In what is being seen as an attempt to compete with Tata’s newly unveiled sub-compact SUV Punch, Hyundai is all set to roll out an entry-level SUV codenamed Ai3 in the year 2023. Reportedly, Hyundai India has given its nod to enter the micro SUV segment through a new car. It has been further speculated that the Ai3 is a localized version of the micro SUV Casper that Hyundai had launched in South Korea.
Hyundai Ai3 is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that can also be seen in its Grand i10 Nios. With a peak torque of 114Nm, the engine is capable of producing 83 PS of max power. A five-speed AMT (Automatic Manual Transmission) and a five-speed manual gearbox are likely to be seen in the car.
Meanwhile, the Ai3 could also come with a three-cylinder 1-litre engine that would be turbocharged. This variant would offer a peak torque of 172Nm with 100PS of max power. Unlike the four-cylinder variant, this will come with only a five-speed manual gearbox.
On the other hand, Hyundai’s Casper is a feature-loaded micro-SUV with a number of advanced functions. It is equipped with an electric sunroof, automatic climate control and a multi-function steering wheel as well. Prioritizing passenger safety and comfort, an Advanced Driver Aid system along with up to 7 airbags has also been installed in the car.
Other features also include a touchscreen 8-inch infotainment system, digital instrument cluster, push-button start/stop engine, different driving modes and heating and ventilation for the front seats.
Besides Tata Punch, Hyundai’s Ai3 is likely to compete with other cars in the segment a well. Renault Kiger, Mahindra’s KUV100 and Maruti Suzuki Ignis could witness tough competition in coming years.
Tata had launched its Micro-SUV Punch last year on October 18. Priced at Rs 5.4 lakh for the base variant, the car is powered by a 1.2-litre engine which produces 113 Nm of torque and 86 PS of power. Meanwhile, it also offers five-speed AMT and five-speed MT gearbox options.