Suzuki aims high

Published: 25 October 2007

Looks kinda lairy for a Suzuki…

Yes, but it could be your next company car. Suzuki is on a mission to break into the car makers’ top ten, raising production from 2.4 to 3 million, and it needs a decent Mondeo-sized saloon, hatch and estate to help do it. The Kizashi launched at Frankfurt will be the saloon and hatch in 2009; this car - the imaginatively monickered Kizashi 2 - will be the estate a year later. With production less than two years away, you can bet that the new car’s looks have been locked down, and that it won’t include the shallow glasshouse, huge wheels or ultra-short rear overhang of this concept. But the front and rear-end treatments and some of the other proportions will give you some clues. It's pleasingly slick for a Suzuki.

What's under the hood of the Kizashi 2?

Nothing radical, although the GM-sourced 3.6-litre V6 and six-speed auto transmission are the most powerful driveline fitted to a ‘factory’ Suzuki, ironic given that the brand’s growth plans are based around increasing demand for the small, efficient cars it specialises in. But this concept is more about style than substance; the vast majority of whatever Suzuki calls its D-segment car will drink from the black diesel pump. The Kizashi 2 was launched to the kind of heavy rock soundtrack that it thinks the buyers it needs to attract listen to; currently, the average age of buyers of even the trendy Swift – a former CAR Car of the Year – is a greying 50.

And what, exactly, is that?

Here's a classic example of Tokyo show concept madness, and the answer to the pesky problem of having to use your legs once you’ve parked your car. The Pixy is a ‘one-person low-speed transportation device’ designed to be used on pavements and inside buildings; to save walking around motor shows, for instance. It’s slower than a Segway, and makes you look like Davros. When you need to go faster or further, you just drive it into another compatible vehicle; Suzuki showed the two-Pixy SSC (Suzuki Shared Coach) and models of a Pixy-compatible sports car and boat. They’re putting it into production next week. No, really. Honest.

Anything we’re likely to see any time soon?

There was the new Splash supermini which goes on sale next year, and the SX4-based World Rally Car which comes to the Welsh forests later this year for Wales Rally GB, its final test before its first full season in the WRC. We also loved the X-Head concept, a sort of three-eighths scale Unimog with a modular rear end that can carry anything from bikes to a bed to mountain rescue gear. Not exactly a serious production prospect, though.

comments powered by Disqus