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Future models - Suzuki - Authentics

Shanghai show: Suzuki teases new small car

Gap filler: The sleek Suzuki Authentics sedan could slot between the Swift hatch and mid-size Kizashi if it goes into production.

Authentics small car concept highlights Suzuki's bigger global ambitions

Suzuki logo2 Apr 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

SUZUKI has revealed its intention to leap into the popular small-car segment with a new model Line – and it plans to reveal a concept version at the Shanghai auto show later this month.

Teaser images of the concept – dubbed Authentics – reveal a near-production ready four-door sedan with similar proportions to the newly released Nissan Pulsar or similarly-sized Ford Focus sedan.

It is likely the new small-car will share architecture with the next-generation SX4 crossover revealed in production form at the Geneva motor show in March.

As we reported at the time, the SX4 will be built using a new C-segment platform, paving the way for Suzuki to introduce more models to its line-up.

With the small car segment the largest in Australia, a C-segment sedan and/or hatch is the logical next step for the Japanese company, which currently has a big gap in its line-up between the Swift and Kizashi.

Such a car would also fit Suzuki’s global ambitions, with the segment also the most popular in the enormous Chinese market.

Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis said that while nothing had been confirmed, any new Suzuki models that appear globally would be considered for an Australian launch.

“We will look at everything that is there and if we can make it make sense, absolutely,” he said. “If it becomes available, we will definitely look at it.”

Suzuki said in a statement that the Authentics concept “is underlined by the theme of ‘Sporty x Elegant’”, but did not confirm any powertrain information.

The vehicle features a sloping roof-line leading to tail-lights that dominate the rear end before revealing chrome highlighted dual exhausts in the bumper.

Other styling cues include large five-spoke wheels, a crease line that runs along the side of the vehicle and chrome highlights on the lower part of the doors.

Unveiling the Authentics at the Shanghai show highlights Suzuki's desire to make an impact in the booming small sedan market in China to better compete with the market leaders such as the Buick Excelle, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sylphy (Pulsar) and Volkswagen Lavida.

Coinciding with the confirmation of the Authentics concept, Suzuki announced that it reached a global sales milestone of 50 million units worldwide last month.

Suzuki vehicles are sold in 179 countries around the world and the Japanese car-maker has sold 21.95 million units in Japan and 28.05 million units in other markets.

Overall Suzuki sales in Australia were up by a modest 1.2 per cent last year over 2011, shifting 24,057 units, with the Swift the best selling model with 12,113 sales.

More details about the Authentics will be available when it is revealed in full at the Shanghai Auto Show kicking off on April 20.

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