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Sydney show: Suzuki lights up with turbo Kizashi

Force feeding: Suzuki says it will ‘closely monitor’ customer response to its turbocharged Kizashi concept before giving it the green light.

Suzuki unveils turbocharged Kizashi concept and all-new 2011 Swift in Sydney

Suzuki logo15 Oct 2010

By TERRY MARTIN

IN A stunning world-first presentation, Suzuki Australia unveiled a high-performance turbocharged version of its Kizashi medium-sized sedan at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney today.

Shown alongside the new-generation Swift light car, which was making its southern hemisphere debut after first appearing at the Paris motor show two weeks ago, the Kizashi Turbo was developed in conjunction with Californian-based hot tuners Road Race Motorsports (RRM) in the US and looks to be a precursor to a high-performance model available Down Under in the not-too-distant future.

Although the force-fed Kizashi is described as a show piece for now, Suzuki Australia has told GoAuto that the Turbo was a serious contender for sale here, if there was strong enough demand.

Suzuki launched an AWD Sport version of the Kizashi in August, but the $39,990 flagship model sticks with the powertrain common to the entire range: a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre four-cylinder producing 131kW of power at 6500rpm and 230Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

The AWD model also drives solely through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

30 center imageLeft: Suzuki Kizashi Turbo. Below: All-new 2011 Swift.

By comparison, the Kizashi Turbo produces a much stronger 179kW at 4800rpm and 330Nm at 4400rpm with the intercooled turbo, which has 7psi of boost. Power is fed through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

GoAuto understands that the AWD Kizashi has been specifically engineered for use with the CVT, hence the front-drive/manual combo in the Turbo.

After the covers were thrown off the Kizashi Turbo in Sydney this morning, Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers said: “Customers have been asking about a turbocharged version of this car since the original Concept Kizashi was unveiled at Frankfurt more than three years ago.

“The race-bred Kizashi chassis was always designed to handle more power and we are excited about the potential for a high-performance version.

“We worked closely with our good friends from Road Race Motorsports in the US to produce a concept car with the potential to attack the medium-car performance market.

“We will closely monitor customer feedback on the concept car and welcome input at facebook.com/suzukiaustralia.” RRM has developed a similar, but even more powerful, Kizashi Turbo concept for Suzuki America in recent months – churning out 216kW at 5800rpm and 377Nm at 4100rpm – which is billed as a strong candidate for production in the US.

RRM has also developed a 223kW turbocharged Platinum Edition Kizashi and is now offering aftermarket turbo packages for the vehicle worldwide.

The US aftermarket performance parts specialist and custom car builder says it has received enquiries from across the globe, including Australia, and that variations will be tailored to the needs of individual markets and private clients.

As seen on the overseas RRM editions, the Australian-specific show car also has lowered sports suspension, a front strut brace and beefier brakes.

It is shod with 19-inch Enkei RPF1 alloy wheels on 245/40-section Pirelli P-Zero tyres, and has a number of other exterior detail changes, including a new rear deck spoiler and bold ‘Kizashi Turbo’ livery.

A petrol-electric hybrid version of the Kizashi has also been confirmed for sale in the US from 2011, but not for Australia at this stage.

The third-generation Swift, meanwhile, will be released here in the first half of next year, with Mr Devers confirming today that every model across the range will be fitted with seven airbags.

He said the Swift would offer “the most comprehensive standard safety package ever seen in a light car at this price point in Australia”.

“Unlike our competitors, we will not compromise our customers by offering safety packs with extra airbags,” Mr Devers said. “Every model in the Swift range will come complete with seven airbags, including side curtain airbags and a knee airbag.” He also said it would deliver best-in-class petrol economy figures, although the line-up and equipment levels are still to be finalised.

“We are still finalising specification levels for the Australian Swift, and considering several powertrain options,” he said.

“However, I can promise the all-new Swift will deliver the best fuel economy figures for a petrol car in the segment.” As GoAuto has reported, 1.4 and 1.5-litre petrol engines are both under consideration – and both will be more powerful and efficient than the current model’s 1.5, which delivers 74kW/133Nm and returns 6.3L/100km (6.7L/100km auto).

In Europe, the redesigned Swift’s entry-level engine is a new 69kW/118Nm 1.2-litre petrol unit (replacing the current 1.3) that consumes 5.0L/100km.

Suzuki Australia is also hopeful of offering a revised 75kW/190Nm 1.3-litre DDiS turbo-diesel that returns 4.2L/100km, while a replacement for the Swift Sport – which currently features a 92kW/148Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine – is expected to emerge during 2011.

Mr Devers said the all-new Swift was “unmistakably an evolution of its predecessor, and even better in the ways that counted”.

“It’s more fun to drive thanks to exhilarating, sporty handling and lower CO2 emissions,” he said. “And it’s more fun to look at thanks to a sporty, modern design with added sophistication inside and out.

“It’s an even clearer reflection of Suzuki’s desire to offer a sports compact that’s perfectly suited to the lifestyles and demands of the times.”

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