Hyundai AX1 EV & Ioniq 3: ‘Secret’ Hyundai electric SUVs revealed [Update]

At least two Hyundai electric SUVs are in the pipeline targeting customers who can’t afford or find suitable, existing models, like the Hyundai Kona Electric and the recently announced Hyundai Ioniq 5. These electric vehicles are being developed in much secrecy and could be disruptive products in terms of value for money and enticing owners to switch over from ICE cars.

Hyundai AX1 based EV (2023)

The first of the two secret Hyundai SUVs is internally referred to by the codename ‘Hyundai AX1’ for the petrol edition. Targeted primarily at customers in developing markets where A-segment models have a strong demand, this EV will be a conversion of a gasoline model, it is reported. In the way the Hyundai Kona Electric arrived a short while after the Hyundai Kona, the electric variant of the Hyundai AX1 will trail it to showrooms. Similarly, the design of the ICE and electric variants won’t be very different in the interest of cost.

Hyundai AX1 SpecificationValue
Length3.6 – 3.7 m
Width1.6 – 1.7 m
Height1.5 – 1.6 m
Wheelbase2.4 – 2.5 m
Estimated specifications of the Hyundai AX1 (and AX1-based electric vehicle)

Core development of the Hyundai AX1 is taking place in South Korea, where it could be launched as a successor to the Hyundai Atos (Hyundai Santro). One of its prototypes was snapped on a test recently, and it seemed to carry the final design. The Hyundai micro-SUV is reportedly spawning a pure electric variant within two years of going on sale, under the company’s ‘Smart EV’ initiative.

Hyundai A CUV electric car
Hyundai confirmed the launch of the electric A-Segment CUV in 2022 to investors last year. Accounting the disruption caused by COVID-19, the launch is expected in 2023.

Spy pictures have shown the 3.6-3.7m long Hyundai AX1 sporting a squarish body and large lamps at the front and rear. In the latest picture (featured image), we can see that the designers have given the micro-SUV discrete door handles on the C-pillar and used a geometric pattern on the tail lamps.

Images posted on feature a gray Hyundai AX1 prototype in the top-end trim, equipped with features like six-spoke alloy wheels, roof rails, LED side turn signals integrated into the outside rearview mirrors, and shark-fin antenna. Projector headlamps and part-LED tail lamps could also be included in the standard equipment of the range-topping Hyundai AX1. The Hyundai AX1 EV, on the other hand, may get full-LED lights for efficiency and differentiation.

Hyundai AX1 electric micro-SUV rendering
The all-electric Hyundai AX1 electric (rendered) will likely follow within two years of the ICE variant’s launch with styling changes.

The AX1 is expected to launch in its first market towards the end of the year. The Hyundai AX1 electric, previewed in our exclusive rendering above, would have a distinct design for the grille and wheels. Being a conversion, it would have some limitations, like not featuring a flat floor or a front storage compartment.

Underpinned by the K1 platform of the latest-generation Hyundai Atos (Hyundai Santro), the Hyundai AX1 will reportedly be manufactured in Sriperumbudur, India, and exported widely. The Hyundai AX1 electric’s targeted range could be 250 km or 155 miles, which could make it a perfect competitor to the Citroen eCC21 and the Dacia Spring in the European market.

Hyundai Ioniq 3 (2025)

The other secret Hyundai electric SUV in the pipeline is reportedly a Hyundai Ioniq 3. In August last year, The Strait Times reported that Hyundai plans to start manufacturing EVs in Singapore at a new facility called ‘Hyundai Mobility Global Innovation Center’ in Jurong from 2022.

The Straits Times said that Hyundai’s second model made at the new factory will be the yet-to-be announced Ioniq 3 by 2025. While announcing the launch of the Ioniq sub-brand last year, Hyundai said that it will designate even numbers for Ioniq sedans and hatchbacks and odd numbers for Ioniq crossovers or SUVs, so the Ioniq 3 would be an entry-level SUV. The Singaporean media report adds that exports is also planned from the new facility.

An official announcement about the Hyundai Mobility Global Innovation Center in Singapore followed in October 2020, although no information was revealed about the models that will be made at the site. Construction of the new factory will be completed by the second half of 2022, Hyundai has confirmed. The Ioniq 3, unlike the AX1-based EV, could have the features or capabilities of the E-GMP in space, storage, charging, range, safety and connectivity, and could be suitable for developed countries where the purchasing power is higher and so are the standards and expectations.

The Singaporean government is taking steps to make the EV business more lucrative in the country. It has decided to set aside SGD 30 million (USD 22.67 million) over the next years for promoting EVs. One of these EV-related initiatives will be deploying 60,000 public charging points by 2030, more than double that of the previous target (28,000). Moreover, tax cuts to reduce the gap between the prices of internal combustion engine vehicles and electric vehicles are being chalked out.

Hyundai expects to launch 12 pure EVs and increase the sales of its all-electric models to 560,000 by 2025.

Featured Image Source:

Hyundai AX1 EV FAQs

What is the Hyundai AX1 derived EV release date?

2023 is the expected Hyundai AX1-based EV release date, targeting the city car segment in emerging countries.

What is the expected range of the AX1-based EV?

A real world range of about 250 km is the expected of the AX1-based electric model.

What is the expected price of the AX1-based EV?

The AX1-based EV should be priced comparable to a B-segment hatch in emerging markets, with a starting price of circa USD 13,000.