In South Korea, the Hyundai Exter micro-SUV has been spotted completely unmasked, despite the fact that it has not yet made its global debut. Photographs of the smallest SUV in Hyundai’s India lineup have surfaced online, revealing the exterior design of the Exter, which was foreshadowed in an earlier design concept. The Exter, which is codenamed ‘Ai3’ and will compete with the Tata Punch, employs what Hyundai calls the ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ global design language. The most recent images confirm that the Exter has a boxy silhouette, but also boasts a number of intriguing design elements.

The matte black grille fuses with the integrated headlamp housings in the front bumper.

Like most contemporary SUVs, the Exter has a split headlight arrangement, with H-shaped LED daytime operating lights positioned on top, and spherical projector headlights (likely to be replaced by halogen units on lower trims) sunk into a square, chrome-lined housing integrated into the front bumper.

The Exter also features flared wheel arches and faux skid plates, which add some visual muscle to the micro-SUV’s exterior, along with notable roof rails, blacked-out A- and B-pillars (with a shark fin-style black accent on the C-pillar completing the ‘floating roof’ look), two-tone alloy wheels, and pull-type door handles. H-shaped motifs are also incorporated into the Exter’s taillights, which are connected by a horizontal black strip, and the registration plate housing is incorporated into the upright tailboard.

The taillights integrate an H-shaped motif, and the C-pillar features a shark fin-style black accent.

The Exter, which is anticipated to be predominantly based on an existing Hyundai compact vehicle platform, will be the smallest SUV in Hyundai India’s lineup and will be comparable in size to the Punch. Two petrol engines will be offered with the Exter: the 1.2-liter, naturally-aspirated unit found in a variety of compact Hyundai models (producing 82 horsepower and 114 Nm of torque), and the 1.-liter turbo-petrol (available with the Venue) for those seeking additional power. In addition to a five-speed manual gearbox, the 1.2-liter unleaded version of the Exter will likely be offered with an automated manual gearbox (AMT).

The Exter is not anticipated to feature a diesel engine, but a CNG model could be introduced at some point in the future.

Expect the Hyundai Exter to be priced competitively when it arrives in showrooms in the coming months, with an approximate price range of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 11 lakh (ex-showroom). The Exter will be a crucial addition to Hyundai’s lineup, as it will compete directly with the Punch, a vehicle that has permitted Tata Motors to exert intense and ongoing pressure on the Korean automaker for the No. 2 spot in terms of sales.