A new mid-size premium sedan is set to widen the Suzuki brand here in New Zealand next year. Making its world debut in Detroit recently, the Kizashi – the largest car ever built by Suzuki – is expected to arrive in New Zealand showrooms during the second quarter of 2010.
“It will provide an all-new market segment for Suzuki,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand. “In doing so the Kizashi will extend the choices we can offer our customers wanting to move up from the Swift or SX4. The name Kizashi is pronounced ‘key-za-she’ and means a forerunner of things to come or something great is coming.”
Initial production begins at a brand new manufacturing facility in Sagara, Japan, and the car goes on sale in the United States at the end of this year.
Measuring 4,650mm in overall length and sitting on a wheelbase of 2,700mm, the Kizashi will compete with models like the Mazda6, Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Subaru Legacy.
Kevin Saito, president of American Suzuki, said, “Now that the production model Kizashi has arrived, we expect the name and the product itself to clearly demonstrate the bold statement this company knew it would be making with the debut of this vehicle.”
At the same time, he said the car suggests what will emerge in the Suzuki lineup as the marque looks to the future. A bold front end, high waistline and original rear end styling give the model a stand-out appearance. The bootlid rises up in a curve to form a solid spoiler look and adds to the car’s flair. Kizashi is a key component in Suzuki’s rise as an aspirational fun-to-drive brand, not only in North America but in other markets, including New Zealand and Australia.
The Kizashi arrives with a fuel-efficient 2.4-litre double overhead camshaft, multi-valve, in-line 4-cylinder engine.
This power source has variable valve technology, alloy cylinder block and heads and aluminium pistons. Hybrid and V6 engine versions are likely to follow.
A multi-link rear suspension uses aluminium components for lightness and a four-wheel Bosch anti-lock braking system and eight air bags are standard.
Akebono, the specialist company that developed brakes for the Japanese Bullet train and high performance motor sport applications, helped hone the Kizashi’s four wheel disc braking system.
Development testing included high speed driving on German autobahns, through the testing Swiss Alps and rigorous laps of the gruelling Nurburgring circuit.
The car can be specified with a 6-speed manual gearbox or continuously variable automatic transmission with back-lit paddle controls.
An electronic stability system is standard and in the United States and the car will be available with leather upholstery and the choice of 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch wheels.
Projector beam headlights offer 30 per cent better illumination than halogen lights and there is LED lighting for the instrumentation.
In keeping with the car’s up-market stance, the new Suzuki will be available with optional three-stage heated seats with memory adjustment, a tyre pressure monitoring system, dual zone climate control air conditioning and rain sensing wipers.
“We are entering an exciting phase in Suzuki’s history with the arrival of all-new variants at both the top and entry-level market segments,” said Tom Peck.