Testing of the new Hyundai Ai3, the boxy crossover city car destined for Asia, has begun

Hyundai plans to expand its product lineup. This time it will be at the lower end of the spectrum, focusing on Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The model will be known as the Ai3, and will not be launched in Europe or the USA anytime soon.

14 photos

Photo: S. Baldauf/SP Media

Therefore, the chances of encountering snow and ice are minimal. But it did not escape the cold weather testing phase. This prototype, wearing heavy camouflage clothing, was seen driving in the cold on the right side of the pond, near the Arctic Circle.

But what exactly is the Hyundai Ai3, you ask? This will be a city car designed to compete with the likes of other models marketed in Asia. It takes a crossover approach to this issue, because regular city cars are no longer as popular as they used to be. However, you shouldn’t expect to do any off-road driving in it, despite the A-Class car’s generous ground clearance, as it was developed for the urban jungle.

We have to admit that we didn’t know much about foundations until we scoured the web to see what local media had to say about it. It appears that it will be based on the Grand i10 Nios platform, which in turn is a slightly larger version of the European i10 platform. Power is understood to come from a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine, with manual and automatic transmissions, and front-wheel drive. Various outlets are talking about a Casper-inspired design, which means it should be a nice proposition as far as looks are concerned. It will have a separate lighting signature at the front, with H-shaped LED DRLs placed under the bonnet, and the main clusters sitting lower on each side of the grille.

As we told you before, the somewhat boxy proportions are visible through the heavy camouflage, and we can see that it has a pair of large roof rails, and a small antenna above the tailgate. Heavy camouflage makes it impossible to identify the shape and graphics of the taillights. The same applies to the tailgate and rear bumper as well. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be looking for the latest technology, comfort and safety, because the AI3 will be a budget proposition, perhaps with a lot of cheap plastics inside, and minimal standard equipment. And if you have any doubt about that, all you have to do is look at those little wheels. It looks like things like smartphone integration, automatic climate control (or perhaps air conditioning), and cruise control will be optional.

The upcoming Hyundai Ai3 is said to be a few months away from being unveiled. Order books should open before the end of the year, and production will take place in Chennai, India.

(Tags for translation)Hyundai

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