Hyundai is working on a new micro-SUV that was codenamed AX1. The production name of the micro-SUV has now been revealed and it is called Casper. The exteriors have been revealed by the manufacturer for South Korea. The prices have not been announced yet but Hyundai has opened pre-bookings for the new micro-SUV. Casper is also expected to get launched in India in late 2021 or in 2022. As of now, the launch details are not confirmed by Hyundai.
The front is inspired by the Hyundai Venue which is a compact SUV. Up-front, we get a prominent grille with triangular elements. The grille stretches throughout the width. The headlamps are large circular units with circular LED Daytime Running Lamp surround. The turn indicators are placed above and get a black surround that seamlessly integrates with the black strip that houses the Hyundai logo.
The SUV looks are enhanced by a faux skid plate and a flat bonnet. At the side, there are prominent squared-off wheel arches with black plastic cladding. There are new 6-spoke alloy wheels which we do not think will be offered in India because they can affect the ride quality in a negative way considering our bad roads.
It also gets roof rails and rear door handles are placed on the C-pillar. This gives a three-door look to the Casper. We have seen such door handles on the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Tata Altroz. The rear has quite an interesting design. There is a large glass area and the brake lights are integrated into it. The brake lights also have a triangular design. The reverse lights and turn indicators are placed in the bumper and are circular in shape.
We can also see an electric sunroof which means that this is a top-end variant. The lower variants will not get a sunroof, alloy wheels, roof rails, shark-fin antenna and will have a different grille design. Casper will measure 3,595 mm in length, 1,595 mm in width and 1,575 mm in height. It will be using the K1 platform which we have already seen on the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, Santro and Kia Picanto.
According to the leaked spy shots, the Casper will come with a white interior that looks a lot more premium than other small hatchbacks or micro-SUVs. There will be an 8-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system that will support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The steering wheel will also be all new and will be a two-spoke unit. It will have buttons to control the multi-information display, phone controls and the infotainment system. The gear lever will be mounted with the dashboard as we have seen on the i10, Grand i10, Xcent and Aura.
In South Korea, the Casper will be offered with two petrol engine options. Both will be 1.0-litre units having three cylinders. The naturally aspirated engine will produce 76 PS of max power while the turbocharged engine would produce 100 PS of max power. Both engines will come mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission as standard.
In India, the engine options could be different. Hyundai could use the Santro’s 1.1-litre engine or Grand i10 Nios’s 1.2-litre engine. The higher variants could get the 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. As standard, the engines will come mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and there will be an automatic gearbox on offer as well. The Casper will compete against Tata Punch, Maruti Suzuki Ignis and Mahindra KUV100.