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First look: Kizashi is Suzuki’s new medium

Out-there: Suzuki Kizashi concept brings radical mid-size style.

Suzuki to preview its new mid-sized model via the Kizashi concept at Frankfurt

13 Aug 2007

SUZUKI has revealed the first clues to the new mid-size model it plans to officially unveil at the Frankfurt motor show on September 11.

The compact-car and four-wheel drive specialist says its Kizashi concept represents both a “breakthrough into the middle class segment” and an important step in Suzuki’s quest to offer a complete production model line-up. Taking a leaf out of Mazda’s book by giving its latest concept a Japanese name, which in this case translates to “prelude”, Suzuki says the Kizashi also represents the third stage of its global strategy – the theme of which is “status” - as well as a new direction for Suzuki.

No other details are forthcoming from the world’s 12th largest car-maker, other than this description of its first mid-sized model: “Full of energy, flexible and emotionally appealing”.

It’s unclear whether Kizashi is an all-new model from Suzuki, or a version of the mid-size Tosca sedan that shares its chassis architecture with GM Holden’s Korean-built Epica and is powered by the same 2.0 and 2.5-litre inline six-cylinder engines. Production of the front-drive Tosca has been delayed until next year because of capacity issues.

Alongside the Kizashi at Frankfurt the production version of Suzuki’s new Splash mini-MPV will also make its world debut before it goes on sale in Europe next year. A development of the Splash concept that appeared at last September’s Paris motor show, the Splash is based on Swift underpinnings and is powered by the choice of 48kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 63kW 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, plus a 55kW 1.3-litre DDiS turbo-diesel. Suzuki says all three Euro 4 emissions-compliant engines produce between 120 and 140g/km of CO2 emissions.

Suzuki says the 3700mm-long Splash is its fourth world-strategic model after the Swift, Grand Vitara and SX4. It is slightly longer than Proton’s Savvy and could eventually become a sub-Swift circa-$13,000 entry-model for Suzuki Australia. In Europe, the Splash will come standard with ABS and EBD, while ESP and six airbags will be optional.

The resurgent Japanese car-maker will also wheel out its SX4 WRCar ahead of its first race – the Rallye de France in Corsica in mid-October, in the hands of Suzuki motorsport legend Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima.

It will use the 62nd Frankfurt show to announce its two WRC drivers for 2008, when Suzuki Motorsports steps up from the Junior WRC, which it dominates with the Swift Super Sport.

Finally, the 98-year-old car manufacturer will also show its eye-popping new B-King motorcycle and its new DF300 V6 outboard marine motor.

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