Concept-Suzuki Concept Kizashi 3 Preview

Jeff Youngs | Feb 24, 2012
FAST FACTS
  • Third in a series of Kizashi concepts

  • Serves as model for forthcoming near-luxury sport sedan

  • All three versions are displayed at 2008 New York Auto Show

  • All-wheel drive

  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine

  • Paddle-shifted 6-speed automatic transmission

Introduction

Like other automakers, Suzuki has a history of creating show vehicles that never reached beyond the concept stage. Still, a few do make it to production-though not necessarily in their original show-car form. If nothing else, they contribute features that turn up on subsequent production models.

While revealing its latest concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show, Suzuki said it "will produce a sport sedan derived from the Concept Kizashi 3 design." The Kizashi-influenced sport sedan will reach North American dealers by 2010, according to Suzuki. Seen for the first time at the New York event, the Concept Kizashi 3 is the third in a series of related concept show cars. Unveiled for the first time at the Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Shows during 2007, the Concept Kizashi and the Concept Kizashi 2 joined the newcomer at the New York Auto Show in 2008.

Kizashi means "preview" in Japanese. Mark Harano, president of American Suzuki Automotive Operations, says the forthcoming sport sedan will help "build an image" for Suzuki cars, comparable to the one established by the company's motorcycles. "This is no mere exercise in style," said marketing/PR vice president Gene Brown at the New York show. "This car is showing you the direction we intend to take.." The Kizashi concepts "will be the launching pad for the next generation of Suzuki vehicles."

Exterior Design


Developed by Suzuki's Advanced Design Group, the Kizashi series is said to "reflect a dynamic athlete in motion, taking design cues from a strong, honed physique." Not quite as flamboyant as the first two versions, the silver-finished 5-passenger Concept Kizashi 3 "provides a closer-to-production version of Suzuki's future sport sedan."

When the production model emerges, it will be bigger and more upscale than current Suzuki passenger cars, serving as the company's flagship. Called a "sporting, more accommodating sedan," it will be built at a new plant in Japan and enter the near-luxury market segment.

Suzuki admits that "exaggerated dimensions" marked the original Concept Kizashi, whose flamboyant front end isn't likely to be seen at any dealership. Its Concept Kizashi 2 successor is a 5-door crossover sports wagon, with raised height and all-wheel drive.All three vehicles are built on a comparatively long wheelbase with short overhangs, a wide track dimension, and large wheels. Suzuki considers the Kizashi series to be a "4-wheeled continuation" of the company's line of performance-oriented motorcycles, topped by the GSX-R sportbikes that debuted two decades ago.

Nine-spoke aluminum wheels on the Concept Kizashi 3 hold 21-inch tires. Built on a 110.2-inch wheelbase, the Concept Kizashi 3 is 183.1 inches long, 74.8 inches wide, and 57.1 inches tall. Minimum ground clearance is 4.7 inches.

Hardware

A 3.6-liter V-6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission are installed in the Concept Kizashi 2 wagon. A dual-overhead-cam 3.6-liter V-6 engine goes into the Concept Kizashi 3 sport sedan, producing 300 hp. Its 6-speed automatic transmission includes paddle shifters, and Advanced i-AWD ("intelligent" all-wheel drive) is installed. The Concept Kizashi 3's V-6 engine contains plated cylinders.

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