Returning with smaller dimensions, the 4-door Vitara will be available with a choice of two 1.6 litre engines (diesel and petrol), 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes as well as a 6-speed automatic, radar-brake support active safety and adaptive cruise control, and the four-modes AllGrip system.
So, the new model preserves its visual identity, re-interpreting the Vitara and Jimny series styling in a new exterior and large wheels for ground clearance, with the clamshell bonnet and trapezoid motif of the front bumper.
The kicked-up profile lines and bonnet-side air outlets combine with clear shoulder lines to inspire SUV toughness, while the LED headlamps with blue projector covers compensate with a cool impression and... some energy saving.
Aerodynamic measures include the bumper openings, the roof line gradual drop toward the rear, the flat underbody surfaces and the visible shapes of side mirrors as well as the front bumper edges.
Inside, a boldly shaped instrument panel with air outlets and a round clock in the middle (motifs of the Grand Vitara), right above the screen monitor at the top of the center stack which contains the audio system with (depending on versions, markets and equipment) access to navigation features, smartphone connectivity, AC and heating controls, down to the U-shaped contour around the shift lever.
Personalisation options were conceived from the initial development stages, with 15 colours for the exterior, different design details and two-tone choices.
Other choices include the front grille in white or black, the fender garnishes (white or black), turquoise, orange, white or piano black instrument panel ornament, the same for the louvre rings, and the central clock (Carbon or Kanji).
Two optional packages are available:
– The urban package favors chrome touches with chrome-plated fog lamp bezels, body-side mouldings, and a roof spoiler,
– The rugged package consists of front and rear skid plates, fog lamp bezels, body-side mouldings, and a loading edge protection.
In the currently provided European specifications, the new Vitara is available with two engines choices:
● Petrol (gasoline) 1.6-litre engine (M16A), with maximum output of 88 kW (120 hp, 118 bhp, 121 cv) at 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 156 Nm (115 lb-ft, 15.9 kg-m) at 4400 rpm, or,
● Diesel 1.6-litre (D16AA) with a new EGR system (Exhaust Gas Recirculation, to lower emissions through enhanced burning of fuel) and an electronically controlled VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo charging) to provide good torque response from lower revs, without having the higher consumption and emission levels of a larger engine displacement.
Maximum output of the diesel engine is also 88 kW (120 hp, 118 bhp, 121 cv), but at a lower rev of course (3750 rpm) with a maximum torque of 320 Nm (236 lb-ft, 32.6 kg-m)/1750 rpm.
The petrol engine is available with a five-speed manual transmission, while the diesel gets a six-speed manual.
A six-speed automatic transmission is available for the petrol engine, with a manual mode to change gears from the steering wheel paddles.
Besides the use of high tensile steel and other weight saving measures in the body, Suzuki's measures to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions include the auto Stop / Start system, for urban driving in particular.
Suzuki gives provisional CO2 emissions of 123g/km (198 g/mile) for the petrol engine with two-wheel (front) drive and five-speed manual transmission, and 127g/km (204 g/mile) with the six-speed automatic.
With the AllGrip 4-wheel drive system, provisional CO2 figures are 134g/km (216 g/mile) with the 5-speed manual transmission and 138g/km (222 g/mile) with the 6-speed automatic.
The diesel engine’s provisional CO2 figures are 106g/km (170.6 g/mile) with two-wheel drive and the 6-speed manual transmission and 111g/km (178.6 g/mile) with 4-wheel drive and the 6-speed manual transmission.
After it debuted in the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, the brand's AllGrip four selectable modes system adds now a feed forward function which gives the system the ability to predict front wheelspin risks from the road surface condition, accelerator pedal position, and steering angle, in order to prevent wheelspin by transferring more torque to the rear wheels.
The four selectable modes are:
Auto - Priority is to fuel economy in normal driving conditions. The system uses front-wheel drive by default, and switches to four-wheel drive if it detects wheelspin.
Sport - Makes maximal use of four-wheel drive on twisty roads, depending on accelerator inputs. At low and mid-range engine speeds, the system alters the accelerator / torque characteristics to optimize engine response and cornering performance.
Snow - For snowy, unpaved and other slippery surfaces. The system uses four-wheel drive by default. It optimises four-wheel drive control in accordance with steering and accelerator inputs to favor traction and stability on low friction surfaces.
Lock - To extricate the car from snow, mud, or sand. A limited slip differential is fitted to transfer torque from any slipping wheel to the gripping ones.
The front suspension is of MacPherson strut design, with a revised shape for the lower arms, layout of the suspension frame and improved strut for rigidity and driving stability.
The rear wheels have torsion beam suspension incorporating a beam design (a closed section consisting of a pipe crushed to form a “U” shape) that Suzuki first adopted in the SX4 S-Cross.
Active safety equipments include a pre-collision warning system, called by Suzuki Radar Brake Support (RBS). In heavy traffic driving, the RBS system monitors the road ahead by means of milliwave radar. If it detects a risk of collision with the vehicle in front, RBS warns the driver and intervenes if necessary to prevent or mitigate a collision by means of three functions:
● Warning When travelling above approximately 5 km/h, the system detects the vehicle in front, and if there is a risk of collision, it warns the driver to use the brakes, with a buzzer sound and a notification on the multi information display.
● Brake assist If the collision with the vehicle ahead becomes highly probable, the system activates brake assist, which increases the braking force during emergency braking, thereby helping to avoid the collision or at least reduce damage.
● Automatic braking Should the collision become unavoidable, it applies the brake automatically to avoid the collision or reduce damage from it.
The brake discs are ventilated at the front and solid at the rear.
The RBS system’s milliwave radar works also at high speeds, in darkness, and in rain and other bad weather, serving the adaptive cruise control (ACC) system. In this function, the system measures the distance to the vehicle in front and automatically adjusts road speed to maintain any of three driver selected headway distances.
Other active safety elements include the ESP Electronic Stability Program, which combines with the ABS function to reduce the speed of any wheel which is turning too fast compared to the others, transferring the torque to the other more stable wheels, while reducing engine torque when necessary, to help the driver regain the control of his / her vehicle.
The new Vitara also comes with tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to notify the driver if the pressure drops abnormally in any tyre.
On the passive safety side (protection when an accident happens), the new Vitara is equipped with seven airbags for frontal and side impacts, seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters, in addition to a mechanism that limits rearward movement of the brake pedal.
For pedestrian protection, the bonnet shape and new structures for the cowl top, wipers, and bumpers provide impact absorption to mitigate the extent of harm in such accident cases.
The optional panoramic sunroof consists of two individually sliding glass panels, extending over the front and rear seats. When the sunroof is closed, the glass panels have a combined length of 1,000mm. When open, the opening length is 560mm.
More detailed specifications will be announced by Suzuki with the prices for each market prior to launch.