The Fluidic Sculpture design language may have won Hyundai many new fans, but the company isn’t keen on resting on its successes. Instead, it has released the i-oniq concept at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, a one-two punch of cutting edge technology and a design that could pave the way for a new generation of Hyundais.
The i-oniq is the first Hyundai that features an extended-range electric powertrain: it’s powered by a 108-horsepower electric motor hooked up to a lithium-ion battery pack. That pack, in turn, is recharged either from an electrical outlet or a 60-horsepower, 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine. The car can travel up to 74 miles on gasoline alone, although that figure expands to 435 miles when both a full-charge and a full tank of gas are used.
The i-oniq’s most distinctive feature, however, is its design. The i-oniq was designed and developed at Hyundai’s research and development center in Germany, and the car reads like a futuristic, European interpretation of the current Hyundai Veloster.
The front end may feature a hexagonal grille — typical for Hyundai — but it’s lower down than usual, and covered with a glossy, horizontal-slatted grille insert. There’s plenty of polished metal trim to be found elsewhere on the i-oniq, including on the windowsills, rocker moldings, hatch trim, and the thin-spoke wheels.
As is usually the case with show cars, there’s little chance the Hyundai will reach a production line in its present form. Too bad; we think it could serve as an interesting competitor to the similar Honda CR-Z.
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