than a box shape (like the Wagon R),
the Suzuki designers went after the
Splash factor: youthful, fresh &
10 July 2007.
If the Suzuki name has long been
associated with motorcycles of all sizes and
displacements, the same is true about the Japanese
brand reputation in the compact car segments, not to
mention its famous Vitara family, one of the compact
Following the launch of the new
Swift, Grand Vitara and SX4 models, the Splash is now
the fourth all new Suzuki model to be launched within
just three years.
For Europe, the new Splash will be
built in Esztergom, Hungary, by Magyar Suzuki
Corporation, a Suzuki subsidiary that already builds
Swift, SX4 and Ignis, where the second generation
Agila for Opel/Vauxhall (Splash sister model) is also
is based on a shortened version of the
With identical engineering, the
main visual differences between Splash and Agila
include different styling at front (bonnet, wings,
headlamps and bumper) and rear (tailgate, tail lights
and bumper). Structurally, the Splash is based on a
shortened version of the Swift’s platform.
Opened in 1992, the Esztergom
factory has produced over one million Suzukis to date.
The Japanese carmaker does not
consider the Splash as a successor of the Wagon R+,
the enlarged version of the Wagon R which in 1993 was
originally developed for the Japanese market, and
later also introduced in Europe.
“Based on completely different
criteria, Splash’s design is mainly tailored to the
requirements of European customers,” explains
Toshihiro Suzuki, the project’s Chief Engineer.
Hence, the Splash comes with
attractive styling - unlike the Wagon R
"box"-, compact dimensions and responsive
3.72 m-long car offers space for
up to five occupants.
Styling - While the focus of
Phase One of Suzuki’s “World-Strategy” was on
sportiness, Splash is the first model in Phase Two
which will focus on young families as its main target
group. Apart from fresh and sporty styling, young
couples look for spaciousness, flexibility and
Rather than a purely functional box
shape (like the Wagon R!), the Suzuki designers went
after a styling that corresponds to the Splash name:
youthful, fresh and zesty.
The styling team for Splash was
headed by Akira Kamio (44), who also played a big part
in the styling of Swift. Since 2003, he began to
analyse the necessary characteristics for a future
between Splash (top) and Agila (below)
include different styling at front
(bonnet, wings, headlamps and bumper).
Whilst it should not look like a
shrunken version of a full-sized MPV, such a car must
keep the high seating position and good all-round
visibility, the pleasant feeling of space and
flexibility allowing the rear compartment to be easily
turned into a substantial stowage space.
To get up-to-date information, a
group of 10 Suzuki designers from Japan traveled to
Germany in January, 2004 to spend a period of six
months there. They analysed European trends in cars,
fashion, lifestyle and design, and at the Paris Motor
Show in late September 2006, Suzuki presented ‘Project
Splash’, a concept car showcasing a taste of the
styling of the future production-version Splash.
Body and chassis - Suzuki
expects its Splash to be a major player in the
mini-MPV segment, targeting annual sales of
approximately 60,000 Splash units throughout Europe.
The 3.72 m-long car offers space for up to five
occupants with some sports and leisure equipment, in a
relatively tall body (1.6 metres) and a width of 1.7
The early Opel information about
its new Agila version mentions rear seat backs that
can be folded down at a flick of the wrist to create a
completely flat load floor, with a compartment beneath
providing additional storage space. In total, the
Splash / Agila has a luggage capacity of 1150 liters
accessible through a large trunk lid.
differences between Splash (top) and
Agila (below) include different
styling of the tailgate, tail lights
To provide safe and precise
handling, ride comfort, environmental compatibility
with optimum passive and active safety, Splash uses a
30 mm shorter wheelbase version of the Swift’s
platform, Suzuki’s current best seller.
The chassis, steering and brakes
were adapted to the new parameters in extensive tests,
which included tens of thousands of miles of testing
over various types of European roads, from English
cobblestones, through twisty southern Spanish tracks
to fast German autobahns.
Engines - Splash will make
its debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in
September (13 – 23, 2007), with sales commencing in
Spring, 2008. Customers will have the choice of three
engines – two petrol and a diesel. The petrol units
are 100% Suzuki designs, a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder unit
producing 65 PS (48 kW) and a 1.2-litre 4-cylinder
engine developing 86 PS (63 kW). Both have
The 1.3-litre diesel comes with
common-rail direct injection and a DPF (Diesel
Particulate Filter), producing 75 PS (55 kW). The
4-cylinder diesel unit is manufactured by Suzuki at
its new diesel engine plant in India under license
from Fiat Group Automobiles.
All three engines are combined with
a 5-speed manual gearbox, are Euro4-compliant, with CO2
emissions between 120 and 140 g/km. The 86 PS petrol
version can also be ordered with a 4-speed automatic
Safety - Active safety
features include ABS, brake assist, electronic
brake-force distribution and ESP (ESP is a registered
trademark of DaimlerChrysler). Passive safety features
include six airbags (dual front side and curtain
airbags), a crash-optimised, rigid passenger cell,
plus seatbelt-force limiters and seatbelt
pretensioners for the front seats. For enhanced
pedestrian protection the front end of Splash is
fitted with energy-absorbing structures.