18 September 2007

Frankfurt fallout: Suzuki stuff

Big, small and fast: Suzuki's Frankfurt stand was a proper mixed bag this year

Suzuki Kizashi

A mixed bag at Suzuki's Frankfurt stand this year: something big, something small and something fast.

The big? That would be the Kizashi: a huge, beak-faced estate concept that Suzuki says previews a soon-to-arrive D-segment car.

Described as an 'exciting, emotional car', with 'the lean, muscular physique of a top-class athlete', the Kizashi is undeniably bold in its styling.

That giant, shiny-black grille dominates the design, along with the 21-inch shiny alloys and heavy shoulder line. We can't say we're quite taken by the looks yet, but plenty at Frankfurt were.

Will it get made? Almost certainly: Suzuki should bring out a D-segment car in the next couple of years, though expect it to look rather more conservative than the Kizashi.

The small? Say hello to the Splash, a mini-MPV that shares its underpinnings with the new Vauxhall Agila.

Not many surprises here - there's a touch more space than in the Swift, a touch more practicality thanks to a vertical tailgate, but the Splash is every bit as straight-laced as it looks.

It'll be launched with the choice of three engines: 1.0- and 1.2-litre petrol efforts and a 1.3-litre common-rail diesel sourced from Fiat. All very sensible, but we'd expect the Splash to do well.

As should the Suzuki SX4 rally car - if it makes it to competition. Due to debut at the Corsica Rally on October 12, the SX4 WRC project may be held back because of proposed revisions to rally car regulations.

TG favourite - and head of Suzuki Sport - Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima has hinted that if proposals to simplify rallying technology come into force earlier than the expected 2012 deadline, it could spell the end of the SX4 WRC. That'd be a bad thing: we want to see more of Monster.

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