A few months ago, we saw photos of what is said to be a subcompact Hyundai crossover. At first, it was thought to be the first-ever Bayon, but that wasn't the case. When it was launched, it looked nothing like the car spied back in December 2020.
Over half a year has passed since the first batch of photos spread on the internet. There are also more updates about this mystery model together with additional photos and details. More importantly, it also has a name now, or at least, a codename. Reports abroad say this micro-crossover is called the AX1.
While the name AX1 might not be final, it's positioning within the Hyundai lineup is clear. This model will slot below the Venue, the South Korean automaker's smallest crossover for now. We're expecting it to be shorter than four meters given that the Venue is around 4.1 meters long. It also appears that this will be an international model. It was first spied in Europe but there have also been sightings in Asia as well.
Teaser photos of the AX1 have also surfaced online. For the most part, it looks like it will adapt Hyundai's design language for crossovers. The preview photo shows it having bumper-mounted headlights and a rather interesting taillight pattern. That said, the spy shots show a boxy profile, so we're curious as to how the final product will look like.
Various sources claim that the AX1 will use the same platform that underpins the latest-generation i10. That means it could have four engine options once launched. The base engine could be a naturally aspirated 1.0-liter or a 1.2-liter mill. Top-spec models might end up with the turbocharged 1.0-liter, although a turbodiesel can also be applied to this platform.
For now, Hyundai isn't making much noise about this model. However, this is a timely product given that more manufacturers are coming up with budget subcompact crossovers. Hyundai must launch this model sooner than later before this segment becomes more crowded by the minute.