Tweaked torque curve makes Ioniq a “fun drive”

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 20 January 2016

HYUNDAI engineers have put on their thinking caps to ensure its trio of eco-friendly Ioniq electrified hatchbacks will live up to the company’s “fun to drive” promise.

In addition to the basic outline of its 1.6-litre petrol-electric powertrain with six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission of the initial Ioniq line, Hyundai has now detailed more features that it claims will make the compact hatchback a better drive than any of its rivals.

For a start, its 32kW/170Nm permanent magnet synchronous electric motor has been optimised with the use of thinner gauge steels, while square-section copper wire reduces core and copper efficiency losses.

A range of up to 120km is possible in electric-only mode, and when combined with the 103hp GDI four-cylinder engine, combined torque is boosted to 265Nm when in first gear for maximum acceleration. In gears two to six, torque drops back to 235Nm.

The result is sportier, more regular car acceleration and driving characteristics and not the “rubber band” acceleration experienced in other hybrids, according to Hyundai.

Two modes allow the driver to select a particular driving style with a Sport mode which holds higher engines revs for more responsive acceleration, or an Eco mode which up-shifts gears earlier to save fuel.

Other range-boosting features include flexible body panels that change shape at speed to reduce aerodynamic drag to 0.24Cd, while the Ioniq suspension set-up was tuned specifically to work optimally with a specially developed 17-inch Michelin tyre.

Hyundai has not released fuel economy figures but says a closed wheel design with “curtains” on the front wheels, active air flap ducts, low-drag diffuser and smooth underside all contribute to “the world’s best hybrid fuel efficiency.”


Inside the Ioniq has dual-zone air-conditioning that can be switched to an efficiency mode for better fuel economy, or a driver-only mode for when only one person is aboard.

The Ioniq’s interior fit-out uses components that rely less on petrochemicals, opting for recycled plastics, wood fibre and even pumice stone and soy bean oil based paints instead. The more environmentally friendly materials are not only more sustainable but are also 20 per cent lighter and provide more effective sound insulation.

The drivers instrument cluster is a 7.0-inch digital display which shows different information and in a different colour theme depending on the selected driver mode.

A second dash-mounted screen allows passengers to access the various entertainment systems through the touchscreen, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android smartphone connectivity as well as wireless device charging.

Hyundai’s Eco-Das navigation further increases fuel efficiency by changing the way the car delivers power or charges the lithium-ion battery according to the driving route. The system encourages more efficient driving style as well as managing power depending on the traffic and environmental conditions.

In the most recent release, Hyundai also outlined the various Ioniq driver assistance and safety systems in addition to the already detailed high-strength steel and aluminium construction.

Blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control and tyre pressure monitoring will all be available, as well as seven airbags as standard if a collision is unavoidable.

The Ioniq has a 750 litres of luggage space with the second-row seats folded, and will be available in nine paint colours with a choice of three interior colour schemes.