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Ioniq shows the way forward for Hyundai 

CAR manufacturers continue to make giant leaps forward in their quest for new greener and leaner machines.

And Hyundai – seeing an electric future for the industry – has made a major step in that direction.

It has just launched its Ioniq model, the world’s first car offering three electrified power trains.

The South Korean company aims to be a key player and will launch 28 alternative fuel models between now and 2020.

Electric vehicles are no longer a vision for the future – they are here and will be arriving in force in the years to come.

And Hyundai is now delivering a stylish family car that can achieve zero emis-sions.

The Ioniq line-up is Hybrid, Electric and a Plug-in version that will arrive in the UK in 2017.

The Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-litre 105ps petrol engine alongside an electric motor that delivers 43.5ps.

The Plug-in model has the same engine but with a more powerful 61ps electric motor.

Power for the EV comes from a 120ps electric motor and this has an estimated maximum range of 174 miles.

POD Point has over 1,500 public charging points across the UK, as well as points at Hyundai dealers, and charging the battery up to 80 per cent takes 33 mi-nutes.

It can also be charged from zero to 100 per cent in 4.5 hours at home.

Hyundai brought its Ioniq Hybrid and Electric models to Edinburgh prior to them going on sale at the end of last month.

The Electric is easily distinguished by its smooth front as there is no need for a grille for cooling. A copper coloured character line runs below the front and rear bumper and the same colour accents are used in the interior – seemingly to create the impression that electricity is flowing through the car.

If you haven’t driven an electric vehicle before you will find it a bit strange when you pick away without the usual engine noise.

Settling into an Electric model you simply select drive by pushing a button, with other options reverse, neutral or park.

There is also the option of three driving modes – sport, normal and eco.

I discovered this model was perkier in city driving than I had imagined as the power came through the single speed reducer auto transmission.

It felt no different from driving a petrol-powered car apart from the only sounds coming from the road and wind.

In normal mode, the Electric can reach 62mph in 10.2 seconds and this is cut to 9.9 seconds in sport mode so it is no slouch pulling away.

The Ioniq was also pretty nippy in mid range and once out of the city proved to be an agile performer at speed.

It also comes with steering wheel paddles that allow you to adjust the levels of regenerative braking to recharge the battery as you are driving along.

The Electric was a good all-round performer as was the Hybrid version.

The most impressive feature of this model was the six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

This allowed a really smooth power transfer from gear to gear, unlike some of the more jerky switches from CVT units in some other hybrid models.

With power switching from electric to petrol this is capable of a combined fuel consumption of 70.6mpg and low CO2 emissions of 92g/km.

Handling didn’t disap-point and acceleration was sharp and quick when requi-red in a model that takes 11.1 seconds to go from zero to 62mph and has a top speed of 115mph.

And ride comfort was good, even over some potholed surfaces

The Ioniq interior has a quality feel and, depending on the spec, offers the latest connectivity and safety features.

Entry-level Hybrids get five-inch LCD touch screen with rear-view camera, Bluetooth and My Music functions.

Other standard items include cruise control, rear parking sensors, emergency braking, lane assist and tyre pressure monitoring.

The Premium model’s equipment adds keyless entry, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, driver’s instrument cluster with seven-inch display, eight-inch touch screen, satnav with TomTom, Infinity audio system with android/auto/Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging.

Step up to Premium SE and additional items include leather seats with heated/ventilated front seats, heated leather steering wheel and a driver power seat, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert and front parking assist

Higher spec Hybrid and all Electric models come with eight-inch touch screen along with an Infinity premium surround sound system with eight speakers.

Hybrid prices start at £19,995 with Electric models priced from £24,495 that includes a Government grant of £4,500.

All versions come with Hyundai’s class-leading five-year unlimited mileage warranty and eight years and 125,000 miles on the high-voltage battery.

The Ioniq is a super new offering from Hyundai – so impressive that I just learned as I finished this article that it is the winner of the Eco category in the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers’ Scottish Car of the Year Awards.