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First look: new Grand Vitara breaks cover

Grande: Suzuki's 2005 Grand Vitara has grown in all key dimensions.

Suzuki unveils its next-gen Grand Vitara off-roader due on sale here in September

23 May 2005

SUZUKI has lifted the wraps off its new-generation Grand Vitara four-wheel drive wagon.

Known as the Escudo in Japan and based on the Concept X show car shown at the Detroit motor show earlier this year, Suzuki’s crucial new small 4WD is expected to go on sale here in September.

The vehicle will be available with a 107kW/193Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and range-topping 135kW/250Nm 24-valve 2.7-litre V6.

In Japan, three models are available – 2.0XG/XE and 2.7XS – in a five-door body configuration. A three-door model and a soft-top derivative are expected to follow.

Buyers are tipped to have a choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission in the four-cylinder, while the V6 is expected to beauto only.

The all-new Grand Vitara is substantially longer and wider than the current model, with increased levels of refinement and quality and a new switchable ‘on-the-fly’ 4WD system.

It also boasts a 40mm wider front and 60mm wider rear track with 29-degree approach and 27-degree departure angles. Wheelbase is up 160mm on the five-door.

Sharing many interior styling cues with the successful Swift, the new Vitara has a large ‘S’ honeycomb grille and similar dashboard treatment.

30 center imageThe exterior takes on a distinctly contemporary look with clamshell bonnet, crisp wheel-arch blisters and clean glasshouse. The spare wheel remains on the rear door.

In Japan, the Escudo is available with six airbags, heated seats, split-fold tumble-forward rear seats, switchable ESP stability control, a limited-slip differential and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

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