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Paris show: Suzuki S-Cross to spawn small car

On the move: Suzuki’s all-important crossover will be just the first in a range of C-segment offerings

S-Cross crossover could lead to broader Suzuki small car family

1 Oct 2012


SUZUKI HAS ITS SIGHTS set on the booming small-car market with an all-new family of C-segment models aimed squarely at the Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf, and Ford Focus.

Expected to go on sale sometime in 2014, and thought to be based on the just-unveiled S-Cross compact SUV, the five-door hatch (and probably four-door sedan) series will be the first ‘conventional’ Suzuki of this shape and size available in Australia since the demise of the original Liana range more than six years ago.

It will be developed off what Suzuki describes as the “all-new” C-segment platform that will also underpin the S-Cross compact SUV, which proved to be one of the stars of last week’s Paris motor show.

According to Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers, the development of the S-Cross presents a number of opportunities for the manufacturer.

“It opens up possibilities of a regular C-car shape,” he revealed to GoAuto at the S-Cross unveiling at the Paris motor show last week.

Still, the S-Cross – which may be badged differently when it enters production late next year prior to an Australian release soon after or in very early 2014 – will beat the vital new small car to market, as Suzuki seeks to re-establish itself as a leader of crossovers – as demonstrated by the original Vitara of 1988.

30 center imageLeft: Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers.

According to Mr Devers, the S-Cross and its derivatives will put Suzuki right back in the thick of consumer tastes and desires – and not only in Australia but also around the globe.

“It’s a growing segment, and there are new cars coming in all the time,” he said. “We’re expecting the S-Cross (alone) to do between 3000 and 5000 units per year.”

Mr Devers also set the record straight by announcing that the S-Cross would sit above rather than replace the six-year old SX4 series in Australia, revealing that the latter will soldier on with another facelift featuring minor visual changes sometime during 2013.

“It will run parallel with the SX4 (hatch – the sedan version was withdrawn from sale several months ago),” he clarified, adding that the second-generation complete redesign will not be seen in Australia until at least 2015.

Whether the S-Cross and new small car series share platform and drivetrain components with the critically praised but struggling Kizashi mid-sized sedan is unknown.

What Suzuki is willing to divulge is that the optional all-wheel drive system is an evolution of the one already utilised in other models, featuring new advanced electronics for improved performance and responses as well as significantly reduced consumption and emissions.

Suzuki’s Indian partner Maruti is said to have helped develop the S-Cross family, though the majority of engineering work is being carried out in Japan.

The design has obvious similarities to the pioneering (and extremely popular) Nissan Dualis/Qashqai, as well as the Volvo XC60, underscoring the European appeal of the new Suzuki range.

Meanwhile, Mr Devers confirmed that Thai-built Swifts will start selling in Australia sometime next year, but that Japan will still continue to be utilised as a source for the popular light car, since strong demand from South East Asia will keep the new Rayong facility working flat out.

The existing FZ-series Swift is also made in Hungary and India.

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