An automaker releasing an electric vehicle isn't necessarily huge news anymore. But releasing three different electrified variants atop a single platform? You don't see that every day. But you're looking at exactly that right now: the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq.
The Ioniq (a constant plague on my word processor's spell-check) will come in three distinct flavors. The first is a traditional gas-electric hybrid, packing a 104-horsepower, 1.6-liter gas engine mated to a 43-ish-horsepower electric motor and a 1.56-kWh battery. Despite the diminutive battery, there will be a pure-electric driving mode, although range is sure to be low.
In the middle, you have the plug-in Ioniq hybrid. It relies on the same gas engine as the regular hybrid, but the electric motor is more powerful (60-ish horsepower) and the battery is larger (8.9 kWh). Both the hybrid and the plug-in rely on a dual-clutch transmission to put power to the cars' front wheels.
Then there's the Ioniq Electric. This variant, obviously, ditches the gas engine in favor of a 28-kWh battery and a 120-horsepower electric motor. The driving range is estimated at 110 miles, and Hyundai believes it'll earn a 125 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) rating from the EPA. This little guy's transmission is a single-speed, reduction-gear unit. No cog-swapping here.
The styling's a smidge different between each variant, but it's mostly relegated to small adjustments to the grille, wheel designs and the addition of a charging port on the plug-in model. On the EV, though, without the need for engine cooling up front, the grille has been replaced by the automotive equivalent of a gimp mask. It's a little odd, to be honest.
Inside, the design is traditional Hyundai. It's sensible and straightforward, with a 7-inch, 720p-resolution touchscreen resting above HVAC and other creature-comfort controls. In the EV, the transmission tunnel is slightly thinner, as there's no need to cover up any mechanical linkages. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on offer, as well as a Qi-type wireless phone charger.
No matter how bad a driver you are, it appears the Ioniq will be equipped to deal with you. The car can be outfitted with blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
There's no word yet on pricing or availability, but we do know that the three available variants will have a staggered release, likely starting with the hybrid.