Hyundai Ai3 Micro SUV (Tata Punch Rival) In The Works; Launch In 2023

Hyundai Casper suv 2
Hyundai Casper

Hyundai Ai3 is expected to be positioned below the Venue compact SUV to rival Tata Punch, Maruti Suzuki Ignis and others

Hyundai’s India division has already announced its electrification plans for the domestic market with an investment of over Rs. 4,000 crore as around six new zero-emission vehicles will be launched by 2027. The strategy will likely see the arrival of the Ioniq 5 based on the dedicated E-GMP architecture as early as this year.

Despite the chip shortage hampering production, Hyundai endured a successful calendar year 2021 as it was the most sold SUV manufacturer with over 2.5 lakh units and the Creta midsize SUV accounted for nearly half of that total with Venue garnering over 1.08 lakh sales. Hyundai introduced the Alcazar three-row SUV midway through last year and it has been well recognised amongst consumers as well.

The brand is expected to bring in the new generation Tucson sometime this year as well while the facelifted Creta and an updated Venue may also arrive in 2022. To further consolidate its SUV portfolio, Hyundai is reportedly working on a new compact SUV and it will debut in 2023. Internally codenamed Ai3, its funding has been approved internally.

Hyundai Casper suv
Hyundai Casper

By the looks of things, it will be slotted below the Venue compact SUV and thus could directly take on Tata Punch, Maruti Suzuki Ignis and Mahindra KUV NXT. Tarun Garg, director of sales and marketing at Hyundai Motor India admitted that his brand is exploring new segments and conducting market research to address the needs of the customers.

The South Korean auto major currently has about one lakh pending orders and is looking for double-digit growth this year. The company aims for 20 per cent growth over last year as it has guided its vendors to produce 7.3 lakh units. Hyundai introduced the Casper micro SUV in its home market of Korea late last year but it was deemed small for India with a length of 3,595 mm.

The upcoming Hyundai Ai3 could be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine that is already used in the Grand i10 Nios, the i20 and the Venue. While the details surrounding the micro SUV are scarce at the moment, going by the segment standards, it could be offered with a five-speed manual or a five-speed AMT transmission.