Suzuki has been teasing us over the last few months with its duo of highly stylized concepts, the Kizashi and Kizashi 2. While it was obvious that cues found on both those concepts are going to inspire the styling of future models, it wasn't clear how Suzuki would implement some of the more extreme features of this design language. Today in New York, Suzuki showed what elements were making the cut with the unveiling of the Kizashi 3 concept.
Sporting a toned-down version of the gaping maw found on the first two concepts, deeply drawn headlights and recessed fog lamps, the fascia has made the successful transition from design exercise to down-to-earth concept. While the profile and rear end is a little less dramatic than the view up front, the 21-inch wheels add a healthy amount of visual weight down below. Underneath the hood is a 300-hp, 3.6-liter V6 that drives all four wheels through Suzuki's intelligent AWD system.
Suzuki made it very clear that the Kizashi 3 is a close representation of the production model that will arrive in the U.S. by 2010. It's a serious step to shore up market share in a segment rife with competition, but if the Kizashi is executed as well as the concept, there could be another serious contender coming out of Japan.
New York 2008: Suzuki Kizashi 3 concept revealed
LIVE! FROM NEW YORK: SUZUKI DEBUTS CONCEPT KIZASHI 3 AT 2008 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
- Suzuki "Way of Life!" brand spirit illustrated by world debut of athletic Concept Kizashi 3
- Suzuki broadcasts plan to produce global sport sedan based on Concept Kizashi 3 design
- Series premiere of complete Concept Kizashi family
The Concept Kizashi series was developed by Suzuki's Advanced Design Group to reflect a dynamic athlete in motion, taking design cues from a strong, honed physique while displaying the performance, strength and style befitting a flagship vehicle. The design theme began with Concept Kizashi, which made its debut at the 2007 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, and the Concept Kizashi 2, unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, which further revealed Suzuki's new design language.
"Kizashi means 'prelude' in Japanese, and that's exactly what this design represents for Suzuki from both a business and a product standpoint," said Mark Harano, president, American Suzuki Automotive Operations. "Concept Kizashi 3 illustrates our brand character and personifies our heritage, design strength and engineering prowess. With customers in 192 countries and regions, Suzuki is truly a global brand, and the coming model carries on our mission to build the image of our automotive products in North America and eventually match our bikes' reputation."
Known primarily as a maker of small vehicles, Suzuki intends for the production derivative of the Kizashi series to serve as the company's flagship vehicle, strengthening its current product line of small cars, trucks and SUVs with a sporting, more accommodating sedan. The future production model will be built at Suzuki's brand-new Sagara plant in Japan, currently under construction, and provide an accessible alternative to the near-luxury segment. While a firm timetable has not been announced, Suzuki will deliver the Kizashi-influenced sport sedan to North American dealers by 2010.
The Concept Kizashi Series
Evoking the physical superiority and dignity of a world-class athlete, the Concept Kizashi series was developed to create a substantial presence that redefines the traditional performance vehicle and moves the Suzuki brand upscale. The overall design theme suggests physical strength from intense daily training, with the strong will, commitment and presence of a champion.
Each of the Concept Kizashi vehicles strikes a balance between driver comfort and sportiness, with roomy cabins melded to lean, dynamic exteriors. The hood and body style of all three Concept Kizashis hint at abundant engine power and wind-splitting aerodynamics, while the long wheelbase, aggressive wheel/tire combinations and abbreviated overhangs communicate a performance-oriented, energetic image. A powerful-looking body profile is incorporated throughout the series to convey underlying strength, with large wheels and a wide tread expressing a capacity for superior performance. Beyond its exterior architecture, the Concept Kizashi series constitutes a four-wheeled continuation of Suzuki's exciting, performance-oriented motorcycle heritage, represented best by its dynamic, world-renowned line of GSX-R sportbikes. Those bikes, some two decades after their introduction, continue to dominate the sportbike segment and have achieved iconic status.
Concept Kizashi made its world debut at the 2007 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, demonstrating Suzuki's progress toward the development of a vehicle that combines sportiness, style and substance. As the first concept in the Kizashi series, the vehicle's dynamic exterior was specifically developed to push the envelope and establish the overall design theme of the series. Reflecting the spirit of a highway athlete, the exaggerated dimensions of Concept Kizashi and its strong fascia communicate a dignified character and the overall presence of a dynamic flagship vehicle.
Concept Kizashi 2
Debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, the Concept Kizashi 2 crossover sport wagon aims at drivers with dynamic lifestyles and can accommodate a wide range of activities. Continuing the series' athletic theme, Concept Kizashi 2 reflects the body of a triathlete, with the five-door vehicle's all-road capability enhanced by its raised height and all-wheel-drive configuration. In addition to the sport crossover's versatility, its 3.6 liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission promise a rewarding and engaging driving experience for daily drivers and enthusiasts alike.
Concept Kizashi 3
The closest-to-production variation of the Concept Kizashi series, Concept Kizashi 3 embodies Suzuki's interpretation of the sport sedan segment in the North American market. The Kizashi's "super sport" identity, a core component of the Suzuki brand DNA, is tempered by the vehicle's overall mission to provide strong, refined urban performance.
As with Concept Kizashi and Concept Kizashi 2, the front end of the Concept Kizashi 3 expresses strength and style, with sharply fashioned headlights that emphasize the sensation of forward motion. The vehicle's exquisitely engineered body reflects Suzuki's distinctive combination of capability and refinement, with power flowing from a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 engine with plated cylinders – a weight-and space-saving technology that evolved from the lessons learned by Suzuki's motorcycle and WRC development teams. The body's monochrome finish, Kizashi Silver, gives the vehicle a sense of composure and depth of character, with metallic paint sparkling to emphasize the dynamism of the body's cross-section.
Concept Kizashi 3 Specifications
Powertrain layout: Front engine, four-wheel drive with Advanced i-AWD system
Seating capacity (persons): Five
Tires: 255/30ZR21 9.5J
Wheels: 21-inch, nine-spoke, aluminum
Engine: 3,564cm3 V6, DOHC, 24-valve
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters)
Maximum power: 300 hp
Overall length: 4,650mm/183.1 in.
Overall width: 1,900mm/74.8 in.
Overall height: 1,450mm/57.1 in.
Wheelbase: 2,800mm/110.2 in.
Minimum ground clearance: 120mm
Body color: Kizashi Silver