Hyundai isn’t the first manufacturer to offer pure-electric and hybrid technology, but there’s no denying the Korean brand is working hard to catch up.
Its Ioniq range of eco-focused cars includes a hybrid and a pure-electric version – but in the middle of the pack, there’s a plug-in model designed to offer the best of both worlds. We tried it in Italy back in April, but now we’ve had a chance to get behind the wheel of the car in the UK.
The PHEV version isn’t just a carbon copy of the regular Hybrid with an extra power socket. Although the normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine has the same output as in the non-plug-in car, the electric motor gets a small boost. And while the maximum combined power figure is still 139bhp, it’s ever-so-slightly faster from 0-62mph – completing the sprint two tenths faster than the standard Hybrid car.
The ability to charge the larger battery at a wall socket (it takes about two and a half hours) really helps the Ioniq’s CO2 emissions, though; this car emits just 26g/km, compared with the conventional hybrid’s 79g/km.
As with most other PHEVs, the Ioniq is a car that is at its best when making relaxed progress. Treat the throttle with respect and it with gather speed smoothly and with little intrusion from the petrol motor. Stamp on the right pedal and things quickly deteriorate, though; the six-speed dual-clutch transmission isn’t the quickest or smoothest-shifting unit out there, and the petrol motor, while fluid enough, is pretty audible if its revs are sent rocketing.
You can run the plug-in Ioniq in a couple of modes. Most of the time will be spent in the car’s hybrid setting, where the system mixes electric and petrol power as it sees fit. It’s worth noting, though, that as with the Prius and Prius Plug-in, the Ioniq PHEV is keener to stick with pure-electric motoring than its conventional hybrid stablemate.
Read more: AutoExpress