Hyundai has dropped a first official preview of the Ioniq facelift, particularly the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid. Both models have been heavily revised for this midlife update exercise, and includes the Hyundai SmartSense technology package as standard.

Let’s start with design. Outside, the new Ioniq gets updated with Hyundai’s iconic cascading mesh grill, as well as a new front and rear bumper design. The optional LED headlights and tail lights have been completely redesigned, and the LEDs on the front fog lamps are also new. Besides a selection of new wheels, the Ioniq gets three more paint colours – Fluidic Metal, Electric Shadow and Liquid Sand – for a total of eight.

Inside, the biggest upgrade is the new (optional) 10.25-inch Audio Video Navigation system, which Hyundai claims is the first in class. The widescreen unit supports voice recognition as part of the Bluelink telematic services, and supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Hyundai LIVE Services as well. Below that are the redesigned HVAC controls, now finished in high gloss. Looks better than the current one, right?

Powertrain-wise, it’s likely that the existing trio – Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric – won’t see much changes, save for the Electric, which is tipped to receive more range. Currently, the Ioniq Electric has an EPA-rated range of 200 km (280 km on the more lenient European NEDC cycle), but don’t expect it to match the Kona Electric’s 415 km range.

The Ioniq Electric is powered by a 120 PS/295 Nm motor, paired to a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged in four hours and 25 minutes using a 6.6 kW wallbox. The update could push the EPA-rated range beyond the 300 km mark, which is a substantial 50% increment. Interestingly, its petrol-hybrid counterparts feature adjustable regenerative braking, which is set using the paddle shifters.

In terms of safety, all updated Ioniq models will get Hyundai SmartSense technology package as standard. This includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA), as well as Driver Attention Alert (DAA). More features are said to be bundled together, although this has yet to be disclosed.

In an effort to better preserve the environment, Hyundai has fitted the Ioniq with the world’s first Green-zone Drive Mode (GDM) which automatically switches the vehicle’s driving module in designated areas to further run on electric power rather than the internal combustion. The Ioniq also adopts the one-pedal driving capability, Smart Regenerative Braking, Utility Mode use of onboard functions and Eco+ Mode for extending remaining energy during unforeseeable emergency situations.

The new Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid will be introduced in Europe during the second half of 2019. What do you think of this?