What is it?
The Hyundai Ioniq is something of a trailblazer; it’s the first car to be offered in three electrified states. There’s a pure EV model capable of 174 miles on a charge, a petrol-electric parallel hybrid model that we’re driving here and a plug-in hybrid that will arrive in 2017.
It’s all part of Hyundai’s intention to have as many as 28 ‘eco-friendly’ models on sale by 2020, and its hybrid certainly fits that bill. It features a modified 104bhp version of Hyundai’s 1.6-litre Kappa petrol engine, which, thanks in part to its Atkinson cycle, now has 40% thermal efficiency - around 15% better than the traditional Otto cycle.
Stored beneath the rear seats is a 1.56kWh battery, which, via an electric motor, takes maximum combined power to 139bhp and combined twist to 195lb ft. Unlike the Ioniq's main rival, the Toyota Prius, Hyundai as opted for a specially developed six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission instead of a CVT unit, too.
Because its engine, clutch, electric motor and gearbox are mounted on one common shaft, Hyundai has been able to keep packaging and weight to a minimum. The result of all these efforts is CO2 emissions of as low as 79g/km and official fuel economy of as high as 83.1mpg should you choose the right trim and therefore the right alloy wheels with eco tyres.