Suzuki has been undergoing a revival of sorts lately, and the company rolled out a four-door version of its SX4 today as the first of four new product introductions that are intended to keep the momentum building.
It's not usual to hear a multi-disipline "motor company" invoking the name of other products when talking about their automotive line-ups, but Suzuki was fearless in claiming that it's churning out cars that are the equal of the ferocious Hayabusa and GSX-R1000. We're not quite sure that's the case, as the 2.0L inline-four in the SX4 makes a couple dozen fewer ponies than the aforementioned two-wheelers, but indeed the new compact sedan seems to have been injected with a bit of sportbike DNA. Seventeen inch wheels are standard, as is a 10mm drop in ride height (as compared to its crossover brethern). Dampers from KYB - a name that should be familiar to motorcyclists - are fitted at each corner, and Suzuki claims that the SX4 sedan has handling metrics equal to or better than the highly-acclaimed European Swift.
Suzuki acknowledged that it will not be all things to all people; the good news is that young enthusiasts seem to be its target audience.
Hit up the gallery for live and stock shots of Suzuki's newest family member, the press release is after the jump, and don't forget that there's a lot more New York Auto Show coverage where that came from.
AMERICAN SUZUKI DEBUTS ALL-NEW 2008 SX4 SEDAN AT 2007 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
NEW YORK (April 5, 2007) – New York's famed Jacob K. Javits Convention Center hosts a special North American premiere today as American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) is unveiling its all-new 2008 SX4 sedan. Blending driving excitement and performance in a stylish, head-turning package, the sporty SX4 sedan joins a growing array of spirited Suzuki products displayed at this year's New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).
Created by the same Suzuki team that won European acclaim with the Suzuki Swift, the SX4 sedan joins the dynamic XL7 midsize crossover SUV, award-winning SX4 compact sport crossover and media-acclaimed Grand Vitara as an iconic vehicle that embodies the future direction of the Suzuki brand and the company's "Way of Life" spirit. Its 'poised for action' wedge-shape stance, muscular arched fenders and standard 17-inch alloy wheels all reflect the vehicle's eagerness to provide a spirited and responsive driving experience.
"The SX4 sedan will be one of the best-equipped compact cars in America and will perfectly complement our lineup of versatile vehicles," said Koichi Suzuki, president of ASMC automotive operations. "Since New York has been home to so many of our significant vehicle introductions, we're delighted to return and kick off the second quarter of 2007 with the launch of Suzuki's latest exciting product."
The SX4 sedan arrives on the heels of an impressive 2006, when American Suzuki enjoyed sales of more than 100,000 vehicles for the first time in its 22-year history. Last year's automotive sales were up 23 percent from 2005 and mark the company's third consecutive double-digit annual sales increase.
2008 Suzuki SX4 Sedan
Built in Japan, the SX4 sedan features a sophisticated 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine rated at 143 horsepower and 136 lb.-ft. of torque, making it more powerful than the segment volume leaders. It is available with either an automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.
The chassis of the SX4 sedan evolved from the award-winning Suzuki Swift that received numerous industry accolades worldwide, including many "Car of the Year" awards in Europe and Asia. With an emphasis on dynamic performance, the sport-tuned SX4 sedan brings the excitement of the Swift to the U.S. market. The SX4 sedan features a rigid steel unibody underpinned by a well-controlled chassis that was fine-tuned in Europe to provide stability, crisp and responsive handling and braking, and minimal body roll. For optimal braking performance, it features four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes as standard equipment.
Inspired by a Japanese Kabuki mask, the SX4 sedan has an aggressive front fascia and grille, and appears poised for action with a sporty wedge shape that foreshadows its rewarding driving experience. Its muscular and athletic stance is enhanced by its arched fenders, while the body features a low, rising waistline and large, triangular-shaped windows forward of the front doors to emphasize the car's great traction and dynamic performance. The SX4 sedan also features a standard aero body kit, complete with an available rear spoiler.
The stylish design continues inside the SX4 sedan. Wide door openings provide the driver and passengers with superior ease of entry and egress, while the large cabin proportions and command seating position optimize visibility to enhance driving confidence and control. The cabin allows comfortable seating for five, with more overall interior space than the segment's volume leaders. The SX4 sedan also features theater-style seating for the rear passengers.
A functional and high-tech center panel offers large, circular controls flanked by modern aluminum- colored trim. Instruments and controls are backlit by contemporary, high-tech red lighting, and the ergonomic design of the instrument cluster and dashboard provides clear views of the meters and easy access to the controls for a true driver-oriented cabin. The sporty cockpit theme extends throughout the cabin with a dark interior that features black cloth for a look that is both sharp and refined.
The sedan's handsome integrated center stack also houses a sophisticated audio system – standard AM/FM/MP3/CD with four speakers. The system is XM Satellite Radio ready and offers an available premium sound system, featuring nine speakers and in-dash six-disc CD changer.
Consistent with Suzuki's philosophy of both fun and safe driving, the SX4 sedan offers an extensive array of standard safety features, including four-wheel disc brakes with an anti-lock brake system with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). Passive safety equipment includes a reinforced body with front and rear crush zones designed to help absorb impact energy and six standard airbags: driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags; and side curtain airbags designed to provide additional protection for outboard front- and rear-seat passengers. In addition, the SX4 sedan is fitted with front three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters, three-point inertia reel rear seat belts and ISO FIX-compliant child seat anchors.
The all-new 2008 Suzuki SX4 sedan is scheduled to go on sale in the United States in the fall of 2007.