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Future models - Suzuki - Alto

Next Suzuki Alto previewed

Mellow yellow: Suzuki calls this concept 'A:Wind', but Australia can call it the next Alto.

Ignore the bizarre ‘A:Wind’ badge, this concept is Suzuki’s next Alto supermini

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Suzuki logo29 Nov 2013

By MIKE COSTELLO

SUZUKI is showing a concept version of its next-generation Alto supermini at the Thailand Motor Expo, which kicked off this week.

It’s called the A:Wind, a name that apparently refers to the Japanese company’s desire to “bring a fresh wind to the A-segment”.

Suzuki is keeping quiet on full details, but claims improved occupant space, cargo storage and cabin quality. Power comes from a 1.0-litre engine – likely a reworked version of the current Alto’s 50kW/90Nm three-cylinder – matched to a CVT.

At 3600mm long, 1600mm wide and 1540mm high, the A:Wind is moderately longer and taller than the current Alto, while its 2425mm wheelbase grows by 60mm to free up additional interior space.

Externally, the concept features outlandish 16-inch alloy wheels, and an edgy design somewhat reminiscent of the current Swift and Splash – both larger cars.

Suzuki says the swooping grille with integrated headlights was penned to create the impression of elegance.

The car will go into series production in slightly watered-down form in 2014.

Suzuki cites Thailand as the production source for both domestic and export markets.

Australia gets the current Alto from India, but may switch to Thailand for the next model, capitalising on our free-trade ties with the South East Asian nation. It is also understood Suzuki will continue with Alto production on the subcontinent for this next-generation, however, so stay posted.

With the demise in Australia of the Chinese Chery J1 – its failed to meet now-mandatory ESC regulations – the current Alto is Australia’s cheapest new car at $11,790 plus on-road costs.

However, sales are down 26.4 per cent this year in a light-car segment that has dipped only 2.6 per cent in comparison. Booming sales for Mitsubishi’s new-to-market Mirage (7884 units this year), may account for some of this drop.

The reveal of the new A:Wind comes a few weeks after Suzuki premiered a fleet of new mini-car concepts at the Tokyo motor show, including the Crosshiker coupe, X-Lander crossover, Hustler kei-car and a sloping-roofline derivative of the same car.

We’ll bring you more details on the next Alto when we attend the media launch of Suzuki’s all-new S-Cross crossover SUV in Melbourne next week.

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