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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Third quarter debut rumoured for Hyundai Atos-replacing Ai3 SUV

Still to be given an official name, the Ai3, once revealed, will sit underneath the Venue in Hyundai's SUV/crossover range.

UPDATED: A new report from Autocar India has stated that the Ai3 will adopt the name Exter and debut in July before going on-sale in August.

The expected replacement for the Hyundai Atos has tentatively been tipped for unveiling in August, should a new report from India prove accurate.

For now still known by its internal moniker, Ai3, the already spied small SUV/crossover will be positioned above the even smaller Hyundai Casper sold in South Korea, which has been designated too small and not worth adapting for the Indian market.

High-riding Grand i10

If reports from earlier this year are to be believed, the Ai3 will measure 200 mm longer in overall length than the Casper, which still puts it within the sub-four metre regulations most of its rivals in India already adhere to.

According to the latest claims by gaadiwaadi.com, the Ai3 will in fact ride on a revised version of the Grand i10 Nios’ platform in addition to its interior being similar rather than aligning with that of the Casper.

ALSO READ: Replacement of Atos? Hyundai Ai3 spied revealing some skin

Turbo pocket rocket

As a means of better rivalling the Tata Punch that currently tops micro-SUV segment in India, the Ai3, which will slot-in above the Venue, will have reported access to the turbocharged 1.0 T-GDI engine that departed when the Grand i10 Nios received its first mid-life update in January this year.

Besides the Venue, the unit is, however, still available in the European-market i10 where it produces an identical 88kW/172Nm.

Diesel on the ropes

Unlike the i10 though, the mill in the Ai3 will reportedly be matched to either a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, or as standard, the clutchless six-speed manual ‘box known as iMT.

Hyundai Ai3 tipped for August reveal
Ai3 will take direct aim at the segment-leading Tata Punch in India. Image: Tata

Lesser models will be privy to the same normally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol used in the Grand i10 Nios and i10, that delivers 61kW/114Nm to the front wheels through a five-speed manual or five-speed automated manual (AMT) transmission.

Not expected to form part of the range is a turbodiesel engine, which will make the Ai3 the only model in Hyundai’s current SUV/crossover range not to offer an oil-burning option in the Indian market.

South Africa unconfirmed

With the production of the Atos, known in the Santo in India, already over, and if the mentioned third quarter month-of-reveal is indeed correct, expect Hyundai to start releasing more details of the Ai3 in the form of teasers within the coming weeks and months.

For now, Hyundai South Africa has been mum on even mentioning Ai3, but should approval be given once the newcomer emerges, expect it to become available before the end of the year.

NOW READ: Hyundai plotting smaller Venue for 2023 unveiling

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