Suzuki Kizashi coming to the LA Auto Show in December

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2009

American Suzuki Motor Corp. is known mainly for manufacturing high-performance motorcycles or small vehicles. However, with the debut of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi, the company is making a bold step as it enters the all-wheel-drive sport sedan class. Pronounced as "Kee-Zah-Shee", the brand’s offering becomes a strong contender for car-of-the-year even when matched with some of the world’s top cars.

The 2010 Kizashi has allowed the brand to offer what may be a mix of aesthetic first-class design aesthetics with dynamic performance characteristics never before experienced in this particular class. This sporty sedan will be Suzuki’s flagship vehicle and is expected to strengthen and expand its current product line that includes small cars, SUVs, and trucks.

The 2010 Kizashi will be available in different showrooms in North America by winter. The company used the Concept Kizashi series which was presented over a period of two years ago to develop this model. As such, it has the same design and understanding for performance that was earlier exhibited with the striking and perfectly designed three concept vehicles.

For this production version, the company not only managed to make its brand classy but it has even redefined what a performance sedan should be. The main element of the brand DNA is that it is energetic and active. This is strengthened further with the overall mission of the vehicle to have a refined and strong performance especially in urban areas.

2010 Kizashi was manufactured at the company’s newest production facility located in Sagara, Japan. Under the hood, this sports sedan is outfitted with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder DOHC inline engine which is better compared to even a number of competitive best-sellers.

By making use of aluminum black and cylinder heads, the engine allows for lightweight installation. Its pistons, also made of aluminum, have low tensile force rings resulting in enhanced efficiency and power. The engine is made more durable by having the dropped-forged connecting rods which rotate on a steel crankshaft.

A balancer shaft meanwhile helps with the engine balance and can even reduce the noise, vibration, and harshness. Paired with the engine is a six-speed manual transmission that offers increased performance under low gear and when in higher gears, delivers economical and relaxed cruising capability.

The company though gives customers the choice to have the Continuously Variable Transmission. What this does is give the driving feel as well as the fuel efficiency that many customers prefer while also retaining the character driving enthusiasts want. The paddle shifters help the driver optimize control no matter what the driving environment was or what the speed is.

This actually augments the character previously mentioned even further. Regardless of which transmission is chosen, the 2010 Kizashi is set to bring back competitive fuel economy figures especially for the fuel-conscious buyers. Aside from having an amazing powertrain, the company plans to develop and add a hybrid version that offers more fuel efficiency to its future lineup.

Since the market already has a number of unremarkable transportation applications, the company had to resist following standard practice if it wanted to be successful in entering it. This move ties in with the company’s principle of providing an exciting driving experience. This driving experience has in fact been confirmed a number of times like the Alpine twisties in Switzerland, Germany's Autobahn, the cobblestone roads typical of rural England, and even the renowned Nürburgring.

The steel unibody is rigid with the front suspension braced and the multi-link rear suspension assembled using embedded aluminum. These result in agile handling and first-rate stability. It also offers a classy ride and even lowers the vibration of the chassis. Though the Kizashi was originally conceived to have all-wheel-drive capability, the company plans to offer an advanced all-wheel-drive system that includes advanced controls.

The company hopes that this would draw out and encourage a sense of genuine driving interest and safety. Its braking system is cutting-edge and has the standard four-wheel disc brakes. A number of the components of the braking system have been supplied by Akebono, one of the leading companies when it comes to NVH analysis and control. Akebono is also the top supplier when it comes to automotive and even high-speed rail applications.

A look at the design of the exterior shows that it has the perfect mix of Japanese craftsmanship and European style. Its aggressive look is balanced by the 18-inch alloy wheels. The lean proportion as well as the minimal front overhang shows that it has a more modern style and this adds to the class that is fitting for a performance-oriented sport sedan.

Similar to the Concept Kizashi series, the 2010 Kizashi has a front end that displays style and strength while the perfectly engineered body reflects its fundamental strength and combined refinement and capability. At the back is where the 'sport' aspect is highlighted. By adding the integrated dual sport exhaust, this increases the vehicle’s visual dynamic. It also expresses the performance-imbued spirit of the Kizashi. With the Kizashi, Suzuki has managed to efficiently implement a large proportion that is practical and comfortable without have to waste space.

The company made this possible by taking full advantage of its expertise in the compact car class. While the proportions of the interior already give the occupants a high level of comfort and enough room, the company is taking it a step further by giving it a modern and classy feel. For example, the standard sport seats are consistent with the Kizashi’s performance characteristics on the road. Driving enthusiasts for instance will highly appreciate the sporty instrument panel.

Standard customers who want a luxury sedan will also be pleased to see the leather seating especially its use of premium-quality materials and high-density foam that can match even high-end competitors. Supplementing the premium leather are the three-position memory program and its three-stage heated seats.

Suzuki also put extra attention to detail in the cloth and leather seats with is hard cover rear, low fatigue foam, and the French seams. For those who want high-tech features, the Kizashi delivers as well. In addition to the standard keyless push start system, it also offers connectivity with the iPod with the option to stream audio through Bluetooth. Better listening pleasure is assured with the Rockford Fosgate enhanced by 425 W of power.

Press Release

SUZUKI REVEALS NEW 2010 KIZASHI SEDAN

  • Kizashi concept series culminates with world introduction of all-new Suzuki sport sedan.
  • Chic Kizashi production model to deliver Japanese quality and European flair.
  • North American Car of the Year contender to serve as halo vehicle for maturing Suzuki lineup.

Kizashi's exhilarating performance and driving experience reflect Suzuki's exuberant brand spirit, backed by the confidence of America's #1 Warranty.

BREA, Calif. (July 30, 2009) - American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) takes a bold step forward today. Known primarily as a maker of small vehicles and high-performance motorcycles, today marks the global debut of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi (pronounced "Kee-Zah-Shee"), the company's first entry into the all-wheel-drive sport sedan segment. Benchmarked against some of the leading cars in the world, the all-new 2010 Kizashi becomes an instant car-of-the-year contender in its own right. With the launch of the Kizashi, Suzuki delivers a unique blend of dynamic performance attributes with premium design aesthetics and craftsmanship yet to be experienced in this category. Scheduled to arrive in North American showrooms this winter, the Kizashi will serve as the company's flagship vehicle, further expanding and strengthening its current product line of high-quality small cars, trucks and SUVs.

"In developing and naming our newest automotive introduction, the Japanese word 'Kizashi,' which tells that something great is coming, seemed appropriate for the vehicle," said Kevin Saito, president, American Suzuki. "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 - while also simultaneously suggesting what will emerge in the Suzuki lineup as we look ahead to the future."

The Kizashi sport sedan, which originates from the Concept Kizashi series introduced over the last two years, follows a similar design theme and appreciation for performance previously illustrated by the three eye-catching and immaculately designed concept vehicles. The production Kizashi redefines the traditional performance sedan and moves the Suzuki brand upscale. Furthermore, its active and energetic identity, a core component of the Suzuki brand DNA, is tempered by the vehicle's overall mission to provide a strong, refined urban performance.
Powertrain

Built at Suzuki's brand-new manufacturing facility in Sagara, Japan, the 2010 Kizashi is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine offering a more potent standard engine than many competitive best-sellers. The engine employs both an aluminum block and cylinder heads, providing a lightweight installation; aluminum pistons with low tensile force rings deliver improved power and efficiency. Dropped-forged connecting rods, rotating on a forged steel crankshaft, contribute to the inline four's durability, and a balancer shaft delivers improved engine balance and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The responsive inline four is connected to a six-speed manual transmission, for heightened performance in the low gears, along with relaxed - and economical - cruising capability in the higher gears. Customers may opt for an available Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that delivers both the driving experience and fuel efficiency today's consumers demand, while not compromising the character preferred by driving enthusiasts. That character is enhanced with paddle shifters, optimizing driver control regardless of speed or driving environment. With either transmission choice, the Kizashi is engineered to return competitive fuel economy numbers for fuel-conscious consumers.

In addition to this excellent new powertrain, and to even further enhance the Kizashi's strong efficiency story, Suzuki is developing an even more fuel efficient hybrid version that will be added to the lineup in the future.

Braking and Handling

In order to successfully enter a field already saturated with countless nondescript transportation appliances, Suzuki breaks away from traditional values normally associated with the mainstream, standing firm on Suzuki's belief in delivering a dynamic and exhilarating driving experience. That driving experience was validated on Germany's Autobahn, Switzerland's Alpine twisties, cobblestone roads of rural England and the legendary Nürburgring.

An exceptionally rigid steel unibody - with reinforced front suspension and multi-link rear suspension constructed with embedded aluminum - allows for crisp, nimble handling with excellent stability, sophisticated ride and reduced chassis vibration. Engineered from conception to be all-wheel-drive capable, the Kizashi offers a newly developed advanced all-wheel-drive system with highly advanced controls that evokes and promotes a natural sense of heartfelt driving enthusiasm and safety. Kizashi's sophisticated braking system offers standard four-wheel disc brakes and includes suppliers such as Akebono, a world-leader in NVH control and analysis and a leading brake supplier for automotive and high-speed rail applications.
Design

Kizashi's thoughtfully crafted exterior design is best described as the seamless melding of European style and Japanese craftsmanship. Tailored for the driving enthusiast, Kizashi's bold and aggressive stance is complemented by available 18-inch alloy wheels; contemporary styling - with its lean proportion and minimal front overhang - injects the sophistication appropriate to a performance-oriented sport sedan. As with the Concept Kizashi series, the front end of the production Kizashi expresses both strength and style, while the vehicle's impeccably engineered body reflects Kizashi's underlying strength and distinctive combination of capability and refinement.

At Kizashi's rear, the architecture accentuates the 'sport' aspect of Suzuki's sport sedan. The visual dynamic is enhanced with the addition of an integrated dual sport exhaust, communicating - both visually and aurally - the Kizashi's performance-imbued spirit.
Interior

Suzuki has taken advantage of its expertise in the compact car segment to efficiently execute larger - yet still tidy - proportions that afford comfort and practicality without the wasted space. Along with cabin proportions that reward Kizashi drivers and passengers with comfort and roominess, Suzuki pursues a contemporary, upscale interior feel - such as standard sport seats - in line with the vehicle's on-road performance characteristics. Driving enthusiasts will appreciate Kizashi's sporty and elegant instrument panel, while consumers seeking a luxury sedan will be pleased with the vehicle's available leather seating, featuring high-density foam and premium quality materials rivaling upscale competitors.

The available premium leather is supplemented by three-stage heated seats and a three-position memory program. In addition, both cloth and leather seats benefit from Suzuki's attention to detail: French seams, hard cover rears and low fatigue foam.

For those wanting high-tech beyond the engine compartment, the Kizashi's interior delivers by the megabyte. Beginning with standard keyless push start system, Kizashi also offers iPod®1 connectivity and optional streaming audio via Bluetooth®2. For your advanced listening pleasure, Rockford Fosgate®3 provides an optional listening experience boosted by 425 watts of power.

Traction and Safety

The all-new Kizashi includes a class-leading list of standard safety equipment, including class-exclusive standard eight airbags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP®)4, an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution, projector beam headlamps and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Also included as equipment on the Kizashi is Suzuki's developed synergetic vehicle dynamic control. This system assists drivers control and a fun-to-drive experience with minimal intrusiveness.

Kizashi is offered with Suzuki's next generation i-AWD system, a rare option in its class, as this safety and performance enhancing feature is more typically found among luxury sport sedan offerings. Engineered to provide outstanding traction in inclement weather, the sophisticated all-wheel-drive system also delivers enhanced cornering capabilities. Activated when the driver selects the "AWD" switch on the instrument panel, power to the rear wheels starts immediately upon acceleration. Torque split remains dependent on several factors, including wheel slippage and throttle input.

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