Little Suzi wakes up
For 2014, it’s a case of in with the old, the new and the familiar
A HATCH with SUV pretensions will spearhead Suzuki’s push to be seen as more than the Swift car company.
The S-Cross succeeds the SX-4 in showrooms from January and Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers predicts it will double sales to about 500 vehicles a month.
He says there is more to come in 2014, from the Celerio light car that will succeed the Alto to the IV-4 soft-roader that will sell alongside the S-Cross for buyers who want the elevated driving position of an SUV.
Suzuki Australia also pushed successfully for a version of the Jimny Sierra 4WD equipped with electronic stability gear .
“Why would you walk away from something everybody loves?” Devers says.
“It is the biggest selling-small SUV in Europe. The ESP is part of a major facelift and we should have it late next year.”
The S-Cross will sell in 2WD and AWD variants, with the front-wheel-drive models expected to account for about 80 per cent of sales.
The base GL model will use a five-speed manual and the starting price will be $22,990, stretching to $34,990 for the leather-upholstered GLX Prestige with a constantly variable transmission and seven-step manual mode operated via paddle shifters.
The hatch initially will come without the Fiat-built diesel engine available in Europe, relying instead on a lightweight chassis and frugal 1.6-litre fourcylinder petrol engine to better the power-to-weight figures and fuel consumption of many of its competitors.
“Diesel is important to our market but it’s not on our radar in the midterm future,” Devers says. “We just can’t get it yet.” Suzuki Australia managing director Mac Kato says the diesel is not yet available with an automated transmission, which limits its appeal to Australian buyers.
“We have asked for an automatic and they are working for it but it will be one to two years away,” Kato says.