Hyundai plans to launch a barrage of new hybrid and electric models over the next few years, in a bid to boost its share of the green-car market considerably.
Among the new models will be a dedicated hybrid intended to compete with the Toyota Prius.
Now we learn that its name may be recycled from a 2012 Hyundai concept car.
The new model will be called the Hyundai Ioniq, according to AutoGuide, which claims to have discussed the matter with sources close to Hyundai's product plans.
Hyundai reportedly registered the name on June 5 of this year with the Korean Intellectual Property Office.
In July, it also applied to agencies in Europe, Malta, the U.K., and Canada for a trademark on the Ioniq name, as well as to the World Intellectual Property Organization.
[UPDATE: Green Car Reports had reached out to Hyundai for comment on the report before this article was published.
Executive director of corporate communications Chris Hosford responded, "While there has been a press report that the name Ioniq will be used for Hyundai’s line of dedicated hybrid vehicles, that has not been confirmed by the company. Timing of when the vehicles go on sale in the U.S. has not been discussed by Hyundai at this time."]
2012 Hyundai i-oniq concept
The name seems to derive from a 2012 Hyundai extended-range electric-car concept, which was called the i-Oniq.
It was propelled primarily by an 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) electric motor, with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine acting as the range extender.
Hyundai claimed the plug-in i-Oniq had an electric-only range of 75 miles, and a combined range of 360 miles.
The company has said that it plans to launch a new all-electric model alongside the Prius-fighting hybrid, as part of its ambitious green-car plans.
And we reported earlier this year that the two models could share a platform, or perhaps even be variants of the same model.
The "Prius fighter" is expected to ride on a new platform, derived from the new generation of the Elantra subcompact, that's designed to accommodate a variety of different efficient powertrains.
2012 Hyundai i-oniq concept
Like its Toyota target, the Hyundai will be an aerodynamically-efficient five-door hatchback with a high tail.
But while some carmakers are focusing on one green powertrain technology, Hyundai seems to be taking an "all of the above" approach.
The company has irons in many fires, from fuel-efficient gasoline engines to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric vehicles, and even hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion.
As well as the planned dedicated hybrid and electric models, the Korean carmaker will continue to sell its Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid sedans, and its low-volume Tucson Fuel Cell crossover.
Companion brand Kia is expected to get its own dedicated hybrid as well, plus a plug-in hybrid Optima that uses the Sonata's powertrain.
Kia has also now expanded sales of the all-electric Soul EV to additional regions.