Kizashi 3 hints at affordable luxury Suzuki saloon
20 March 2008

Suzuki has just unveiled the most realistic take on its future saloon, the Kizashi, at the New York show. The third and final model in the Kizashi concept series, this car will ultimately provide Suzuki with a rival for the Ford Mondeo and Citroen C5.The company describes the Kizashi 3 as offering "an affordable alternative to the near-luxury market". That description refers to the increasingly upmarket specification and interiors of cars like the Mondeo and C5.Suzuki says it is "known" for small cars and wants to be able to compete in the US saloon car market that is dominated by models such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.Like the Kizashi 2, shown at Tokyo last year, this car uses a 296bhp 3.6-litre V6 driving all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 has been independently developed by Suzuki with some help from its motorcycle and WRC divisions.At 4650mm it's slightly shorter than a Mondeo, but it has a very similar wheelbase, making the car look longer than it actually is. It's also wider (1900mm) and lower (1450mm) than the Ford, giving it the look of a sports saloon.Although clearly influenced by Lexus and Infiniti, the Suzuki is a well-proportioned and attractive piece of design. Tone down the concept car details, such as the chromed 21in wheels and minimal door mirrors, and you've got the real thing.Suzuki bosses told the NY gathering that the Kizashi will arrive in US dealers by 2010, so expect the production car at the Detroit show in January 2009. The car will be built at Suzuki's new Sagara plant, which is still under construction. It should also arrive in Europe later in 2010.In the production version the emphasis will be on a sporting edge for the car, so it will come with the option of four-wheel drive and a brand-new V6 engine. There's no news yet on how more down-to-earth versions of the car will be specified.

Dan Stevens/Hilton Holloway

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22 March 2008

Looks remarkably like an Audi A4 with A5 coupe mixed in but on this occassion Suzuki have done a fantastic job.. the car looks great, let's hope the design is 'frozen' here until production.

25 March 2008

By the time this reaches production the grille, the narrow side windows and the embedded tail pipes will be long gone.

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