Triple play: Hyundai bringing new hybrids, electric car to the U.S.

2017 Ioniq hybrid vehicle

2017 Ioniq hybrid vehicle

Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai  is preparing fuel efficient and environmentally friendly fraternal triplets, all named Ioniq, to take on the Toyota Prius and similar competitors in the United States.

Introduced at the New York International Automobile Show, the three vehicles are nearly identical in exterior design, but each carries its own fuel-efficient powertrain.

The standard hybrid features a 1.6-liter Atkinson cycle, 4-cylinder gasoline engine that generates an estimated 104 horsepower and approximately 109 pound-feet of torque It is teamed with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery that delivers 43 horsepower and an estimated maximum torque of 125 pound-feet. Together, engine and battery offer a total output of 139 horsepower.

The plug-in hybrid features the same gasoline engine, but is teamed with a more powerful lithium-ion polymer battery that powers an electric motor with 60 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. This Ioniq can travel more than 25 miles on electric power alone. It can be recharged using a 220-volt line in about 2 1/2  hours.

The Ioniq Electric has the strongest lithium-ion polymer battery and an electric motor that generates 120 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. The vehicle has an estimated driving range of 110 miles. It can be recharged in a little less than 4 1/2 hours.

Unlike other hybrids which transfer power to the wheels through a continuously variable transmission, the Ioniq hybrid and hybrid plug-in use a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission that makes their operation feel more like a car with a traditional automatic shifter.

Both cars feature independent suspensions, MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link setup at the rear wheels.

In addition, both cars feature Eco and Sport driving modes.While the Eco optimizes fuel efficiency, the Sport holds lower gears longer and teams the electric motor with the engine to provide maximum performance.

The Ioniq Electric uses a single-speed reduction gear transmission. The front suspension is identical to the other cars, but a torsion beam is substituted for the multi-link setup at the rear.

The lithium-ion polymer batteries are 20 percent lighter than non-polymer batteries, which helps to offset the extra weight of the hybrid and plug-in technologies. In all three cars, the batteries are located beneath the rear seats to maximize space in the passenger and luggage compartments. In addition, the rear seats can be folded forward to provide a total of 26.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

A comprehensive list of safety equipment and connectivity features will be available on the Ioniqs.

Among the available safety features will be automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind sport detection, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.

Among the connectivity features will be the availability of Apple Car Play and Android Auto and wireless charging of cell phones.

Also offered will be Blue Link, which features remote starting with climate control,, destination search by Google, remote door locking and unlocking, enhanced roadside assistance and stolen vehicle recovery. Owners of the plug-in and electric Ioniqs will be able to their automobiles charging with the Blue Link smartphone app.

The hybrid and electric Ioniqs will go on sale as 2017 models in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the plug-in hybrid will go on sale in 2017.

Pricing and fuel-mileage figures have not yet been released.