The all-wheel drive Kizashi from Suzuki was first presented to the media back in July 2009. With a composed platform, a rigid structure, and a suspension that has been tuned on Nurburgring, this midsize sedan has shown that it has a trick or two up its sleeve. It is powered by a DOHC 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 185 horsepower, the highest for the four-cylinder class.
No wonder the Kizashi has been praised not only by the media but even by consumers. Additional proof of this is that it garnered first place in the 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction survey conducted by AutoPacific. By August 2010, the Kizashi will now be in a category where Bonneville streamliners belong.
To make this possible, different improvements were done on the Kizashi by Tom Habrzyk and Richard Holdener -- both from Advanced Product Engineering. The Bonneville Kizashi will then be driven by Sam Mitani Road & Track and will participate in the Blown Gas Coupe group, the actual race of which will be held in Wendover, Utah, on August 14.
This version of the Kizashi hopes to reach the 200 mph level and when it does, it will become part of what is already an amazing motorsport history. The Bonneville Kizashi was started by using a pre-production prototype of the Kizashi. Official construction of the Bonneville version started in 2010.
In order to build this model, the first step was to disassemble its interior in order to highlight the basis of the initial design. Using the principle of "premium without the premium," a bare metal working environment was all that was needed. After all the exclusive appointments were removed, the Holdener/Habrzyk team started installing the necessary features. First they began with the SCTA-approved roll cage then followed it with the aluminum bulkhead in the rear portion.
The racing seat, seat harness, and finally window net were then installed. Once the improvements to the cockpit were done, the next step was the engine. The team built on the performance tradition that was based on the company’s first ever win around 55 years ago on Mt. Fuji. Similar to what was done to the cockpit, the spare motor was also disassembled in order to confirm the standard measurements. The cylinder head meanwhile was flowed and then ported.
To improve the performance of the Bonneville Kizashi, the team used a new intake manifold. This had a tuned ’long tube’ header as well as the forged rods and pistons for better durability even at high rpm. The addition of the Turbonetics turbocharger gives the Kizashi a boost of up to 20 pounds.
However, the higher horsepower meant that air-to-water intercooling, as well as snow water/methanol injection, was needed. The output requirements also meant that a new ACT Clutch and Pressure Plate were required too. A scattershield was also added.
An oil pan was welded to provide a drain fitting while a 3.5-inch exhaust was constructed behind the turbocharger. This makes the turbo motor have high-boost and high-rpm while extra protection is provided with Lucas Oil’s fully synthetic 5W-20 racing oil.
With the use of the new coilovers, the steel wheels seam that has been welded, and even the 15x7 Goodyear Front Runner rubber, transform the Kizashi platform, and the Nurburgring lineage, to a salt-specific recipe. Keeping its nose planted is the presence of the air dam and the use of the hood pins and window straps to make sure that both the hood and the glass are kept in position. A parachute was also included to help the Kizashi come to an emergency stop form high speed.
The dual fire system gives the needed sense of assurance for the Mitani, especially the 900 boosted horsepower and in front of the high-speed capsule by just a few feet. Since the entire process was finished by the end of July, the over-the-road testing on a closed course by a professional driver and the chassis dyno tune was scheduled to occur during the first week of August, which was a rather narrow window.
After that it is all the way to Bonneville where it will be treated to one week of racing starting from August 14 and ending by August 20. If everything goes according to plan and the Kizashi performs as expected of it, the SCTA will now have two additional members in its 200 mph class which are the 2010 Suzuki Bonneville Kizashi and Road & Track’s Sam Mitani.