Hyundai Motor America has set the new land speed record for an FIA-approved production-based hybrid vehicle by reaching 157.825 mph.

Timed at Utah’s famous Bonneville Salt Flats, the nitrous-injected vehicle was also able to hit a peak exit speed of 160.7 mph.


As you might expect, owners of the Prius-competitive Ioniq hybrid won’t be able to hit these speeds when they bring home production-level cars later this year.

This unique car was the product of Hyundai Motor America’s engineering and quality group, which led the concept development for this grassroots motorsports effort.

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“We couldn’t be more proud in setting the FIA hybrid-category record with our new Ioniq hybrid,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president, Corporate and Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Our engineering team really pushed the limits to set this new segment benchmark while demonstrating the impressive durability of the entire Ioniq vehicle platform. We expect this will be the first of many accolades for Ioniq.”


Hyundai’s development team made a number of modifications to the Ioniq hybrid prototype. The 1.8-liter powertrain had a few specifications modified: low-restriction intake and exhaust systems with retained catalyst; recalibration of the engine, transmission, and hybrid ECU; and having its air conditioning and ancillary accessories removed. You can also take a look at its Nitrous Express single-stage direct-port nitrous injection with stand-alone fuel system in the photo below.

Hyundai land speed record 3
Speed was improved by making changes to its aerodynamics and lightweighting the car a bit. The underbody and air dam aerodynamic had modifications; and interior components were removed or lightened.

As for the suspension system, lightweight aero wheels and wheel covers with Goodyear Eagle tires were utilized. A coil-over suspension from Progress Competition with optimized spring, damping, and sway bar rates and ride height were lowered 100 millimeters, which you can see in the video and in the image below.

The Ioniq is Hyundai’s newest hybrid model, with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrains to be available. Ioniq hybrid and electric models go on sale in the U.S. in late 2016.

Hyundai land speed record 2

The Bonneville Salt Flats is a densely packed salt pan in Tooele County, located in northwestern Utah. Access is free and visitors can drive on the flats.

The FIA is best known for licensing and arbitration of Formula One and World Rally Championship motor racing. The FIA also certifies land speed record attempts, and sponsors the Formula E electric car international racing series.