He said the production model could be expected late next year, and would offer “one of the largest luggage areas in its class,” combined with “four-wheel drive performance and [a] sporty format.” It is yet to be confirmed whether or not the 'S-cross' name will be used, however.
The show car's exterior design is said to be very close to production spec, with its tapered roofline and flat lower door sections part of an increased focus on aerodynamics. The S-cross aims to tempts buyers from C-segment hatch and MPV buyers using a combination of handsome crossover styling, low emissions and practicality at a value-for-money price.
The production car will sit on a new platform that could yield an SUV model later. With a length of 4310mm, the S-cross is just 20mm shorter than Nissan's Qashqai but 60mm wider at 1840mm and 15mm lower at 1600mm.
The new car will be manufactured in Hungary in both two- and four-wheel drive form. Petrol and diesel power will be available, with diesel engines provided via Suzuki's relationship with Fiat.
Ayukawa said the car will form part of Suzuki’s plans to reinvigorate sales in Europe (which dropped four per cent in 2011) to match the 300,000-unit volume the company achieved here before the financial crisis. The global picture is more positive, with Suzuki trading in the black during each of the last three years. Including the S-cross, Suzuki aims to launch a new or updated model in Europe every year for the next 3-4 years.
Suzuki says the S-cross is an all-new model rather than a replacement for the SX4 or otherwise. The six-year old SX4, which currently offers two- and four-wheel drive 1.6 petrol models and a four-wheel drive 2.0-litre diesel, is currently built alongside the Fiat Sedici, but a Jeep tie-up with Fiat may end that co-operation.