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Future models - Suzuki - S-Cross

Paris show: Suzuki S-Cross points to Oz-bound SUV

Dualis dueller: Styling of the Suzuki S-Cross concept suggests the company is going after Japanese rivals like the Nissan Dualis and Mitsubishi ASX.

Australia to get new compact SUV next year previewed by Suzuki’s S-Cross concept

Suzuki logo27 Sep 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

SUZUKI is set to gun for the likes of Nissan’s popular Dualis with an all-new compact SUV set to arrive in Australian showrooms late next year or early 2014, previewed by the S-Cross concept unveiled at today’s Paris motor show.

Described as a concept that “heralds the company’s next-generation C-segment crossover model”, the production S-Cross will join the Suzuki line-up between the SX4 crossover and Grand Vitara SUV.

The vehicle is promised to reflect the on-road handling and performance of Suzuki passenger cars like the Swift and Kizashi while evolving the company’s reputation in terms of four-wheel-drive ability (SX4, Grand Vitara) with the adoption of new technologies.

On the other hand, Suzuki also claims the features and functions of its S-Cross are primarily designed for comfort, with a nod toward practicality in the shape of a capacious load area claimed to be among the segment’s largest.

A small environmental footprint is top of the agenda for Suzuki, which says the production S-Cross will have some of the lowest CO2 emissions in its class.

The company hints at driver-selectable modes as featured in premium European vehicles, saying the production S-Cross will encompass “gentle, fuel-saving driving, sportier driving, and even driving on snow”.

It aims to “allow people to get the most out of urban lifestyles” be that city commutes, carrying children or weekends away.

Suzuki says the new SUV will launch internationally next year as the first product in an “ambitious programme of annual European model launches” that will expand its range and broaden its brand appeal.

At 4310mm long, the S-Cross concept is 20mm shorter than a Nissan Dualis but 57mm wider at 1840mm, while being roughly the same height and riding on a 2600mm wheelbase that is 30mm shorter than the hot-selling Nissan.

The S-Cross has a long bonnet reminiscent of a Dualis, with a headlight and grille design evolving that of the Kizashi mid-size sedan, while borrowing the Swift’s trademark blacked-out A-pillar gives the impression of a floating roof, especially as the windscreen appears to extend right to the car’s rear.

A curved coupe-like roofline leads to a design-heavy back-end with Mitsubishi-esque tail-light clusters, a wrap-around rear window and quad exhaust tips integrated with the bumper.

Usual crossover/SUV design cues of black lower body cladding and metallic scuff plates are present and correct.

Typically for a concept, the S-Cross is dressed up with huge 20-inch chrome alloy wheels, fancy LED lighting and huge chrome-look air intakes on the front bumper, with the door mirrors replaced by slim camera pods and discreet doorhandles adding to the coupe-like looks.

Roof rails that fit flush with the roof line when not in use are an innovation that could make it to production as a way of reducing wind resistance to save fuel in tandem with the shapely, aerodynamic curves of the bodywork.

Suzuki describes the metallic Crystal Green paintwork as evoking an image of “nature in the city and the city in nature”.

According to Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis, Australian-delivered cars will come from Japan while European S-Cross will be sourced from the company’s Hungarian production facility when it launches mid-2013.

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