The Toyota Prius rivalling Hyundai Ioniq has just made a surprise debut at the 2016 My Auto Fest held at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC). Globally, the Ioniq is available in three variants – Hybrid, Electric and Plug-in Hybrid. The one on display here is the Hybrid variant.
The Ioniq is the world’s first green car with three energy-efficient powertrains, powered by a single 1.6-litre four cylinder Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) Kappa engine coupled with an electric motor. The total output from the Ioniq is rated to be around 145 hp with 211 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front axle, with a six-speed dual clutch gearbox tasked for quick and efficient gear changes.
Again, the display unit at MIECC is clearly the hybrid model, packing a 56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery located underneath the rear bench. The positioning of this battery improve the car’s weight distribution, and together with the rear multilink suspension, Hyundai is confident that the Ioniq will be a hybrid car that’s as fun to drive as it is frugal.
Judging from our first impressions, the Ioniq looks a lot more presentable and striking compared to the controversial looking fourth generation Prius. Despite being a hatchback, boot space is cavernous with 443 litres which should meet any typical Malaysian’s needs.
So, will Hyundai Sime Darby Malaysia (HSDM) be introducing the Ioniq sometime in the future? Well, apparently not. A source within HSDM revealed that the Ioniq will be a challenging product to launch here due to tax and pricing issues, plus the fact that unless the Ioniq is locally assembled, it will never benefit from the EEV incentives. Toyota has also stopped selling the Prius and Prius C because of this.