Hyundai is working on a new micro-SUV which has been codenamed AX1 internally. The micro-SUV is a weird segment that was created by Maruti Suzuki when they launched the S-Presso. They are essentially small budget hatchbacks that are jacked-up with some design elements borrowed from SUVs. Tata Motors also showcased their micro-SUV at the Auto Expo 2020 which was called the HBX Concept. However, Hyundai did not showcase any micro-SUV until recently spy shots of a vehicle surfaced on the internet.
Here, are some more spy shots of the AX1 that have been clicked in Korea. In the picture, there are two AX1’s. Both are different variants. The left one seems to be the top-end variant, while the right one seems to be the lower variant.
There is also a larger SUV parked towards the most right side which we are assuming is the facelift of the Creta. The Creta was launched in the international market first and then in India. So, it could be the facelift of the Creta that will be launched in the international markets.
The first AX1 comes with 6-spoke alloy wheels, roof rails and flared wheel arches. We can see that Hyundai is using a split headlamp design. There is a halogen headlamp placed in the bumper while the upper strip is a turn indicator which should also double up as a LED Daytime Running Lamp. We also see a glimpse of the Hyundai’s cascading grille. The design of the front is derived from the Hyundai Venue compact-SUV.
We can differentiate that it is a top model because it comes with a shark-fin antenna, roof rails, LED turn indicators on the outside rearview mirrors and alloy wheels. When compared the other model gets blacked-out stylized wheel covers, turn indicator on the front fender, a different front grille, regular antenna and it does not come with roof rails.
The rear door handles are placed on the C-pillar just like we have seen on the Tata Altroz and the Maruti Suzuki Swift. The upcoming Tata HBX will also be using a similar design for the door handles. This gives a three-door look to the vehicle. At the rear, there are halogen tail lamps while the reverse lights are placed in the bumper.
The overall design of the hatchback is squarish. It does resemble a bit of the Maruti Suzuki Ignis from the side profile. The front and rear glass rakes steeply. The dimensions of the AX1 will be similar to the Tata HBX. One launched, the Hyundai AX1 will be competing against the Tata HBX, Mahindra KUV100, Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and the upcoming Citroen CC21. The vehicle is expected to come in late 2021 or early 2022.
Powering the AX1 should be the 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine. It is the same engine that we have seen on the Grand i10 Nios, Aura, i20 and the Venue. The engine produces 83 PS of max power and 114 Nm of peak torque. It will be offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 5-speed AMT.
We also expect that the higher variants could be offered with a 1.0-litre direct-injection, turbocharged petrol engine that was first introduced with the Venue and has now made its way to the Grand i10 Nios, Aura and the Verna. The engine will be detuned for the AX1 just like it is for the Aura and the Grand i10 Nios. The engine will produce 100 PS of max power and 172 Nm of peak torque. This should make the AX1, a fun little hatchback.