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This car is coming to T&T

Trinidad Express / KOREAN automaker Hyundai Motor Company has introduced its first eco-friendly hybrid and purely electric cars to the world with the Ioniq range of vehicles.

And the cars are coming to Trinidad and Tobago soon.

Hyundai launched the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Electric last Wednesday at the Palacio de Cristal in the port city of Gauyaquil, Ecuador, about 40 miles north of the equator.

Hyundai chose Guayaquil-known as the gateway to the Pacific beaches-to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first export of the car maker’s Hyundai Pony car.

A Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle is displayed after a test drive on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos on November 24. In 1976, Hyundai exported six cars to the Galapagos Islands, about a one-hour plane ride from the Guayaquil coast.

Hyundai officials told the Express at the launch last Wednesday that it was appropriate to launch the Ioniq range in Ecuador and more so the Galapagos because of the 40th anniversary of the automaker as an export company and because of efforts to preserve and maintain the Galapagos as a World Heritage Site and one of the most unspoilt places on the planet.

At the launch last week, at which several hundred specially invited guests from Ecuador, as well as distributors from around the world got the chance to view the new Ioniq vehicles, Hyundai’s product manager Sukil Yoon said it was a “special event and a new era” as the company entered the electric and hybrid markets.

He emphasised the use of lighter and eco-friendly materials used to construct the cars, including aluminium and sugar cane by-products in some of the finishes.

The next day, distributors-including local company Massy Motors-travelled to Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos where they drove the Ioniq hybrid and electric vehicles.

Digital instrumentation on the dashboard of thhe Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle showing how energy is transferred to the wheels from the battery of the car during a test drive in Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos last week. The Express was also invited to drive both the Hybrid and Electric cars. T &T market next year Massy Motors brand director Jeremy Pagee confirmed that the Hyundai Hybrid and Electric will be available to local drivers next year. With regard to the Hybrid, he told the Express: “We expect to see these vehicles by February next year provided Hyundai can keep up with the demand.”

The Electric is slated for an August production start at Hyundai’s Korea factory and should be available in Trinidad and Tobago by next October, he said.

On the price point of the vehicles, Page said they would compare “quite favourably to the cost of a 1.6-litre sedan.” About the cars Hyundai officials said the company focused on a fluid exterior shape for the Ioniq inspired by aerodynamic efficiency and surfaces that trace the contour of the car.

The Hybrid is equipped with a Kappa 1.6 Atkinson GDI four-cylinder engine and new generation six-speed dual clutch.

It also operates in collaboration with a 32kW electric motor.

Twelve Hyundai Ioniq hybrid and electric vehicles are parked before a test drive on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos on November 24. The Electric version has an electric power control unit, on board charger and high-power electric motor.

It comes with a 28kWh lithium-ion polymer battery which offers almost 200 kilometres of driving on a full charge.

During test drives on different road surfaces across Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos last week, both cars offered firm handling and easy rides.

Acceleration was excellent, with a heavier sense of handling and hugging the road when the vehicle was used in Sport transmission mode.

The Electric’s response time was quicker than the Hybrid but both managed well on flat highways as well as a bumpy country roads.

The Hyundai Hybrid and Electric are designed to compete as a more affordable option to other hybrids on the market. Publications Editor Curtis Rampersad travelled to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands last week for the launch of the Hyundai Ioniq at the invitation of Massy Motors, the local distributor for Hyundai vehicles in Trinidad and Tobago.

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