New kids on the block
SUZUKI is finally getting into gear with some muchneeded improvements to the company’s product line-up for Australia.
After more than two years with nothing beyond Sport models for the Swift and Kizashi, it’s readying three all-new additions to the showroom line-up from the middle of next year until the start of 2015.
The headliner is the iV-4 SUV concept just unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show but it will be book-ended by the compact S-Cross that takes over from the $18,990 SX4 and a renewal of the tiny $11,790 Alto.
The iV-4 takes a totally new direction, as it was developed for Europe and will be built in a factory in Hungary. It’s also a new look for a company that is notoriously conservative on the styling front.
It can be seen as a reinvention of the Vitara in the Suzuki line, as its size— 4.2m long and 1.65m tall — drops it into the open space between the current Jimny and Grand Vitara.
But don’t expect the iV-4 badges — to reflect individuality, vehicle and fourwheel drive at Frankfurt — to make it to the road.
‘‘We’re expecting a different name for the production car,’’ the spokesman for Suzuki Australia, Andrew Ellis, tells Carsguide.
‘‘The timing will be 2015 for Australia.
‘‘At a stretch, it could just make it into the back end of next year.’’
He confirms the position of the iV-4 and the re-working of the other Suzuki models.
‘‘This is an addition to the range, not a replacement for anything we already have. The SX4 is getting replaced by S-Cross next year and we also have a replacement for the Alto,’’ Ellis says.
He says Suzuki Australia is still waiting for a full product plan from Japan, as there is not even a confirmation of engines— beyond a claim for class-leading CO emissions.
‘‘All they have said at the moment is that it will be produced for Europe in Hungary. We will be taking S-Cross from the factory at Maygar Suzuki, but we don’t know yet about the production model of the iV4,’’ Ellis says.
The change to the SX4 is a big one, as the S-Cross promises to be much more youthful. For people who cannot decide, there will be a choice for much of 2014.
‘‘The two models will run in parallel for a while next year, as we’re expecting the S-Cross at the start of 2014 and the SX-4 will continue in production for a few months,’’ Ellis says. ‘‘The S-Cross is aimed squarely at the Nissan Dualis. It’s on a new platform.’’
Looking to the iV-4, Ellis says Suzuki is expecting a genuine four-wheel drive that can trace its roots back to its original LJ off-roader in the 1970s, on through the SJ in the eighties, then the Vitara, Jimny and Grand Vitara.
The company is also planning an extensive personalisation program for buyers, under the catchphrase ‘‘Grab your Field’’, extending beyond wheels and tyres to exterior parts, colours and even textures of some body panels.
The iV-4 SUV concept unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show will headline three new vehicles for Suzuki