Hyundai Ai3 micro-SUV spotted testing for the first time in India: Tata Punch challenger

For the first time ever, the long-rumored micro-SUV from South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor India, which is expected to rival the Tata Punch, has been spotted testing on Indian roads. As we have previously discussed, the model has been given the codename Ai3 and is expected to be a smaller SUV that will most likely be launched this festive season. Recent spy shots show a completely camouflaged vehicle with steel wheels.

Hyundai Ai3 micro-SUV spotted testing for the first time in India: Tata Punch challenger

According to Autocar India, the forthcoming micro-SUV from Hyundai will be underpinned by the K1 platform, which currently also underpins the Grand i10 Nios and even the Hyundai Casper that is sold in international markets. This model will most likely be introduced as an SUV sibling of the Grand i10 Nios and Aura sedan. It is also likely that this model will be positioned just below Hyundai’s highly popular sub-compact SUV, the Venue.

Regarding the design of the Ai3, it will most likely boast Hyundai’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design language. Under this design language, the micro-SUV will have a rather boxy design and a more upright windshield at the front. Additionally, this vehicle will have unique door design body panels and could be inspired by the Casper sold in international markets.

Hyundai Ai3 micro-SUV spotted testing for the first time in India: Tata Punch challenger
Hyundai Casper used to illustrate

Hyundai’s upcoming micro-SUV will also most probably feature a split-headlamp design that will consist of LED daytime running lamps at the top and Venue-style headlamps positioned below. On the side profile of the SUV, it will feature front fenders and doors which will have an upright glass area, contributing to its overall tall SUV-like appearance. Furthermore, the Hyundai Ai3 SUV is anticipated to receive a distinctive and angular design for its tail-lamps, which deviates from the rounded look of the Casper. Additionally, the rear bumper will also be different from the one seen in the Casper. Dimensionally, the forthcoming SUV could measure 3.8 meters in length.

The Hyundai Ai3 will be placed above the Grand i10 Nios and below the Venue. This means that the car will cannibalize a few variants of both the aforementioned siblings. To take on a bigger market chunk from its rivals from other brands, Hyundai will also equip this SUV fairly well with features like a sunroof, automatic AC, and other amenities.

As for the drivetrain, the micro-SUV Ai3 will most likely come powered by the same 1.2-liter petrol engine as the Venue, Grand i10, and Aura. According to reports, there will not likely be an option for a diesel mill under its bonnet, and whether there will be a CNG iteration available remains a secret.

In terms of the launch dates of the Hyundai Ai3, the micro-SUV is expected to make its debut sometime in the festive season of this year, which will be around September-October of this year. If rumors are true and it is confirmed that it will be launching in those months, production of this vehicle will commence in the July-September quarter this year.

Utkarsh Deshmukh

Utkarsh, Feature Writer at, excels in crafting up-to-date news and in-depth analyses on the auto industry. (Full bio)