3 distinct drivetrains, one very distinct platform. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Dec. 16, 2015 Interior rendering of the Hyundai IONIQ. Hyundai’s moniker, “New Thinking, New Possibilities” is alive and well at the hard charging Korean automaker. In late October, Hyundai revealed a piece to the long rumored Prius/Volt fighter puzzle in the form of an all-new or significantly reworked drivetrain based on the 1.6L GDI. I have come to know and admire the 1.6L in both the Sonata ECO and Tucson CUV, albeit both equipped with turbos. The $50 Hyundai Sonata ECO Challenge: Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Rockets! At the company’s International Powertrain Conference, Hyundai released details on its all-new and highly atkinsonized 1.6L GDI engine and an advanced front-wheel drive 8-speed automatic transmission (AT). The 8-speed AT is meant for future midsize vehicles on up however. 1.6L GDI Details Hyundai’s new 1.6L GDI is designed to boost power, performance and fuel efficiency while driving down production costs and CO2 emissions in the growing mid-class hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) segments. Arriving in Korea in January and markets around the globe through Spring, the new engine in an all-new dedicated platform called IONIQ is an Atkinsonized I4 with cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a long stroke specification. Within the efficiency increasing and torque reducing late valve closing Atkinson cycle, an intake oil control valve (OCV) integrated with the continuous variable valve timing (CVVT) operates to simplify oil flow. The CVVT phasing angle has also been extended for faster CVVT response. The EGR system helps to recirculate exhaust gases back into the cylinder and burns them again. The new HEV engine alone delivers a 3 percent gain in fuel economy through three stages: gas extracted upstream ensures more than 20 percent EGR rate, the EGR cooler delivers a cooling efficiency of 98 percent and the single stage gear EGR valve results in a 56.9 millisecond response time. A specially designed straight intake port increases the tumble flow of the EGR gas to allow fast combustion to further aid economy and boost power output. Like many of the VW/Audi 3.0L TDIs, Hyundai is now using two different temperature cooling loops by splitting the thermostat cooling temperatures of the cylinder block (221 degrees F) and head (190 degrees F). These two will reduce both friction and knock by allowing a higher temperature coolant in the block. The cylinder block heats up quickly for lower friction and a more efficient run, while the cylinder head operates at moderately low temperatures to suppress knock tendency with higher compression ratios for even better overall fuel economy. The new engine also features a six-hole laser-drilled GDI injector supplied by mid-pressure fuel supply system of 2,900 psi allowing more efficient combustion and reduced emissions. 2017 Hyundai 1.6L GDI Introduction Thermal Efficiency - Where you will be wowed! The new 1.6L GDI engine has a THERMAL EFFICIENCY of 40 PERCENT. This is equivalent to some previous generation turbo diesels and matches the all-new and first for a mass produced gas engine 2016 Toyota Prius’ 40 percent mark! On the power front, the 104 hp and 108 lb-ft. of torque may seem underwhelming at first but remember, this drivetrain will probably be mated to Hyundai’s excellent second generation HEV/PHEV electric powertrain - 51 hp from 1,770 to 2,000 rpm and 151 lb-ft from 0 to 1,770 rpm - from the all-new 2016 Sonata HEV and PHEV-27. Together we can expect the combination to provide a 142 to 145 hp total system out which is perfect for a C-segment Hybrid based off the upcoming 2017 Hyundai Elantra chassis but with the all-new super slick IONIQ body. Then again, rumors of a 1.4L GDI have been floating around for a while so maybe the 1.6L is a smokescreen for something else? Hyundai Introduces the IONIQ 2017 Hyundai IONIQ In early December, Hyundai released the first renderings and basic descriptions of the IONIQ, the brands upcoming advanced, alternative-fuel C-Segment and the first car to offer a choice of three electrified powertrains. Ford’s C-MAX with diesel and gasoline variants in Europe and HEV/PHEV variants offered here in the North America notwithstanding. Hyundai plans to introduce shortly the three powertrain variants as an HEV, PHEV and BEV in a single super slick body type. The Global launch set for January 2016 in Korea, followed by Geneva and New York auto shows, an important step as Hyundai Motor works to be global green car market leader Hyundai’s IONIQ is first and foremost a world class Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid with Gen4 Prius’ and Gen 2 Volt's targeted levels of efficiency in a fun to drive and great looking HEV/PHEV vehicle to own and drive. An ion is an electrically charged atom or group of atoms formed by the loss or gain of one or more electrons,. This links the car’s combination of electrified powertrains. The second part of the name references the unique offering it brings to the Hyundai range, demonstrating the brand’s continuing environmental commitment. Finally, the Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model pushing beyond the brands signature Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design while not abandoning it. The IONIQ chassis is optimized to deliver responsive handling no matter the powertrain configuration. As a BEV, the IONIQ is powered by a large capacity, ultra-efficient Li-Ion battery. With the sub-compact Chevrolet Bolt targeting 200 miles of All-Electric Range (AER), I bet the IONIQ will be targeting at least 225 to 250 miles. Just a guess as that is the way the Koreans work. On the PHEV front, I wild guess from the Sonata PHEV-27 at 27-miles of all-electric range goodness, the IONIQ PHEV will incorporate a pack conducive to 35 to 40 miles. Maybe a solid 50-miles of AER given the Volt is surely in Hyundai's gun sights? Just a WAG but a good one at that. On the Hybrid front, the all-new 2016 Prius really moved the efficiency bar. I am not sure the all-new IONIQ HEV will be able to crack the 58/53 mpgUS rating of the II-Eco but we might see a 55/50 mpgUS city/highway rating for an even more affordable price. Another WAG of course but a solid one. All three IONIQ’s will be introduced next month in Korea and afterwards in both Geneva and New York in March. From Jay's Hyundai IONIQ story and links, here are the spy shots: More on Hyundai’s Prius/Volt fighting IONIQ While the final exterior advert spy shots were seen on YaHoo, Hyundai released some renderings of its all-new IONIQ . It has curb appeal in spades while offering what we are guessing to be a Cd of just 0.23 besting the already best in the world 2016 Sonata Hybrids 0.24 Cd. With a sleek, coupe-like silhouette the eye-catching design is a match for any car let alone any car being offered as an environmental leader. Simple contours minimize wind resistance and assist the efficient management of airflow around the exterior. At the front, familiar Hyundai design themes are evident notably the signature hexagonal grille, which is also topped by an attractive gloss-black element that extends outwards to meet distinctive new headlamps featuring integrated ‘C’-position lights. Notice how the all-new edgey LED DRL and LED Projectors within the wraparound lenses tie into the grille with a piano black like plastic insert defining the latest Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design direction. Inside the IONIQ is said to incorporate a modern elegant and clutter-free theme with a logical layout of controls. Eco-friendly materials abound without making it to plasticy. 2017 Hyundai IONIQ Rendering The world will be following this one closer than ever as the Hyundai brand continues to provide value with a modern approach. This one called IONIQ however could break the mold by providing segment leading efficiency, varied alternative choices wrapped in a car we would all love to own and drive. If that mold was broken, others will have to answer or be left in Hyundai's wake. I am a huge 4th gen Prius fan that is also a huge Hyundai fan. Even a fan of the all-new second generation Volt. Imagine if the best of all three worlds were provided? Pretty big if but what if? I cannot wait to find out.