SUVs continue to be the driving force in the country. The top-sold cars list is usually dominated by SUVs and especially compact SUVs. Last year, Tata took that one step forward by bringing an even smaller SUV, the Punch. It’s fair to say the Punch has been a success with average sales of 10k units per month. This success has attracted Hyundai to this segment. We knew Hyundai is working on a small SUV, but now the first spy shots of the car have surfaced online. In today’s article, let’s talk about this Rs 6 lakh Punch rival.
The spy shots were posted on a South Korean YouTube channel. The car is covered in heavy camouflage, but this could be potentially the first spy shots of Hyundai’s micro SUV. This micro SUV seems to have taken heavy inspiration from the Casper sold in South Korea. We can spot a boxy exterior design with a Creta-like headlamp design. At the rear, we can spot tail lamps like the pre-facelift Venue. This test car has something that the Tata Punch misses out on and that is an electric sunroof. The sunroof could be a major sales puller for Hyundai’s micro-SUV. It also sports roof rails and a shark fin antenna.
This micro-SUV is codenamed Ai3 for now and will sit below the Venue in Hyundai’s SUV portfolio. According to earlier reports, the Ai3 could share its platform with the Grand i10 Nios. Not only the platform, but it could also share most of its mechanical bits with the i10 Nios. So it is expected to come with a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine. Transmission options could include a manual and an automatic gearbox. Being a Hyundai, it is expected to come loaded with features like a big infotainment system, automatic climate control, wireless phone charging, a digital instrument cluster etc.
Rs 6 lakh Punch rival – Launch timeline
The Ai3 is expected to go on sale in 2023 just before the festive season. Hyundai could schedule the launch before Diwali for maximum traction. What about the pricing? The Ai3 could be priced around the Rs 6 lakh (ex-showroom) mark, pitting it directly against the Tata Punch. Its other rivals will include the Maruti Ignis and Citroen C3.
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