DOWN THE ROAD

Mini G-class from Suzuki

Road Trip - - CONTENTS - Story by Paul van Gass | Im­ages © Suzuki Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion

The all-new Jimny, the lat­est ver­sion of the small off-road warrior of Suzuki, the Ja­panese au­tomaker, orig­i­nally re­leased in 1970, has been re­vealed this month in Ja­pan. This mi­nus­cule, yet tough 4×4 is set to launch in South Africa in Novem­ber this year.

In terms of styling the even more boxy and an­gu­lar lines of the long-awaited fourth gen­er­a­tion Jimny (its im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sor was launched a full two decades ago) harks back to the orig­i­nal, de­rived from the Hopes­tar ON360 of 1968 (Suzuki bought the Hope Mo­tor Com­pany, man­u­fac­turer of the Hopes­tar, in the same year).

With its Tonka Toy-like lines, the new Jimny looks like a ju­nior G-class Mercedes with some traces of the Jeep Rene­gade. This is em­pha­sised by a fives­lot grille fin­ished in matte black, with a pair of round head­lamps, in­di­vid­ual in­di­ca­tors, round fog lights, and a heavy duty front bumper with a wide cen­tral air-in­take. Boxy wheel arches filled ei­ther 15-inch or 16-inch black five-spoke al­loy wheels height­ens its bel­liger­ent stance.

Still based on a lad­der-frame chas­sis, the new Jimny is slightly longer (3,300 mm), wider (1,475 mm) and higher (1,715 mm) than its third-gen­er­a­tion pre­de­ces­sor, with a wheel­base that is 2,250 mm. It will be of­fered in var­i­ous colour op­tions (some with dual tone) in­clud­ing Jun­gle Green, Medium Gray, Black Pearl, Sil­ver Metal­lic, Spare White, Pure White Pearl, Ki­netic Yel­low, Chif­fon Ivory, and Blue Metal­lic.

Two ver­sions?

The en­tire cabin has been re­designed, but still re­tains a util­i­tar­ian char­ac­ter. A seven-inch touch­screen is now mounted high on the cen­tre con­sole, and the air in­lets is sim­i­lar to the those used in the Ig­nis, while com­po­nents such as the steer­ing wheel, cli­mate con­trol, and elec­tric win­dow switches come from the new Swift.

In­ter­est­ingly, it seems that two three­door ver­sions will be of­fered – the nor­mal Jimny and a Jimny Sierra (akin to the Samurai de­riv­a­tives in pre­vi­ous edi­tions) The Sierra ver­sion hav­ing a dif­fer­ent in­te­rior lay­out for the more up­mar­ket look. Other ex­ter­nal dif­fer­ences on the Sierra in­clude more plas­tic body cladding around the wheel wells and a roof in a con­trast­ing colour.

How­ever, both will use a part-time four-wheel drive All­grip Pro-sys­tem with low-range gear­ing for the five-speed man­ual or op­tional four-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. In Ja­pan the new Jimny will be avail­able with the small R06A 660 cc tur­bocharged three-cylin­der petrol en­gine to con­form to Kei-car reg­u­la­tions.

While not yet con­firmed, it seems that in other mar­kets the Jimny will be equipped with the Suzuki 998 cc K10C three-cylin­der turbo petrol en­gine (82 kw) and the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated K12C 1.2-litre four-cylin­der Dual­jet en­gine (69 kw). The Sierra ver­sion is likely to be pow­ered by the new K15C 1.5-litre four-cylin­der petrol en­gine set to de­but in the Ciaz. No spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els for South Africa has been con­firmed yet and this, as well as pric­ing, will only be re­vealed closer to the launch date of the Jimny in Novem­ber.

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