Hyundai is readying an entry-level micro SUV for emerging markets like India, South East Asia among others, and the new offering is said to not only have a petrol heart but will be electric as well. In fact, this new electric micro SUV was recently spotted in a camouflaged avatar for the first time in the automaker's home market South Korea, pointing that development is underway in full swing. According to reports, the new offering is currently being developed at Hyundai's Namyang R&D headquarters, which is working in collaboration with Hyundai Motor India R&D, and just might be the brand's new mass-market electric offering in India.
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The report states that the upcoming electric micro SUV has been codenamed Hyundai AX1 and the test mule sports a boxy design language hinting at a tallboy stance. Going by the latest offerings from the carmaker, expect a more evolved version of the Sensuous Sportiness design philosophy, while the front could miss the grille altogether, much like the new Kona Electric facelift. It will also be a connected vehicle, so do expect Hyundai BlueLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital instrument console and a touchscreen infotainment system along with other essentials.
The Hyundai AX1 will be an important product and it will be crucial to balance power, performance and range at a competitive price point. Little is known about the powertrain on the new electric micro SUV but the source suggests that the model could draw power from a three-cylinder petrol engine, in addition to the electric version. A range of 120-150 km on a single charge is also likely. For the petrol version, there is a chance that Hyundai India could plonk the 1.0-litre 3-pot motor from the Santro on the upcoming offering.
The upcoming Hyundai AX1 will be locally-built and prices will be competitive for the electric model. Expect prices to be around ₹ 10 lakh (ex-showroom), which means it will take on the Mahindra eKUV100, Maruti Suzuki WagonR Electric, Citroen's upcoming mass-market electric vehicle for India and even the Tata HBX-based EV in the future. The AX1 though is still some time away from launch and is likely to arrive in 2022, possibly for an Auto Expo debut before hitting the streets the same year. We do expect to learn more about the micro SUV in the times to come.
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