The new Hyundai micro SUV, codenamed Ai3, will be launched in India as EXTER later this year
Following the successful launch of the 6th Gen Verna in India, Hyundai has now turned their attention to an upcoming micro SUV. The prototype of this model has been spied on test in South Korean markets and in India, albeit under heavy camouflage. This micro SUV which is codenamed Ai3 as on date, is set to enter production by July-September 2023 with sales to commence from the upcoming festive season. It will be launched as Hyundai EXTER.
Observation – The term SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) has become a popular marketing term used by manufacturers to promote and sell their vehicles in India. SUVs are seen as aspirational and desirable, and many consumers are willing to buy a vehicle that is perceived to be an SUV, even if it doesn’t meet the traditional definition of the term.
Hyundai EXTER – Official name of Ai3 Micro SUV
Hyundai EXTER will be positioned in India between the Grand i10 and Venue in the company lineup. It is expected to share its underpinnings with the Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS. It will measure around 3.8 meters in length. This will make it the smallest Hyundai SUV on sale in India. It will be bigger than the Hyundai Casper – sold in South Korean markets, that stands 3,595mm in length, 1,595mm in width and 1,575mm-1,605mm in height with a wheelbase of 2,400mm.
In terms of its design, the new Hyundai EXTER SUV will borrow some designs from the Venue SUV. It will sport the Hyundai parametric front grille, split headlamps and LED DRLs. These DRLs will be in an ‘H’ pattern which are also seen on the soon to be launched Hyundai Santa Fe.
Strong character lines on its bonnet, 15 inch dual tone alloy wheels (lower variants could get steel wheels), angular tail lamps, scuff plates and a sunroof will also be among the features to be seen in the new Hyundai EXTER.
The interiors, which could be similar to that seen on the Hyundai i10 NIOS hatchback, will also show off some segment first features. It will receive an electric single pane sunroof, connected car technology with wireless charger, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and digital instrument cluster. Features will also include ventilated seats, wireless charging and cruise control along with safety via 6 airbags.
Hyundai’s upcoming Exter SUV will borrow its engine lineup from the Venue, Grand i10 and Aura. This 1.2 liter VTVT NA petrol engine produces 82 hp power and 115 Nm torque, mated to a 5 speed manual or AMT. Top-spec variants could draw power via a 1.0 liter turbo-petrol unit making 99 bhp and 172 Nm. Though not confirmed as on date, Hyundai could also offer the Exter SUV with a CNG option as well. However, there will not be any diesel engine.
Hyundai Exter prices could be in the range of Rs 6-11 lakh (ex-showroom). Upon launch it will compete with Tata Punch, Maruti Suzuki Ignis and Citroen C3. Hyundai’s micro SUV could also take on compact SUVs such as Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger.
Hyundai EXTER UV (small hatch crossover) is designed to ignite the passion for adventure in young, tech-savvy customers. With a focus on outdoor, travel, and urban lifestyles, this smart mobility solution caters to the needs of Gen Z, who value experiences and want to explore the world around them. As the eighth model in Hyundai’s SUV lineup, which includes the Venue, Creta, and Tucson, Exter reflects the brand’s commitment to innovation and delivering vehicles that offer practicality, style, and performance for all. Hyundai Exter is set to benefit those who seek a vehicle that is not only functional but also visually stunning, with a design inspired by the natural world that evokes a sense of adventure and freedom.
Speaking on the announcement, Mr. Tarun Garg, COO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd., said, “We are proud to announce the name of our new SUV – Hyundai EXTER that exemplifies the pulse of Gen Z buyers while empowering them with a smart mobility solution to fuel their wanderlust. Hyundai EXTER is the 8th model in our line up with a SUV body style and we are confident that this new member to our family will provide further fillip to our growth in SUV sales.”