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Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) is previewing the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid at an event held at the Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC), south of KL. The company opened order books for the locally-assembled hybrid yesterday, so this is a chance for interested parties to view the car in the metal. It will be officially launched later this month.

Hyundai’s rival to the Toyota Prius (of which the latest fourth-generation version will not be sold in Malaysia) will be locally assembled in Kulim, Kedah to take advantage of government incentives for CKD Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs). The estimated price of a very well-equipped (more below) Ioniq Hybrid is from RM130k.

“The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid promises a pleasurable driving experience. It will not only appeal to eco and fuel-efficiency oriented buyers but also car buyers who are looking for a car with advanced technologies, great performance and a stylish design,” said Lau Yit Mun, MD of HSDM.

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The Ioniq is Hyundai’s global green car, and besides this conventional hybrid version, the car was also designed to also accommodate plug-in hybrid and pure EV systems. It went on sale in the UK last month, which means that we’re pretty quick off the mark here. Malaysia will also be the first location outside of Ulsan in South Korea to assemble the Ioniq.

The Ioniq Hybrid is powered by a 1.6 litre Kappa GDI four-cylinder direct injection engine, producing 105 PS at 5,700 rpm and 147 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Hyundai claims that this internal combustion engine has the world’s highest thermal efficiency at 40%. Interestingly, that’s the same claim with the same 40% figure as Toyota’s current fourth-gen Prius.

The Kappa GDI is mated to a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor with 32 kW (44 PS) and 170 Nm, a lithium-ion polymer battery (lower memory sensitivity, better charge/discharge efficiency and better maximum output over Ni-MH nickel-metal-hydride batteries) and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). The combined system output from the engine and electric motor is 141 PS and 265 Nm.

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The electric motor was specifically designed for world-class efficiency, with optimisation measures including up to 10% thinner core components (electrical steel sheet) and rectangular-section copper wire for reduced core and copper loss. The motor enables the Ioniq to run in pure electric mode at speeds of up to 120 km/h.

A unique point compared to Japanese hybrids is the use of a DCT over a CVT. Hyundai claims that its dual-clutch ‘box has best-in-class transfer efficiency through the use of low-friction bearings and low-viscosity transmission oil. It also features Sport and Eco modes – the former holds on to lower gears for longer, while the latter shifts up earlier to higher gears for maximum fuel efficiency.

The Ioniq is built on a new dedicated platform, and benefits from a number of weight-saving measures, including the use of an aluminium bonnet and tailgate that shaves 12.4 kg off steel versions. The material is also used on a large proportion of suspension parts to save around 10 kg, including 4.6 kg off the front lower arms and 7.14 kg off the rear lower arms. Even the cargo cover on the Ioniq is around 25% lighter than on other Hyundai models.

Under the skin, a multi-link rear suspension system with dual lower arms enhances ride comfort, Hyundai says, while the steering has been tuned for clear and precise response and feedback, with an increased ratio for a sportier character. The brakes have also been optimised to maximise regenerative braking performance.

The car on display is a high local-spec unit that looks similar to the cars in the press photos. Included are active safety systems such as Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Smart Cruise Control. The piece of plastic covering the front grille logo is the radar. Seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag.

Our car will also come with Qi wireless smartphone charging and the largest alloys on offer – 17-inch items with Michelin Primacy rubber, including a full-sized spare with rim.

A CKD Hyundai hybrid car in Malaysia, who would have thought? The Ioniq is an interesting product for sure, but with the pairing of hybrid and DCT, it should be a unique drive too. Register your interest here.


GALLERY: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid in Malaysia


GALLERY: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, UK spec