We can thank the new tax reform law for some interesting new cars this year, opening the playing field when it comes to hybrids and possibly even electric vehicles.
Hyundai, it seems, will be the first to take advantage of the halved excise tax on hybrid cars as they arrived at the Manila International Auto Show with this: the 2018 Ioniq hybrid.
The Ioniq was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016, and measures in at 4470mm long, 1820mm wide, and 1460mm tall, effectively positioning itself as a compact car. Despite being only available as a 5-door liftback, Hyundai made the Ioniq available with three distinct powertrains: a pure electric vehicle (EV), a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and a conventional gas-electric hybrid which was the model launched by Hyundai at the Manila International Auto Show. The Ioniq has a stylish and sporty look derieved from their design philosophy (Fluidic Sculpture) that is very efficient in terms of aerodynamics; Hyundai says the Ioniq has a drag coefficient of 0.24 Cd. Key exterior features include projector headlamps, LED daylight running lamps, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Ionic also has a futuristic interior in keeping with its high tech promise. Key features include a power adjustable driver's seat, an automatic climate control system, a long list of power features, a smart key, cruise control, a push-button start system, bluetooth, parking sensors, and many more.
What makes the Ioniq unique is its hybrid powertrain, one that combines the performance of a 1.6-liter gasoline engine that makes 105 PS and 147 Newton meters of torque and the efficiency of an electric motor that makes 43.5 PS and 170 Newton meters of torque. The electric drive system uses a 1.56 kilowatt/hour lithium-ion polymer battery. The transmission is a 6-speed dual clutch.
In the U.S., a key market for hybrids, the EPA rated the Ioniq for 58 mpg (about 24.6 kilometers to a liter) in mixed city and highway driving, exceeding the rating of its prime competitor: the Prius.
The Ioniq will be Hyundai's first hybrid in the Philippines, but what's more interesting is the pricing because at PhP 1.498 million, the Ioniq has undercut the price of the Toyota Prius C by over PhP 300,000. The most affordable hybrid used to be the 2016 Honda CR-Z with the manual gearbox at PhP 1,440,000, followed by the CR-Z CVT at PhP 1,530,000; both have since been discontinued.
The Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, however, will be available much later in the year; around November 2018.
2018 Hyundai Ioniq 1.6L Hybrid DCT: PhP 1,498,000