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Suzuki SX4
New 2- or all-wheel drive
Compact SUV next spring

Suzuki SX4 compact SUV.

The new Suzuki SX4 compact SUV.

Motion Trends,
19th December 2005.

The new compact SUV to show up in Suzuki showrooms in the next few months, will come in two brand "flavours", since it's the fruit of a joint development agreement signed in April, 2003 between the Japanese brand and Fiat Auto.

Available from the first quarter of 2006, you can "taste" the new SUV either as a Suzuki SX4 or as a Fiat Sedici, knowing that a third Lancia (Fiat's near luxury brand) flavour is expected later.

Starting its production this month in Suzuki's European manufacturing subsidiary, Magyar Suzuki Corporation in Esztergom, Hungary, the project was born during the General Motors ownership* of 10% of Fiat Auto, bearing in mind that GM still owns a fifth of Suzuki Motor Corporation.

Fiat Sedici compact SUV

Fiat Sedici compact SUV

Fiat Sedici version, with similarities... and differences.

The Suzuki version will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show next March.

Suzuki took the initiative for the all-new compact SX4 project management from concept to mass production at Magyar Suzuki where some 60,000 units should be made annually, 40,000 for Suzuki’s European market and 20,000 for Fiat.

Under the concept of “X-over revolution”, SX4 bears Suzuki’s compact cars DNA, exemplified by the new Swift, drawing on Suzuki’s experience in lightweight SUVs such as the famous Grand Vitara.

The SX4 will be available in two variants.

The “Urban Line” emphasises the passenger car characteristics with fewer SUV design elements whilst the “Outdoor Line” is distinctly more of an SUV in appearance.

The SX4 Outdoor Line 4x4 version will come with a switchable three-mode 4x4 system:

1 – 2WD mode, 
2 - 4WD Auto mode,
3 - 4WD Lock mode.

With the optional all-wheel-drive system, the new Suzuki SX4 sends power to the rear wheels as needed with no additional input necessary from the driver.

Called the Three-Mode Switchable AWD system, it features a selector switch on the center console that allows the driver to select from three modes: 2WD (front-wheel drive), AUTO (AWD High) and LOCK (AWD Lock). 

Powertrain and Transmission - Initially, there is a choice of three engines.

- Petrol (gasoline) 1.5 litre: 1,490cc, 73kW(99hp)/5,600rpm 133Nm/4,100rpm
- Petrol (gasoline) 1.6L VVT: 1,586cc, 79kW(107hp)/5,600rpm 145Nm/4,000rpm
- Diesel 1.9L DDiS: 1,910cc, 88kW(120hp)/3,500rpm 280Nm/2,000rpm

Equipped with a particulate filter, the diesel engine will have its own  new six-speed manual transmission (only with the diesel engine).

In the United States, where the new SX4 is slated to go on sale in the late summer of 2006 as a 2007 model-year, the five-door model will be available with a 2.0-liter DOHC engine. US customers will have a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed automatic transmission.

Body and Safety - The SX4 is built on a rigid unitary body for crisp handling, for better levels of torsional and bending rigidity. High-rigidity suspension mounts augment the body’s rigidity to draw out the suspension’s full potential.

ABS with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) will be standard on all models (UK specs, to be announced later in the different markets). An electronic stability program will be available on selected models.

Main dimensions - 4,1 metre long, 1,73/1,755 metre wide and 1,565 / 1,62 metre high, with a 2,50 metre wheelbase.

Magyar Suzuki Corporation started production in october, 1992, with a cumulative production volume of 849,000 units (to end of September, 05), of which, 465,000 Swift (until March, 03),  187,000 Wagon R+,  137,000 Ignis and 60,000 New Swift. Current production capacity is 150,000 units/year.

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Suzuki Motor Corporation production volume for the first nine months of this year grew (compared to the same period last year) 5.3% to reach 1,569,000 units, of which 779,000 units built in Japan and 770,000 overseas, while the sales grew 6.2% in the same period, reaching 1,512 million units (534,000 in Japan and 978,000 overseas, of which 198,000 in Europe with a growth figure of 7.6%).

North America - American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) announced recently that the introduction of the specially designed U.S. version of the SX4 will be introduced in April 2006, in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show, before reaching the showrooms next summer.

* GM Held 20 percent of Fiat auto from 2000, then 10 percent before withdrawing completely from the Italian carmaker last February, paying US$2bn to cancel the put option which gave Fiat S.p.A. the right to force GM legally to buy the rest of its car unit.

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