Hyundai’s Tata Punch Rivalling SUV Coming Next Year – Key Details

Hyundai Casper real world img2

Hyundai Ai3 will reportedly go on sale in the festive season of next year; to likely sit on the same platform as the Grand i10 Nios

Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) appears to be working on an all-new micro SUV for the domestic market. It will sit below the Venue compact SUV in the brand’s local lineup to take on the Tata Punch directly. The Punch has been a huge success since it made its market debut late last year and Hyundai could target the same market positioning with the upcoming five-seater.

Ever since the Casper came out, speculations surrounding Hyundai’s entry into the micro SUV space have only grown stronger. However, the Casper is deemed too small for India but it will have to be waited and seen whether what has been codenamed Hyundai Ai3 would have anything in common with it mainly on the exterior front.

The Hyundai Ai3 will reportedly go on sale in the festive season of next year (late 2023) and thus it could be previewed via a concept at the 2023 Auto Expo in January but no official confirmation has been made yet. The micro SUV will also compete against entry-level sub-four-metre SUVs such as the well-received Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite.

Hyundai Casper suv
Hyundai Casper

The second largest car producer in the country has been mulling over a micro SUV for years now and the project was said to be given the green light just before the health crisis wreaked havoc. It will likely be underpinned by the same architecture as the Grand i10 Nios and Aura and expect it to draw design influence from the likes of Venue following the Sensuous Sportiness philosophy.

The Hyundai Ai3 could use the same 1.2-litre petrol engine found in the i10 Nios and a CNG version could join the fray at a later date. The South Korean auto major will more likely target high volume sales with the upcoming micro SUV and it could offer a host of premium features pertaining to comfort, convenience, entertainment and connectivity in the top-spec trims.

Hyundai is expected to showcase the facelifted Creta and the new generation Verna as well at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida.