Suzuki launches Kizashi in USA

Suzuki has unveiled the Kizashi, a new sports saloon that will be available as a hybrid. The car is based on the Concept Kizashi of 2007 and initially will feature a 2.4-litre DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. Suzuki is currently concentrating on the US market with the Kizashi.

The unit is linked to a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddle shift. Suzuki has confirmed that a hybrid will join the line-up at some point. Both two and four-wheel drive will be available.

The Kizashi has been tested both at Germany’s Nurburgring and rural roads of England, says Suzuki, ensuring it is both sporty and comfortable. The suspension is multi-link at the rear, constructed of aluminium, and the car has 18in alloys at each corner.

Visually the Kizashi is far less radical than the concept. The front end is reminiscent of a Volkswagen Jetta and the rear is curved but unadventurous. Overall length is 4650mm and width is 1820mm.Inside there are standard sports seats and a smart swooping dashboard. Safety equipment includes eight standard airbags, ESP, anti-lock brakes, projector beam headlamps and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The Kizashi saloon goes on sale later this year and will be joined by a crossover and estate.

Suzuki is yet to confirm whether to introduce the Kizashi in the UK and Europe, but has not ruled it out. “At the moment, the U.S. market is our first priority for the Kizashi,” said a spokeswoman. “For Europe we are not yet in the position to make any further announcements regarding Kizashi. In Europe we see a big demand for small cars now and in the coming years.”

The Kizashi was expected to take Honda’s Accord head on in India. It was showcased along with the A-Star concept at the Auto Expo in New Delhi in Jan 2008. Post the slowdown in 2008 the Kizashi’s plans went through an upheaval and there were talks of canning the car. But with the US spec car on track, it would make sense for Maruti Suzuki to also bring it down to India to take on the North America inspired cars from Toyota and Honda.

Source: Autocar India