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Geneva show: Suzuki gets Cross

Suzy cue: Geneva will provide the launch platform for Suzuki’s all-new compact crossover wagon that is expected to be just the first body shape from the new architecture.

Suzuki provides glimpse of its new small crossover – and its small-car future

7 Feb 2013

A COMPACT crossover vehicle that is likely to herald a whole new family of Suzuki small cars has been teased ahead of its debut in production form at next month’s Geneva motor show.

The unnamed all-wheel-drive wagon – called only “Suzuki’s all-new C-segment crossover” in a media release accompanying the two pictures – is based on the S-Cross concept that made its first appearance at last year’s Paris motor show.

The Nissan Dualis competitor will sit between the current Suzuki SX4 hatch that is set for a facelift this year and the larger and more hard core Grand Vitara SUV, in the hot-selling small SUV segment.

The all-new crossover is expected to go into production in the second half of this year, arriving in Australia either late this year or early 2014, probably in both front- and all-wheel-drive forms and potentially with a Fiat diesel engine alternative alongside a Suzuki petrol engine.

Suzuki Automobiles Australia general manager Tony Devers told GoAuto at the Paris show that he expected the new crossover to contribute between 3000 and 5000 sales to Suzuki’s annual tally in Australia, rivaling the Alto and Grand Vitara as the company’s second biggest seller behind the Swift (12,113 units in 2012).

Moreover, Mr Devers said the vehicle “opens up possibilities of a regular C-car shape”, meaning the platform is likely to spawn a two-wheel-drive Corolla-style hatchback, allowing Suzuki to compete in the world’s biggest car sales segment.

30 center imageLeft: Suzuki compact crossover. Below: The Suzuki S-Cross concept.

The images released by Suzuki overnight show that the basic shape of the new vehicle has remained faithful to S-Cross concept, but changes include a fresh grille with multiple curved chrome bars and different alloy wheels.

A second row of LEDs above the driving lights in the bumper appear to have been deleted, and the A-pillars that were painted black on the concept are now body colour in the production version.

No engine information was supplied, but Suzuki promises “one of the largest luggage areas in the crossover segment” and “outstanding versatility”.

“The advanced 4WD technology, one of Suzuki's specialist fields, ensures excellent handling and driving enjoyment,” the statement said.

The 4WD system is said to be a development of the powertrain under the SX4 and all-wheel-drive Kisashi Sport, but with new electronic controls for superior performance.

Like the Nissan Dualis, a two-wheel-drive version is likely to be offered as a more affordable alternative for families.

Britain’s Autocar reports that a diesel engine supplied by Fiat will be offered alongside a petrol powerplant, at least in the European version that will be built at Suzuki’s Hungarian plant.

Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis said sourcing of the new crossover had yet to be decided for Australia.

He also said the diesel engine option was also on the table, adding: “We look at anything.”

Suzuki Australia already sells a 1.9-litre diesel in the Grand Vitara range.

In Europe, Fiat diesel engines are already fitted to the Suzuki SX4, of which Fiat sells a rebadged version called Sedici. The diesels range from 1.3 litres to 2.0 litres.

Meanwhile, Suzuki is set to resume making vehicles in Myanmar (formerly Burma) after an absence of three years.

The company will make the Carry compact truck at an existing plant in Yangon, where it previously made vehicles in the emerging Asian nation.

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