Hyundai is working on a new micro-SUV that has been codenamed AX1. The production name of the upcoming hatchback is expected to be Casper. According to media reports, Hyundai will be starting mass production of Casper on September 15th. The date of launch for India is still now unveiled by the manufacturer.
Casper will be produced at Gwangju Global Motors. The factory will be producing 12,000 units in 2021. In 2022, the production units will significantly increase to 70,000 units. In the international market, Casper will be sold with a 1.0-litre SmartStream petrol engine that produces 76 PS of max power and 95 Nm of peak torque. It is a naturally aspirated engine that is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The expected price of the Casper is 8-10 Million Won which when translated are Rs. 5.15 lakhs to Rs. 6.50 lakhs.
In India, the Casper is expected to come with two petrol engine options. There will be a 1.1-litre and a 1.2-litre engine. The 1.1-litre will produce 69 PS of max power and 99 Nm of peak torque. It is the same engine that we have seen on the Santro. The 1.2-litre engine produces 83 PS of max power and 114 Nm of peak torque. We have seen this engine on many Hyundai and Kia vehicles such as Hyundai Venue, Grand i10 Nios, i20, Aura and Kia Sonet. Both the engines will be offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 5-speed AMT.
The design of AX1 or Casper is very different from your typical hatchbacks. It has a tall boy funky design with some SUV traits. Up-front there are huge circular headlamps with circular LED Daytime Running Lamps. The turn indicators are placed above the headlamps. A similar design language was seen on the Venue compact SUV.
The grille has triangular elements and the bonnet is quite flat. There are 17-inch alloy wheels that are newly designed. In India, we do not expect Hyundai to offer 17-inch wheels because of the bad road surfaces. There are roof rails that are not expected to be functional.
The rear door handles are placed on the C-pillar to give a three-door look to the Casper. At the rear, there are two sets of lights, the boot-mounted one is the tail lamps while the bumper-mounted one is expected to be turn indicators and reverse light. You also get a rear wiper with a washer and a shark-fin antenna. There is also a fake diffuser on the higher variants.
Interior and equipment
The interior of the Casper will be finished in white colour which will make it stand out against its competitors. In the international market, the seats also have yellow stitching and a blue stripe on which Casper is written. There is also a central console between the front occupants.
Being a Hyundai there will be a lot of features and equipment on offer. So, there will be keyless entry, push-button to start/stop the engine, multi-function steering wheel, multi-information display, all four power windows and much more. There will also be a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.