Hyundai is getting ready to release a brand-new small SUV to compete with cars like the Tata Punch and Citroen C3. This new SUV was first seen in Korea, but a closer look shows that the prototype may have been made in India and sent to Hyundai’s headquarters in Korea for testing.
As sales of hatchbacks drop, Hyundai, like many other carmakers, is getting ready to make an SUV for every market segment. This model, which doesn’t have a name yet, will be the SUV version of the Grand i10, and it will be Hyundai India’s smallest SUV. We recently told you that this new SUV has an internal code name of “Hyundai Ai3,” and that production was given the green light right before the COVID-19 pandemic.
When compared to the Casper, this test mule shows that quite a few design changes have been made. First of all, the front of the car looks very different and more like an SUV. The headlights on the micro-SUV are split, with LED daytime running lights on top and a headlamp that looks like the one on the Venue on the bottom. The daytime running lights have a “H” shape, which was also seen on test mules of the upcoming Santa Fe SUV. This could be the new look for Hyundai’s LED DRLs, which could be used on more cars in the future.
On the sides, the front fenders and front door look a lot like the Casper, but the back door seems a little longer and the door handle is in the usual place, not on the pillar like it is on the Caper. At the back, the taillights of the micro-SUV look different from those of the Casper. Instead of being round, they are more squared off. Even the back bumper is likely to have a different look.
Compared to direct competitors like the Punch and the C3, you can expect Hyundai to keep its micro-SUV ahead of the game with features like a sunroof, as seen in the spy pictures.
This new micro-SUV will go between the Grand i10 and the Venue, so Hyundai might have to change the lineups of both models to make room for the new one. The Ai3 micro SUV is likely to have the same 1.2-liter gasoline engine as the Venue, Grand i10, and Aura, but a decision has not been made on a CNG version. This SUV will not have a diesel engine option.