Suzuki confirms two Kizashi concepts for the 2011 New York Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 6, 2011

Suzuki will be displaying two new concept cars based on the Kizashi model at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. Several reports assert that one of these two concepts will be based on the Kizashi Sport model. Suzuki has said that it will display a stylish and urban sedan that’s fitted with a recently-developed powertrain.

Suzuki hasn’t provided details about the second car but it’s likely to be a show car or a limited edition model that’s reminiscent of Suzuki’s motorcycle history.

Even if the Kizashi hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in the U.S., Suzuki remains optimistic that things will turn around. The Kizashi may be stylish, sporty, and affordable but it hasn’t really had much of an appeal to American customers. So far, there are absolutely no details available yet on what engines will be used to power the concept cars.

The Suzuki Kizashi Sport has been fitted with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive. Its 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder engine delivers 185 hp at 6,500 rpm and it has a maximum torque level of 170 lb. ft with the aid of a manual transmission.

It weighs 3,250 pounds (1,474 kg) and because of a manual gearbox, the Kizashi Sport is faster than the standard version. It is speculated that the performance of the concept car exceeds that of the Kizashi but we’ll hold off making a conclusion until the start of the New York show.

Steve Younan, director of automotive marketing and product planning for American Suzuki Motor Corporation, remarked that the carmaker is studying the merits of the gas-electric technology as presented in Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept. He quipped that Suzuki primarily aimed to achieve significant gains in fuel economy sans any compromise in drivability. This goal is what mid-size hybrid sedans of today aim for.

He noted that the Kizashi EcoCharge could achieve a 25-percent gain in fuel economy in real-world driving (highway) using an electric charge to the powertrain system without having to diminish the dynamic handling and braking advantages of a production Kizashi. Power is provided to the Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept from a 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine and an advanced electric propulsion system, which is made up of a liquid-cooled 15-kW motor/generator unit supplied by a 115-volt air-cooled lithium-ion battery.

The engine-electric motor combo helps improve the fuel efficiency ratings of the Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept, allowing an electric power boost during acceleration for a more emotional drive. The Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept likewise employs a series of fuel-conserving technologies to further maximize efficiency.

These technologies include automatic engine shut-off during a stop, fuel cut-off during deceleration, regenerative braking, and low-rolling resistance tires. Power is sent to the wheels using a six-speed automatic transmission that offers a smooth and seamless operation throughout the entire operation. In terms of exterior appearance, the Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept is wrapped by a distinct luminescent white satin paint design with a subtle blue undercoat.

Of course, there is a need to distinguish the Kizashi concept from the production Kizashi. This has been achieved by providing the Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept with a specialized headlight treatment and an integrated LED fog light illumination. Connecting Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept and the road are low-rolling resistance tires hugging lightweight aluminum wheels.

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