Hyundai Inster Debuts As A Small EV Packing Big Range

This smallest of Hyundai EVs to date claims a WLTP-rated range of up to 335 km on a single charge. 

Following on from its teaser a couple of weeks ago, Hyundai has recently revealed its new Inster subcompact EV. This latest zero-emissions offering from the South Korean automaker is essentially to be the all-electric counterpart to its Korea-only, petrol-powered Casper that previously launched back in 2021.

Now touching on its exterior aesthetics first, the Inster certainly features a more futuristic appearance than its Casper counterpart. This could be primarily put down to its IONIQ-aping pixelated daytime running lights that gives off a Daft Punk vibe to the way this EV looks, with these same little squares repeated on the light bar running right across its rear tailgate. 

This small EV also nets enlarged pair of LED light rings that bookend its blanked off front grille, with a set of rather neat polished T-spoked 17-inches in diameter being on the cards as well to round off its trendy street-spec look. As for those who prefer a more rugged appearance to their Insters on the other hand, Hyundai has since teased an upcoming Inster Cross version that will all but likely be just that. 

Talking dimensions meanwhile, the Inster is actually 230 mm longer than the Casper, with 180 mm of that stretch coming between its wheels. This however still sees this pint-sized EV to only be about the same size as an Axia, with it measuring in at 3,825 mm in length, 1,610 mm in width, and 1,575 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,580 mm. 

Turning within the Inster, its overall cabin design has been largely carried over from the ICE-powered equivalent. This subcompact EV nevertheless gains a larger set of dual 10.25-inch displays, in addition to some funkier colour options for its cloth upholstery. 

Also to be available within the Inster is a 64-colour interior ambient lighting setup, along with other niceties like heated front seats and even a sunroof. There is expectedly to be a comprehensive suite of ADAS features lumped in with this city-centric compact crossover, and surprisingly too Hyundai has brought along vehicle-to-load (V2L) bi-directional charging to this affordable EV. 

And while small it may be, the Inster is actually quite the practical little thing as well. Its second row can recline and slide, trading rear leg room for boot space of between 280 and 351 litres. All of its seats can also be folded flat, with there even apparently the option of a front bench.

Propulsion with the Inster will come by means of single front-mounted motor, which either outputs 97 PS in Standard or 115 PS in Long Range trim. The Standard variant will be fed by a 42 kWh battery pack that is apparently good for over 300 km between charges, while the Long Range will live up to its name by offering a segment-leading WLTP range of 355 km from its slightly larger 49 kWh pack. 

Perhaps more impressive though with regards to its powertrain is for this subcompact EV to have been outfitted with DC fast charging capabilities of up to 120 kW, which sees the Inster charge from 10-80% in just 30 minutes. When connected to a 11 kW AC outlet instead, a full charge will take between 4 and 4.5 hours depending on the variant in question. 

The Inster is set to go on sale in South Korea come this summer, after it makes its official debut at the 2024 Busan International Mobility Show. But the bigger news on this front is probably that unlike its petrol-powered counterpart, this all-electric subcompact will be making its ways outside its home market.  

Hyundai has in fact already indicated its plans of selling the Inster in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. So the question is now then will this subcompact EV make its way over here, and perhaps more importantly, could (at least a CKD version of) it possibly be the mass-market all-electric mobility tool that so many Malaysians are yearning for?

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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