Suzuki Kizashi still coming! Official debut at the 2009 New York Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2009

American Suzuki Motor Corp. is making its presence felt as it enters the all-wheel-drive sport sedan market with the introduction of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi. While the company is mainly known to manufacture motorcyles and small vehicles, this latest offering combines premium craftsmanship and design with dynamic performance, resulting in a combination not yet seen for this class. This makes the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi a possible contender for car of the year.

Pronounced as "Kee-Zah-Shee", it is expected to become Suzuki’s flagship vehicle and help expand and strengthen the company’s current line-up of trucks, SUVs, and small cars. The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi is set to arrive by winter in showrooms across North America. Kevin Saito, American Suzuki president, shared that when they developed this latest model, they chose to use the Japanese word 'Kizashi' for the name as it referred to something great that was coming.

This was very appropriate for this model, he added. Now that the production version is here, the company hopes that the name, and ultimately the product itself, will show the strong statement the company is making with the release of this vehicle while also hinting at what the future could be like for its line-up, Saito continued. The Concept Kizashi series was first started more than two years ago with three strikingly designed concept vehicles.

The same design theme and performance displayed by the concept vehicles are also seen in this Kizashi sport sedan. This production version also redefines what is often expected from a traditional performance sedan and helps the company makes its brand classier. An important part of its brand DNA is its active and lively character -- something that’s also present in the 2010 Kizashi. This is strengthened with the mission to have a vehicle that is powerful but offers refined performance especially in urban areas.

2010 Kizashi is manufactured at the company’s newest production facility located in Sagara, Japan. Powering this sports sedan is the DOHC four-cylinder 2.4-liter inline engine, which offers more power compared to the ones used by its rivals. Since it makes use of block and cylinder heads in aluminium, it results in a low weight. The utilization of aluminum pistons that have low tensile force rings results in better efficiency and power.

Noise, vibration and harshness, are all reduced thanks to a balancer shift that also helps with the engine balance. The durability of the engine is improved by having dropped-forged connecting rods that rotate on a forged steel crankshaft. The engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission which gives a relaxed cruising capability when running under high gear and increased performance under low gears. Suzuki is also offering customers a choice with the Continuously Variable Transmission.

With this particular transmission, the 2010 Kizashi appeals to many driving enthusiasts while being able to deliver the driving experience and even the fuel efficiency many consumers today prefer. This distinct character is improved even further with the use of paddle shifters that help the driver get optimum control no matter what the speed is or what the driving environment may be. No matter what transmission consumers have, fuel economy is ensured with the 2010 Kizashi.

Aside from the first-rate powertrain, the company is planning to have a hybrid version that is just as fuel efficient to its future line-up. The sports sedan market already has a number of transportation appliances that can be considered ordinary or even dull. Suzuki however manages to move away from this norm by remaining strong in its philosophy of providing an exciting and dynamic driving experience. This has been proven more than once especially on England’s cobblestone roads, the twists in the Swiss Alps, Germany's Autobahn, and even the Nurburgring.

Press Release

Suzuki Reveals New 2010 Kizashi Sedan

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 Nurburgring.

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(R) (1) connectivity and optional streaming audio via Bluetooth(R)(2). For your advanced listening pleasure, Rockford Fosgate(R)(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(R))(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.

iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.
Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.
Rockford Fosgate is a registered trademark of Rockford Fosgate.
ESP is a registered trademark of Daimler AG.

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