Hyundai Group to launch new pure-electric city car in 2023

City-car sized EV could launch under Hyundai, Kia or Ioniq brand and will likely be a mini SUV

Hyundai is preparing to launch a new pure-electric city car within the next two years, in plans confirmed by electric powertrain partner BorgWarner. 

The deal signed between Hyundai Motor Group and BorgWarner means the vehicle could launch under any of HMG’s brands, but most likely it will be badged a Hyundai or Kia. The vehicle will go into production mid-way through 2023

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BorgWarner will supply Hyundai Motor Group with a new integrated electric drive module for the car, which combines the motor and gearbox into one bolt-in unit – a setup that saves both space and weight over a conventional electric drivetrain. This is important when making a city car, as you only have between 3.5 and 3.7 metres of body length to work with. 

The electric powertrain also has a peak output of 135kW (181bhp), although we don’t expect Hyundai will use all of that performance in its electric city car. BorgWarner’s setup also has a modular inverter, which would allow Hyundai to dial-back the motor’s output to a more sensible 100bhp, putting the new EV’s performance on a level with the petrol-powered i10.

It’ll also run on the same 400v architecture as the Hyundai Kona electric, which should allow the city car to take on around 99 miles of range in half an hour when connected to a 50kW DC rapid charger. 

Due to the packaging constraints of the smaller body, though, the city car will use a smaller battery than the Kona. Like the new Fiat 500, we expect Hyundai will target a battery size of around 40kWh for its new electric city car, which should give it a maximum range of around 200 miles.

Earlier in the year, Hyundai Group brand Kia teased its line-up of future all-electric models, revealing the wide variety of segments the brand will enter in the coming years. One vehicle in these teaser images appears to be a city car sized vehicle, flanked by the Hyundai Group’s upcoming electric quadricycle on the far right of the shot. 

Would you be interested in owning an electric city car? Let us know in the comments below…

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