Suzuki Kizashi Concept

Published: 12 September 2007

Hasn’t Toyota shown this car before?

Suzuki, it’s a Suzuki. But yes, the front end does resemble Toyota’s FT-HS concept. Suzuki is making a statement of intent with the world premiere of its Kizashi concept – a design study that points the way to the Japanese firm’s future. Come 2009, Suzuki is aiming to sell three million cars – around 600,000 more units than it did in 2007. To achieve that goal it needs to move into the competitive D-segment – think Ford Mondeo, BMW 3-series – for the first time. The Kizashi – a name meaning ‘prelude’ or ‘foretaste’ – suggests what form Suzuki’s future will take. So ignore the rather Toyota FT-HS-style headlight and grille treatment and you’re left with some clues as to how the next-generation car might look: muscular, taut, poised and, more than anything, highly desirable. We like it.

Just what the world needs, another Mondeo competitor…

Suzuki acknowledges the struggle it faces, but claims it will be unique in offering a D-segment car that is appealing on both a financial and emotional level. And when you think of the faux glitz previously served up by budget Korean brands, you have to say it might just be onto something. The production car will build on Suzuki’s four-wheel drive know-how with an AWD layout and, so says the PR blurb, a hybrid drivetrain to hopefully achieve the lowest emissions of any D-segment passenger car. We’ll have to wait and see if that will survive into production.

A D-segment four-wheel drive car? Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

I can only guess. What is interesting is that Suzuki is competing in the World Rally Championship next year with a car based on its SX4. Just think of what rallying has done for the Subaru and Mitsubishi brands, join a few dots together and all of a sudden you’ve got a 2.0-litre turbocharged Impreza competitor topping the Suzuki range before the decade’s out. Or maybe we’re just getting a tad carried away.

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator