The Hyundai IONIQ, the South Korean automaker’s answer to the popular Toyota Prius, was first showcased at the Geneva Motor Show last year. The sedan is the first vehicle to be offered in regular hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric variants.
This year, Hyundai has brought an even more advanced version of their electric car. Shown as a concept, the Ioniq Autonomous gives visitors a chance to experience a drive in an autonomous electric car via a simulator.
Speaking about the the actual Hyundai Autonomous Ioniq concept, it will be able to drive itself through the most challenging of road conditions be it stop lights and traffic signs, crowded streets and road blocks. It will be able to navigate through bumps and road construction sites with ease.
The Autonomous Ioniq concept gets fitted with forward facing radar, Lane Keeping Assist cameras and smart cruise control besides LiDAR technology fitted to the front end of the car as against the roof mounted system which offers a better and sleeker stance to the vehicle.
GPS antenna along with high definition mapping software allows for easy recognition of each road gradient, curvature and lane width while lane changing is a safer possibility thanks to Blind Spot Detection Radar.
Following this demonstration, the Korean automaker is also said to be conducting trials along varying urban environments even as gradual market introduction is on the cards. Hyundai is also testing autonomous technology on two of its Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell cars.
Speaking about the Ioniq – Made of advanced high strength steel, the IONIQ is engineered to offer good rigidity and crash protection. Hyundai has used aluminium for non-structural components like hood, tailgate and suspension elements to keep the weight in check (about 12.6 kg of weight saving has been achieved by replacing steel with aluminium at strategic locations).
In its regular hybrid avatar, the IONIQ packs a 1.6-litre Kappa GDi petrol engine which produces 105 PS and 147 Nm of torque. The automaker claims that the mill has the highest thermal efficiency for a production engine at 40%. The permanent magnet electric motor produces 43.5 PS and 170 Nm of torque. Details of other two variants will be unveiled in due course.
Transmission is a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic unit which is specially tuned for the hybrid powertrain. The gearbox has a claimed efficiency of 95.7%. Electricy for the motor comes from a lithium ion polymer battery pack of 28 KWh made by LG. As per the South Korean driving cycle, the car will have a pure electric range of 105 miles (169 km) on a single full charge.
Visually, the Hyundai IONIQ sports an aerodynamic design with short rear overhang, smooth surfaces with equal blend of fresh and familiar elements. The interior settles for a conventional design and layout with all-black color theme and an infotainment system on the centre console.