Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid sets new Land Speed Record


Who said hybrids can't be fast?

Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats are the main staging ground for land-speed record attempts, attracting scores of purpose-built race cars and modified production vehicles every year.

This year, one of the cars that drove away with a record was a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid hatchback.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq preview

A modified Ioniq set a new FIA-certified record in the production-based hybrid car class, achieving 157.825 mph.

That speed is actually an average taken from several points on the course. Hyundai claims the Ioniq Hybrid reached a maximum speed of 160.7 mph at one point.

The speed record attempt was undertaken by engineers from Hyundai Motor America's engineering and quality group.

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Land Speed Record car, at SEMA 2016

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Land Speed Record car, at SEMA 2016

Enlarge Photo

They started with a stock Ioniq Hybrid, which Hyundai says will go on sale before the end of this year.

An all-electric Ioniq Electric model will launch at the same time as the hybrid, with a plug-in hybrid version following later in 2017.

For the speed-record attempt, the Ioniq Hybrid retained its stock powertrain, consisting of a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, with an electric motor sandwiched between them.

ALSO SEE: 3000-HP Venturi Electric Car At Bonneville: Land Speed Record In One Class, Prior Title Still Stands (UPDATED) (Aug 2015)

But engineers substituted less-restrictive intake and exhaust systems for the gasoline engine, and recalibrated software in the powertrain's control units.

They also removed the air conditioning system and ancillary accessories, and added a nitrous oxide injection system.

Hyundai did not quote a horsepower figure for the speed-record car, but the sum total of these modifications means that it likely produces considerably more than the stock Ioniq Hybrid's 139 horsepower.

Hyundai Ioniq Land Speed Record car

Hyundai Ioniq Land Speed Record car

Enlarge Photo

To lower drag, engineers also substituted the sleeker front fascia from the Ioniq Electric model, made some modifications to the underbody of the car, and fitted aerodynamic wheel covers.

The interior was gutted, and fitted with a roll cage, racing seat, 6-point harness, and fire-suppression system.

MORE: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq product team discusses U.S. hybrid, electric markets

Following its land-speed record attempt, the Ioniq Hybrid was displayed at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

It was likely one of only a handful of hybrids on display at the annual aftermarket-industry trade show.

Perhaps Hyundai will return next year with another land speed record car... perhaps this time an Ioniq Electric?

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