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Suzuki storms new car market

13 July 2005

Suzuki will launch a new car every six months between now and 2009 as it seeks to build on the success of the latest Swift supermini, which went on sale earlier this year.

New Suzuki Grand Vitara arrives in September

Suzuki will launch a new car every six months between now and 2009 as it seeks to build on the success of the latest Swift supermini, which went on sale earlier this year.

The onslaught of new metal will include replacements for every car in the company’s range plus offerings in sectors of the market where it is currently not represented.

Suzuki’ next new arrival will be the replacement Grand Vitara in September. Three- and five-door versions will again be on offer.

The new Grand Vitara will feature permanent four-wheel drive with electronically selectable low gears for heavy off-roading, and independent front and rear suspension for car-like ride and handling.

There will be 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol engines, and a 1.9-litre turbodiesel supplied by Renault. A 2.5-litre petrol V6 will be added in 2006.

Expect the 2.0-litre five-door to start at about £1500 above the equivalent current model’s £14,999 asking price.

In spring 2006, Suzuki will introduce a performance version of the Swift, powered by a 125bhp 1.6-litre engine. It is designed to rival the £11,995 Citroen C2 VTS but likely to cost considerably less.

At the same time, Suzuki will launch what it calls a Sport Crossover, which it will also build for Fiat. Powered by 1.5- and 1.6-litre Suzuki petrol engines or a 1.9 Fiat turbodiesel, it will have a high roof and good ground clearance, and be available with front- or four-wheel drive. The Suzuki version is likely to be badged SX4.

Next up, in 2007-08, comes a replacement for the Wagon R+ city car and Suzuki's answer to ever-tougher European emissions regulations in the form of a ‘basic world-standard car’. This will be a small city car for which the Japanese company is developing a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.

Suzuki is aiming for carbon dioxide emissions of only 105g/km and fuel economy of around 90mpg. This is better than the Smart Fortwo city car, which produces 113g/km and returns 60.1mpg, and the Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid, which produces 104g/km and returns 65.7mpg.

The five-year plan will be completed in 2008-09 with a new small 4x4 to replace today’s Jimny and a BMW Series-sized crossover between a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and an estate car.

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