SUVs being the flavour of the season, carmakers around the world are expanding their portfolio’s with SUVs in all shapes and sizes. This has given rise to the CUV segment, which has also gained popularity in the Indian market. The Tata Punch is the latest kid on the block in the CUV segment, offering a range of first in segment features such as Multi-Terrain modes. Hyundai is not far behind in the race. The South Korean manufacturer unveiled the quirky crossover Casper in the home market.
Hyundai To Heavily Localise Casper?
The Hyundai Casper complies with the Gyeoncha (light car) regulations in the South Korean market, but now the brand plans to bring the car to India as well. However, bringing the Casper via the costly CBU (Completely Built-Up Unit) will not attract buyers. And according to reports, the brand is planning to therefore introduce a heavily localised version of the Casper in India. Reports suggest that the Casper for India is internally codenamed Ai3.
With the entry-level sub-4 metre SUV, Hyundai will directly rival the Tata Punch, which was recently introduced and has gained quite a bit of popularity. Hyundai is also likely to increase the wheelbase of the Ai3 compared to the Casper, which adheres to the 3.6-metre length mark according to the Korean ‘light car’ regulation. For India, the brand could increase the length to just under 4-metres to offer maximum space but also avoid heavy taxes.
Hyundai Ai3 – Highlights
While the Hyundai Casper comes with all the bells and whistles such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (Vehicle/Pedestrian/Bicyclist), Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Prevention Assist, Forward Vehicle Departure Notification High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, all that come under ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System). The brand is not likely to offer these in India. The technology is likely to be too expensive for the segment. However, Hyundai could offer a free-standing infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Digital instruments and Hyundai Bluelink connected car features. The car could also get a sunroof, automatic climate control and ventilated seat function.
Hyundai Casper Engine Options
Powering the Casper is a 1.0-litre Smartstream petrol engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The brand is likely to offer the same naturally-aspirated engine in the Indian market.