Hyundai’s upcoming micro-SUV will be produced at the brand’s new manufacturing plant at Gwangju, built in partnership with the local government
Hyundai is currently developing a new micro-SUV, codenamed ‘AX1’. This upcoming vehicle has been spotted numerous times during road tests, and it seems to be almost production-ready in the latest spy pictures. According to a recent report from South Korea, the micro-SUV will be manufactured at the recently-completed Gwangju Global Motors (GGM) plant.
The new manufacturing facility is the result of a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Company and Gwangju local government. GGM utilises localised equipment and machinery, and uses a smart system to run operations. The plant currently employs 385 people, slated to increase to 908 employees soon, and it is capable of producing 70,000 vehicles in a year.
The report states that the production-spec AX1 would start rolling off the production line in September this year. The manufacturer hasn’t revealed the specifications of the vehicle yet, but there are a lot of speculations floating around. The micro-SUV is expected to be underpinned by the ‘K1’ platform, on which the Santro and Grand i10 Nios are also based.
The design of the AX1 is quite boxy, with plenty of quirky styling elements. The vehicle sports round headlamps, with LED DRL rings, mounted on the front bumper. Above that sit the front turn indicators. The taillights feature a multi-LED design, with the reverse parking lights and rear turn indicators positioned low on the bumper.
The upcoming Hyundai micro-SUV will likely be powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, capable of generating a peak power of 120 PS and a maximum torque of 172 Nm. The India-spec version, however, will likely be available with a 1.2-litre NA petrol engine (83 PS/114 Nm) and/or a 1.1-litre NA petrol engine (69 PS/99 Nm).
The vehicle will likely get an intelligent manual transmission (iMT) option, along with a manual and an automatic option as well. Other than that, the vehicle is expected to offer features like a touchscreen infotainment system, keyless entry, push-button start/stop, wireless smartphone charger, cooled storage, etc. In the Indian market, Hyundai’s upcoming micro-SUV will rival the likes of Maruti Ignis, Ford Freestyle, and the upcoming Tata HBX.