India-Bound Hyundai Micro SUV (AX1) Spied For The First Time

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Hyundai AX1 micro SUV is expected to be launched in India sometime in late 2021 or early 2022 based on the same platform as the Santro

Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has certainly been late to the party in the compact SUV segment with the Venue that debuted last year. However, the five-seater rose to fame in no time with the presence of three engine options, a packed features list and latest design language followed by the brand globally. With Venue and second-gen Creta, Hyundai has been posting consistent sales volumes.

The South Korean auto major has the Venue, Creta and Tucson in its SUV lineup and it has recently been either strengthening its existing products or bringing in new generations – Grand i10 Nios, Aura, Creta and the third-gen i20 for instance. The micro SUV was capitalized by Mahindra with the KUV but it could not post high sales volumes on consistent basis.

Tata Motors will be stepping into the micro SUV space with the HBX concept based production model and Maruti Suzuki already has the S-Presso recording good volume tally. Hyundai currently has the Santro as its most affordable product in the domestic market and things could change with its iteration of the micro SUV that has been speculated for years.

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Said to be codenamed the AX1, the sub-four-metre SUV that will be slotted below the Venue has been spied testing for the first time wearing heavy camouflage. Likely based on the K1 architecture as the new Santro, the test mule appears to be fitted with production ready components like the Outside Rear View Mirrors and alloy wheels.

The prototype will indeed evolve over time and we expect India to be one of the first markets to get the model with high volume aspirations alongside Hyundai’s home market of South Korea. Up front, it seems to have split headlamp cluster as in the Venue and it has high ground clearance, tall pillars, raked windshield, squared wheel arches, possible sculpted tailgate and wraparound LED tail lamps, etc.

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Despite having a length of under four metres, the spy shots of the Hyundai micro SUV shows the existence of bulky proportions and large greenhouse for adequate space inside the cabin and the rear door handles are positioned on the C-pillars. It could derive power from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol engine with five-speed manual or five-speed AMT transmission.