The news of Hyundai launching a micro-SUV had been doing rounds for quite a while, and according to the latest reports, the vehicle earlier titled with an internal codename ‘AX1’ will now be known as the Hyundai Casper! The upcoming micro-SUV has now been christened as Casper as it enters production in a few months.
The new SUV will first make an appearance in Korea and then dazzle in many up-and-coming markets, including India. Hyundai registered the name Casper in Korea, and it is safe to assume that the car will be marketed as such for the Korean market. Great move. We sure prefer Casper to AX1 micro-SUV. Gives it tons of personality, right?
This is not the first time Hyundai has given two different names to the same exact vehicle. Even Creta has been marketed as ix25 in multiple markets; Verna is touted as Solaris or even Accent! While it is unofficially confirmed that the new micro-SUV will be called Casper, it stands to reason that it may have various names respective to various regions.
According to sources, Casper will not hit the global markets till well into September. It will first go into series production in Korea and will first and foremost go on sale in the country. An international release is only expected after that, and India may well be one of the next spots.
As Hyundai’s smallest SUV, it will be smaller than the sub-four-meter compact SUVs. Casper is based off of Hyundai’s K1 compact car platform, and it is also said to be built on the foundations of the Grand i10Nios and Santro. While all of this is speculation, unconfirmed reports do suggest the “smallest SUV” will be 3,595mm long and 1,595mm wide. Keeping in mind that it is modeled off of the Santro, the dimensions begin to make sense. Casper is going to be shorter and narrower than the Santro, which stands at 3,610mm long and 1,645mm wide. Casper, however, will stand taller at 1,575mm high as opposed to the Santro, which is 1,560mm high.
Despite its more diminutive stature, the Casper will be nothing short of a visual delight! All of its believed features are said to be targeted at the youth, with an unconventional look and design. If the spy shots are to be believed, it retains an upright and boxy look, owing to what it is based on, but also has a ton of exterior styling that is very unique and unorthodox. It sports rounded-off edges, a flat bonnet, and a split set up for the circular headlamps. If you ask me, it kind of looks like a face when you look at it up-front. Casper suits it!
The back of the SUV also expands on the quirkiness of the entire car, with triangular patterns and LED bits, as seen in other Hyundai models as well, including the Alcazar and the Staria MPV. The tail lamps will also be positioned on the rear bumpers, just like those on the front, in a nice mirroring effect, especially when considering the unconventional circular shape of those lamps.
With it being such an impressive vehicle, there is no doubt that it will have a multitude of competitors on the market. Casper’s most direct rival would have to be the to-soon-be released Tata HBX micro-SUV. Of course, it could also potentially rival hatchbacks, including, but not limited to, Maruti Suzuki Ignis and Mahindra KUV100, among others.
The Hyundai Casper (AX1) will most probably house the 1.2 litre, four-cylinder engine that has been previously seen on the Grand i10 Nios. The other possibility might be that of the Santro’s 1.1 litre, three-cylinder petrol engine. This might be offered on the lower variants of the AX1 to offer a varied cost difference between the Casper’s variants. There could also be the inclusion of the Venue’s 1.0 litre turbo-petrol unit for sale in some markets.
We are very excited to see which one Hyundai will eventually come up with and what it will mean for the future of the smallest SUV the company has to offer.