• $24106

Hyundai Motor introduces Ioniq PHEV sedan

Hyundai Motor has unveiled the Ioniq plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) here, completing the eco-friendly model’s lineup after introducing the Ioniq hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) in January 2016 and electric vehicle (EV) in June.

“A PHEV has an electric motor along with a conventional gasoline engine, attracting those motorists who are still afraid of their EV being stranded on the road,” a Hyundai Motor official said during the so-called Ioniq Conference held at Hyundai Motor Studio in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, Monday.

A PHEV is believed to be an “intermediate stage” between an HEV and a full EV in terms of technology. Considering the nation’s poor charging infrastructure, a PHEV is considered a realistic alternative before EVs become more widespread in the market.

During the event, the Ioniq PHEV was also offered for a test drive for about 30 minutes around the carmaker’s motor museum.

The Ioniq PHEV has an electric motor along with a conventional 1.6-liter GDi Kappa engine. The PHEV model’s electric motor produces maximum 60.5 horsepower, or 44.5kW, with a 17.3 kg.m torque while the engine adds up to 105 horsepower with a 15 kg.m torque.

It has a range of 46 kilometers in EV mode only. However, the official said the Ioniq PHEV can run a total of 900 kilometers with its fully charged lithium-ion polymer battery and a full tank of gasoline.

Unlike its sister, the Ioniq EV, the PHEV model lagged in initial acceleration when in EV mode. It especially struggled when going up an underground parking lot ramp. The Ioniq PHEV never surprised this driver as its EV model did with its punchy instant torque from a standing start and lower speeds.

However, the Ioniq PHEV features a paddle shifter behind the steering wheel. If a driver initiates the sports mode by pressing the shifter, plenty of torque suddenly kicks in at low speed.

The torque does not last long through higher speed. Considering the model is a PHEV, not many motorists would use the paddle shifter.

The Ioniq PHEV’s price starts at 27.3 million won ($24,106) with a government consumer subsidy of 5 million won.

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