New York Auto Show – Suzuki

By Igor Holas

03.21.2008


Suzuki used the New York Auto Show to reveal its third Kizashi concept. Suzuki is best known for its motorcycles and nimble small cars, and so it used the Kizashi concept series to test waters for a large sedan, crossover, and wagon.

The first Kizashi concept was a low-slung wagon, the second one was a taller crossover-type vehicle, and the third one is a sedan. The sedan looks the most production ready, but Suzuki has already announced that it will produce all three variants beginning two years from now and sell them in the US. This is excellent news, as the cars, especially the sedan, are simply stunning in person.


The Kizashi 3 is powered by a 3.6 liter V6 delivering over 300 horsepower to all four wheels, routed through a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The sedan awed audiences with aggressive, athletic stance and incredibly sculpted body. While the big “S” on the grille might deter some buyers, I think the Kizashi vehicles, will be the right cars for customers to overcome their badge-prejudice, and buy it.

Read the press release after the jump, and see higher resolution images HERE

LIVE! FROM NEW YORK: SUZUKI DEBUTS CONCEPT KIZASHI 3
NEW YORK (March 20, 2008)
– Performing onstage at this year’s New York International Auto Show in front of a packed house, American Suzuki Motor Corp. hosts the world debut of its sleek and athletic Concept Kizashi 3, which completes the company’s star-studded cast of media-acclaimed Kizashi concepts. In addition to the North American reveals of Concept Kizashi and Concept Kizashi 2, the global introduction of Concept Kizashi 3 coincides with Suzuki’s announcement that it will produce a sport sedan derived from the Concept Kizashi 3 design.

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.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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2 Comments

  1. I just saw this car today and it looks really, really cool. Suzuki is crazy if they don’t produce this thing.

  2. It’s nice to see Suzuki waking up, but the design is so derivative: Asian high belt-line wedge with Audi nose and banglebutt. Time to move on, folks.

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