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First look: Suzuki breaks medium mould

Another medium: Suzuki enters "status" phase with Kizashi concept.

Suzuki's first self-designed mid-sizer debuts, but Kizashi is far from production

17 Sep 2007

WE SAW the official sketch a month ago and now Suzuki has removed the rug from the concept that previews its first fully self-designed and built mid-size model.

Appearing every bit as edgy as the image that heralded it, the Kizashi show car was unveiled at last week’s Frankfurt motor show alongside the Swift-based Splash mini people-mover, which also made its global public debut in Germany.

Given the Splash’s Australian release won’t happen until 2009, it’s unlikely we’ll see a Kizashi-based production car Down Under within two years.

But the prospects of an in-house-built medium car from Suzuki, even if it doesn’t emerge from the factory with the concept’s distinctive five-door bustle-back design, are nevertheless enticing.

30 center imageAs we previously reported, the Japanese maker claims Kizashi will represent the third stage in Suzuki’s worldwide brand aspirations, which include three million sales globally.

Dubbed “status”, it follows the company’s first two development stages: “sporty”, as demonstrated by the popular Swift and SX4 entry-level models, and “family”, which will be represented by the Splash and an eventual Alto replacement.

As such, Suzuki says its next-generation D-segment entrant, which will not be based on GM Daewoo underpinnings like its forebears and Holden’s Epica, will not take on top-selling, entry-level medium sedans like the Toyota Camry.

Instead, Suzuki will aim at “premium” medium sedans like next month’s new Ford Mondeo, Subaru’s Liberty, Honda’s Accord and the Mazda6, which is due for renewal in mid-2008.

“Suzuki is targeting emotional appeal as a way to deliver a level of customer satisfaction far higher than what might be expected from the car's price point,” it says.

Suzuki car chief Toshihiro Suzuki unveiled the Splash and Kizashi at Frankfurt, where he claimed the latter will deliver the lowest CO2 emissions in its class via an all-new 2.0-litre DOHC 16-valve turbo-diesel engine, mated to a “sequential six-speed” transmission.

The rejuvenated car-maker also claims it will offer typical Suzuki “driving performance” thanks to the inclusion of “Advanced i-AWD”.

The Kizashi concept rides on 21-inch wheels with 255/30-section tyres, but few other details were made available – save for basic dimensions.

They include an overall length of 4650mm, width of 1950mm, height of 1400mm and a 2850mm wheelbase.

Read more:

First look: Kizashi is Suzuki’s new medium

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