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Future models - Suzuki - Vitara

Paris show: Suzuki spills Vitara details

Deja vu: Like the original Vitara of the late 1980s, the 2015 version will be available with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, but a diesel joins the ranks this time round.

Vitara to get 1.6-litre engines as Suzuki brings back its small SUV

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Suzuki logo3 Oct 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

AFTER a 14 year hiatus, Suzuki has resurrected its Vitara compact SUV, releasing comprehensive details and a first full look at the little high-rider at the Paris motor show overnight ahead of its Australia launch next year.

The Japanese car-maker confirmed the new Vitara would be offered with a choice of either 1.6-litre petrol engine or a diesel of the same capacity, both producing 88kW, but with diesel winning the torque stakes at a hearty 320Nm versus the petrol's 156Nm. Both engines will have fuel-saving idle-stop technology.

The petrol variant will be available with a five-speed manual gearbox and diesels will get one more ratio with six-speeds, but only spark-ignition versions will have the option of a six-speed automatic transmission.

Suzuki's Allgrip four-wheel-drive system, which also features on the S-Cross sub-compact SUV, will provide off-road ability for the new Vitara, but like the original, a two-wheel drive version will also be available.

The Allgrip system sends most of drive to the front wheels, but if they begin to slip, torque is redistributed to the rear-wheels. The system has four modes – Auto for day to day use, Sport for maximum traction on-road, Snow for low-friction surfaces and a Lock setting for recovery.

Suzuki says off-road obstacles are easier to negotiate in the new Vitara thanks to a 18-degree approach angle, 28 degree departure angle, 185mm of ground clearance and 215/55 tyres fitted to 17-inch wheels.

Overall, the new Vitara's dimensions vary little from the five-door Series II version that was last sold in Australia in 2000, with length up 35mm to 4145mm and a wheelbase stretched by 21mm to 2500mm, while width and height have shrunk by 3mm and 130mm to 1775mm and 1610mm respectively.

Fuel economy figures have not been released for the new version but Suzuki says petrol versions of the Vitara will emit between 123g and 138g of CO2 per 100km depending on the transmission, while diesel powered variants do slightly better, producing between 106g/km and 111g/km thanks in part to its manual-only transmission.

Suspension in all cases is MacPherson type up front, with a torsion beam at the back, while brakes are discs all-round with ventilated rotors for the front wheels.

The new Vitara has a variety of safety and driver support equipment, including adaptive cruise control, city-braking and brake-assistance that applies full braking performance under panic braking.

Passive safety also gets a boost with high-tensile steel Vitara's body, which Suzuki calls Total Effective Control Technology (TECT).

All Vitaras will have seven airbags for occupant protection, but the Vitara looks after pedestrians as well with an impact-injury mitigating bonnet, bumpers and windscreen wipers.

On the inside, the Vitara gets a 375-litre boot with various folding seat combinations, a seven-inch touchscreen information and entertainment system with smartphone connectivity and a double sliding-pane panoramic sunroof similar to the type found in the S-Cross.

The Vitara's trademark two-tone body colour is back, along with three new paint colours, and Suzuki says the new version has more customisation possibilities than before.

The Vitara nameplate made way for the larger Grand Vitara in 2000 which continues to be sold in Australia and has just undergone an update and equipment boost for both Urban Navigator and Sport variants.

Exact arrival dates for the new Vitara are yet to be confirmed but the first examples are expected to roll in to showrooms during the second quarter of next year.

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