2016 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

What is it?

Apart from another opportunity to make poor Alanis Morissette-based jokes, this is our first chance to drive the all-electric version of the Hyundai Ioniq on UK roads. If that name looks familiar, that’s because we’ve already sampled the hybrid version.

Hyundai Ioniq

With a plug-in hybrid to follow, the Ioniq is a key part of Hyundai’s plan to have 22 ‘green’ cars in its range by 2020. Underneath all three versions is the same platform that underpins the Kia Niro. There’s plenty of high-strength steel to help rigidity, along with aluminium panels and other componentry to reduce weight.

Unlike the Niro and the two hybrid Ioniqs, the all-electric version does without independent multi-link rear suspension, despite costing nearly £29,000 before any government grant. There is good reason for the fitment of a torsion beam rear axle, though. As it’s more compact, Hyundai has been able to shoehorn in a larger battery pack without sacrificing too much boot space.

Indeed, the lithium ion cells have enough juice to give the Ioniq a maximum potential range of 174 miles. Like official fuel economy figures, we’d take that number with a pinch of salt. Even so, you’re still left with enough range to make all but the longest commute viable. The question is whether you’d want to spend an hour or two every day in one.

What’s it like?

With 118bhp, the Electric may be the least powerful Ioniq, but it is, nevertheless, the fastest. A substantial 218Ib ft of torque from rest and no pauses to change gear result in a 0-62mph time that just squeaks under 10 seconds. At urban speeds, the Ioniq feels even quicker than that.

That instant torque can overwhelm the economy-biased tyres, though. In the wet, the traction control has to cut in hard if you try to accelerate quickly. Turn it off and the Ioniq will spin its front wheels all the way up to 35mph.

Not that performance is really a selling point of the Ioniq, more a handy by-product of the electric powertrain. More important is the smooth power delivery and complete absence of vibration from under the bonnet. Like other electric cars, it proves far more serene than a diesel or even petrol engine.

Read more: Autocar

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