DOWN THE ROAD
Mini G-class from Suzuki
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.
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.