A tiny crossover isn’t the sort of thing you’d normally find us getting excited about here at CT towers, but the Hyundai Casper is no ordinary little high-rider. What you’re looking at here might just be the most adorable crossover ever made, with a cute factor approaching Japanese Kei car levels.
It’ll be bigger than Kei dimensions, but not by much. The Casper is set to slot under the Venue (a car you can have with a clutch pedal-less manual gearbox), which is compact enough to share the rough footprint of a Ford Fiesta. With boxy wheel arch flares, fat B/C pillars and round headlight clusters it looks a little like a Toyota FJ Cruiser that’s shrunk in the wash. We like it a lot.
It takes its name from, of all things, a skateboard trick that involves flipping the board over. This, Hyundai says, is similar to how its Casper is flipping and changing “stereotypes” associated with little crossovers. In contrast to the quirky name and looks are some more ordinary underpinnings - although Hyundai hasn’t confirmed, we’re pretty sure the Casper will share the i10 hatchback’s ‘BA’ platform.
It’ll initially be available with a choice of two 1.0-litre inline-three petrol engines, a naturally-aspirated ‘MPI’ and the turbocharged ‘T-GDI’. In the i10, these units are good for 66 and 98bhp respectively.
Reportedly, the range will expand in 2023 to include an all-electric derivative using a powertrain supplied by BorgWarner. Before you ask, we’re not expecting there to be a hot N version with a powerful petrol engine, as fun as that would be.
Although Hyundai has shown images of the Casper’s exterior from all angles, this isn’t a full reveal. That’ll happen later in the year, at which point we’ll get a lot more information and our first look at the interior.
Reservations for the car will open in South Korea at some point in September. Given that we don’t get the Venue in Europe (the smallest Hyundai crossover for the continent is the Bayon), it seems unlikely that the Casper will make it here. A shame if so.