aluminium used for the hood, tailgate, suspension components and other areas not used to provide strength in the event of a crash.

Ride quality and handling is said to be a core concern, which explains why the car battery has been put low and forward to help achieve a low centre of gravity, potentially improving responsiveness and cornering stability.

Looking to further improve comfort, meanwhile, is a dual lower arm multi-link suspension system for the rear wheels.

As for the interior, eco-friendly materials have been used to really keep eco-warriors happy. Echoing the Hyundai Tucson’s sensible layout, it comes with a digital display in the centre of the dashboard, the usual cupholders and stylish aesthetics.

We’ll have to wait patiently for the full reveal nearer the launch, so until then enjoy the two official press images below.

Hyundai Ioniq pictures

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