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Hyundai teases Ioniq, its upcoming Prius competitor

Hyundai teases Ioniq, its upcoming Prius competitor

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Hyundai today teased a new car that will compete head on with the Toyota Prius. It's called the Ioniq — and it even looks a bit like the Prius, as least as much of it as we can see in the teaser image above.

It will come in three flavors — hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric-only. Hyundai points out that this is the first time all three green powertrain options will be available in a car. That doesn't matter much to buyers who will buy one of the three, but it is a more efficient use of Hyundai's R&D dollars to combine them all into one platform rather than building a separate, hugely expensive platform just for EV.

Specifics on the Ioniq are scarce at the moment but Hyundai says it will have great fuel economy and a "fun, responsive drive and attractive design." The all-electric version will use lithium ion batteries (like the new Prius and Tesla's various offerings), but no word on the plug-in and hybrid versions.

The name, which Hyundai styles IONIQ, is a combination of "ion" (an electrically charged atom, a nod to its batteries) and "unique." It will launch in Korea next month and debut in March at the Geneva and New York auto shows.