Click image for high-res gallery including new live shots from SEMA by Frank Filipponio
Suzuki's trotting out a new concept for SEMA, and it's based on the new SX4 Sport. Why the SX4 sedan gets the sport moniker over the 5-door will never make sense to us, but we digress. The SXForce is a real driver that's underpinned by a new sport suspension and powered by a 255-horsepower turbo four mated to a 5-speed manual.That's a significant step up from the 143 HP stock unit, which is not at all exciting by comparison. Wild bodywork intended to tie the car into Suzuki's sportbike heritage adorns the SXForce, and while motorcycles don't immediately leap to mind upon seeing it, we won't argue that it's certainly different-looking. In this regard, we don't think the SX4 sedan's notchback look does the concept any favors, as that NASCAR Car of Tomorrow rear end looks somewhat ungainly compared to the profoundly aggressive nose. Orange-trimmed black Enkei wheels fill the cutouts, and an adjustable rear spoiler hangs off the trunklid.
Follow the jump for more, plus the official press release.
Inside, the carbon fiber-accented passenger compartment seats only two, since the back seat has been removed in favor of Rockford-Fosgate audio equipment. The driver gets all his vital info from a motorcycle instrument cluster (yes, Suzuki, we get it) and there's even a built-in data logging system in the cockpit that allows you to download and analyze your engine information. We'd happily welcome an SX4 with this concept's breathed-upon powerplant, as that would be a real step towards living up to some of the sporty heritage established by the company's bikes. Until that happens (or the powers-that-be elect to send the Swift to North America), well, at least the TV spots are clever.
SUZUKI AUTO SHINES ON THE STRIP DURING 2007 SEMA SHOW
* Suzuki debuts sportbike-inspired SXForce based on all-new 2008 SX4 Sport
* SX4 WRC and Grand Vitara Dune appeal to off-road enthusiasts
* Five-door SX4 Crossover flaunts concept- and production-based accessory line
LAS VEGAS · October 29, 2007 /PRNewswire/ - American Suzuki Motor Corp. showcases four spirited and dynamic vehicles at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show, including its never-before-seen, sportbike-inspired SXForce LIVE vehicle based on the all-new 2008 four-door SX4 Sport. A vehicle designed for four-wheel and two-wheel tuner enthusiasts, SXForce communicates Suzuki's "Way of Life" brand philosophy as a company that builds fun-to-operate vehicles, from its widely recognized and high-performance motorcycles to its exciting and versatile cars and SUVs.
To further demonstrate the company's bold and adventurous DNA, Suzuki displays its SX4 WRC car and rugged Grand Vitara Dune LIVE vehicle – two Suzuki machines designed for ultimate off-road performance. In addition, Suzuki offers aftermarket enthusiasts a sneak preview of a number of performance-based concept accessories - specifically developed for this year's show - and an array of style-enhancing Genuine Suzuki Accessories for its 2008 five-door SX4 Crossover.
"Suzuki always looks forward to SEMA because of its upbeat and somewhat irreverent energy," said Gene Brown, vice president of marketing and PR, American Suzuki Automotive Operations. "The overall enthusiasm for cars and for life that underlies the entire event meshes perfectly with our brand philosophy and parallels the passion infused into the concepts we have on display this year and the vehicles currently in our showrooms."
With the arrival of the 2008 SX4 Sport, Suzuki expands its highly popular and media-acclaimed Suzuki LIVE Series (LIFESTYLE VEHICLES) – a line of brand-dedicated concept vehicles specially designed for life enthusiasts, adventurers and thrill-seekers.
Reinforcing the link between the company's rich motorcycle heritage and versatile line of fun-to-drive automobiles, Suzuki introduces the SXForce, a sportbike-inspired concept based on the on the all-new 2008 SX4 Sport. Designed and built by Road Race Motorsports of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., the SXForce boasts a powerful 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine matched to a five-speed manual transmission.
The exterior shell of the SX4 Sport has been modified to be eye-catching to both four-wheel and two-wheel enthusiasts. It features a striking blend of carbon fiber, Flash Pearl White and Orange Metallic paint and showcases a number of performance-based automotive parts and stunning motorcycle accents, including sportbike-style side rearview mirrors and dual exhaust, also found on the championship-winning GSX-R1000.
While the SXForce is sure to be a showstopper on display, it was designed to look even better on the road. The fully drivable, track-tested SX4 Sport concept receives several performance enhancements, including a fully tuned performance suspension system, F1-style outlet gills to help underhood air flow, tailored rear bodywork with carbon fiber diffuser, Carbontrix rear wing, Tein coilover suspension height and damper setup, and reinforced structure to further enhance rigidity for optimal handling. The SXForce is outfitted with 18-inch Enkei racing wheels and a staggered high-performance Toyo T1-R tire package - 225/45-18 in the front and 235/40-18 in the rear. It also is equipped with Rotora six-piston calipers with two-piece 355mm rotors for sportbike stopping power.
The motorcycle theme continues inside the SXForce, beginning with suede and leather seats and interior appointments, mimicking sportbike leathers. Other interior enhancements include motorcycle instrument cluster and controls, roof air intake for optimal breathing and a revised track-themed interior, featuring carbon fiber components and accents. Engine vitals are monitored via a Zeitronix ZT-2 wideband data logger. All vital engine parameters are logged on a laptop and viewed on the ZT-2 gauge mounted on the Hayabusa handlebars. The SXForce is equipped with an integrated Garmin navigation system, and its rear seats have been removed and replaced by a high-output Rockford-Fosgate audio system.
With its sports-minded heritage, coupled with a passion to excel in the world's most competitive venues, Suzuki Auto drives toward another motorsports challenge with its entry in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Derived from the five-door SX4 Crossover, a prototype model of the SX4 WRC was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2006. Developed as a driver-friendly World Rally Car offering high controllability under a wide range of rally conditions, this creation by Suzuki Sport, Suzuki's motorsports division, has involved an extensive testing program on many different types of surfaces. As a supplement to the testing, Suzuki Sport chose two events in 2007, the Rallye de France and the Wales Rally GB, to closely represent the majority of surface types. The Rallye de France is known as one of the most challenging tarmac events, and the Wales Rally GB, held later in the year, is well regarded for similar reasons.
The SX4 WRC boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged J20 engine with full-time 4WD drivetrain and a five-speed sequential gearbox. The vehicle's 1,997 cc engine delivers 320 brake horsepower between 4,000 and 4,500 rpm, along with a maximum torque of 590 N-m (435 lb.-ft.) at 3,500 rpm.
The SX4 WRC's powertrain features a carbon three-disc clutch, electronically controlled center differential and mechanical front and rear differentials. Its well-balanced chassis and rigid structure allow the front and rear MacPherson struts with coil springs work to their full potential, and its Reiger shocks deliver dynamic, responsive handling. For tarmac, the vehicle is fitted with 20/65-18 tires fitted on 8X18-inch wheels. On gravel, 17/65-15 rubber is mounted to 7X15-inch wheels.
The SX4 WRC sits on a wheelbase of 2,500mm, stands 1,450mm high and weighs 1,230 kg (the minimum authorized). All specs reflect those of the final-phase development-test vehicle and are not necessarily indicative of the 2008 entry. As noted by Nobuhiro Tajima, vice president of Suzuki Sport, the endeavor is still in the early stages of development, including the engine, transmission and suspension.
The WRC effort builds on Suzuki's outstanding success in the JWRC, where the Swift Super 1600 has enjoyed an excellent record, creating even more excitement and anticipation in 2008.
Grand Vitara Dune
First introduced at the 2005 SEMA Show, the Grand Vitara Dune is designed for off-road enthusiasts who demand off-road capabilities. Well-equipped with 11.5 inches of minimum ground clearance and a towing capacity of 3,000 lbs., the Dune provides enough muscle to add a huge dose of exhilaration to any weekend. This Grand Vitara concept also features off-road skid plates, fender flares, wear-reducing cladding and running boards, all dressed in lightning yellow paint to match the color scheme of Suzuki ATVs. Roomy on the inside, the five-passenger Dune features a rear off-road gear storage and "mobile garage" work station, ideal for last-minute adjustments. The Dune also is equipped with a built-in GPS and navigation system.
SX4 Crossover Accessories
To complement Suzuki's versatile, stylish product line, the company offers an array of Genuine Suzuki Accessories - a line of style-enhancing trim packages and accessories designed to personalize Suzuki cars and SUVs sold in the United States. Suzuki showcases a number of pre-production performance-enhancing parts and interior and exterior accessories for the sporty SX4 Crossover.
- Cat back Exhaust – Features stainless steel design, improves horsepower and offers deep performance tone that remains 50 state "sound level legal."
- Cold Air Intake – Intake system improves horsepower and offers performance pitch.
- Sport Suspension – Lowers ride height (approx. 1.5 inches) for a firmer ride.
- Alloy Wheels – Custom-designed 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, available in a chrome finish or machined surface with black paint. Includes chrome lug nuts and Suzuki center cap.
- Rear Spoiler – Rally-inspired rear deck spoiler is molded in sturdy, lightweight polyurethane and is available color-matched to the SX4 Crossover.
- Hood Mask – Custom-fit hood mask made of durable vinyl and soft fleece backing helps protect the front of the SX4 Crossover from damage caused by minor road debris.
- Silver Finish Front Grille – Front grille replaces original black version and matches the lower bumper trim on the SX4 Crossover.
- Carbon Fiber Dash Trim (Red) – Dash trim accents made of real carbon-fiber weave material with an exterior-grade urethane topcoat and screened SX4 logo are available in three different colors to coordinate or contrast with the interior of the SX4 Crossover. Trim fits both automatic and manual transmission models.
- Carbon Fiber Door Sill Trim (Red) – Door sill accents made of real carbon-fiber weave material with an exterior-grade urethane topcoat and screened SX4 logo are available in three different carbon-fiber weave colors or a brushed aluminum finish to coordinate or contrast with the interior of the SX4 Crossover.
- Billet Sport Pedals – Sport pedal set, including dead pedal, is made of lightweight aluminum and non-slip rubber inserts, offering a highly polished look with engraved Suzuki logo.
- Billet Battery Tie Down & Billet Oil Cap (Sold as a package) – Highly polished aluminum battery tie down and oil filler cap with engraved Suzuki logo to dress up your engine bay.
- Blueconnect®, Bluetooth Phone System – Speaker- and microphone-integrated communication system that offers wireless interaction with any bluetooth-compatible cell phone, allowing dialing and hands-free communication with the touch of a button. Installation required (for non-sunroof models only).
- Rear Bumper Protector – Adhesive-backed applique to help protect from minor nicks and scratches.
Beyond its show vehicles based on the spirited four-door SX4 Sport, bold and functional five-door SX4 Crossover and rugged Grand Vitara compact SUV, Suzuki Auto's 2008 vehicle line includes the exciting XL7 midsize SUV, popular Forenza sedan and Forenza Wagon, and the European-styled Reno. Every vehicle in the line provides Suzuki's standout virtues of toughness, leading-edge style and high-end features at very competitive prices. All 2008 Suzuki automobiles are backed by America's #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
About Suzuki Auto
The Brea, Calif.-based Automotive Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corporation was founded in 1985 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and currently markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of approximately 500 automotive dealerships in 49 states. Based in Hamamatsu, Japan, SMC is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle and outboard motor manufacturer with sales of more than two million new automobiles annually. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has operations in 187 countries. For more information, visit www.media.suzukiauto.com.