Suzuki decided that tomorrow wasn't soon enough to take the wraps off its new 2011 Kizashi Sport, so they invited us media types to SoHo tonight for a sneak peek before the official unveiling at the 2010 New York Auto Show. What we saw when we arrived was a very sharp looking Kizashi done up in fiery red with new 18-inch alloy wheels, a deeper front chin spoiler, a trunklid spoiler and extended side sills with a dash of chrome here and there. While we had hoped to see a "V6" badge somewhere on it, we were sadly left wanting.
In fact, the 2011 Sport doesn't have any performance tweaks in the engine bay, just the exterior changes and a firmed up suspension. There's also a new sport steering wheel inside as well as contrasting stitching throughout. The Sport package will be available on Kizashi GTS and SLS trim levels and ia scheduled to go on sale in the States this August. We have a sneaking suspicion that this is the same Kizashi concept we saw several months ago out at Cars & Coffee, not that there's anything wrong with that. There's a gallery of live pics below along with the freshly released media pics, and the full press release can be after the jump.
[Source: American Suzuki Motor Corp.]
* Suzuki enhances Kizashi lineup with world introduction of 'Sport' version.
* 2011 Kizashi Sport adds even more flash and class to content-packed Suzuki sport sedan.
* Competition in sporty hatch segment heats up with 2010 SX4 SportBack.
* Suzuki's New York International Auto Show exhibit (First Floor 311).
NEW YORK (March 30, 2010) - American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) arrives in Manhattan - a city known for and populated by its many imports - for the global introduction of its 2011 Kizashi Sport at this year's New York International Auto Show. Offered exclusively on Kizashi GTS and SLS trim levels, Suzuki's new 'Sport' variant of its sleek and sophisticated sport sedan is scheduled to go on sale in the United States this August. Pricing for the all-new 2011 Kizashi Sport will be announced closer to the vehicle's arrival in dealer showrooms.
"We've been thrilled with an enthusiastic reaction to the 2010 Kizashi, and we look forward to offering sport sedan buyers the newest iteration of our stylish sport sedan later this year," said Koichi Suzuki, executive vice president American Suzuki Automotive Operations. "The Kizashi Sport provides us with an opportunity to build on the sport sedan's short-term accomplishments and further engage driving enthusiasts looking for an affordable alternative to luxury performance vehicles."
Based on the recently introduced 2010 Kizashi (pronounced "Kee-Zah-Shee"), already acclaimed for its near-luxury content and Euro-tuned platform, the 2011 Kizashi Sport moves the excitement meter upward with a host of external mods. These include a more muscular front fascia (with chrome accents) and lower grille, body side sill extensions, lower body side molding with chrome accents, a trunk mounted spoiler, custom light weight 18-inch alloy wheels and a 10mm lower ride height for a combination of better aerodynamics and a lower center of gravity for enhanced grip and sharper handling.
Inside, the new Kizashi gets a distinctive designed sport steering wheel with perforated leather grip and contrasting stitching on the leather seats, shifter boot and emergency brake boot (when equipped with black leather interior). Interior upgrades speak to the Kizashi's sporting intent, with form-fitting sport seats and driver-centric cockpit.
The 2010 Kizashi is available in four trim levels, ranging from the well-equipped entry-level Kizashi S priced between $18,999 for FWD and $21,899 for AWD, to the luxuriously appointed SLS model ranging from $24,499 for FWD M/T to $26,899 for AWD Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Prices do not include the $735 destination and handling charge.
2010 SX4 SportBack
In addition, Suzuki will showcase America's most affordable "Hot Hatch", the all-new 2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack. Sharing its base configuration with the all-wheel-drive SX4 Crossover, the SX4 SportBack offers an all-new 2.0-liter engine delivering 150 horsepower with its standard six-speed manual transmission. For those with a preference for action with less interaction, a performance-tuned CVT (with paddle shifters) is optional. Suzuki's new hot hatch also features an aero package, larger rear, fog lamps, spoiler, lower ride package (when compared to the SX4 Crossover) with KYB performance shocks, keyless start, stability control, all-new instrument cluster and a class-exclusive standard navigation system.
2010 Suzuki Auto Product Line
Suzuki Auto's versatile line of vehicles includes the spirited four-door SX4 Sport, all-wheel-drive five-door SX4 Crossover, refined Grand Vitara compact SUV, award-winning Equator pickup truck and all-new 2010 Kizashi and SX4 SportBack. Every vehicle in the line provides Suzuki's standout virtues of durability, leading-edge style and high-end features at very competitive prices. All 2010 Suzuki automobiles are backed by America's #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
The Brea, Calif.-based Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) was founded in 1963 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corp. (SMC) and currently markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of approximately 350 automotive dealerships and numerous other motorcycle, ATV and marine distributors in 49 states. With global headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, SMC is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle, and outboard motor manufacturer. In 2009, SMC sold more than 2.3 million new cars and trucks and more than 2.8 million motorcycles and ATVs. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has operations in 196 countries and regions. For more information, visit www.media.suzuki.com. Suzuki can also be found on Twitter (@SuzukiAuto), Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SuzukiAuto) and YouTube (www.YouTube.com/SuzukiAutomotive).