Suzuki has presented the next-generation Jimny in European spec at the Paris motor show. It's due on sale in 2019, with just one engine, a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol.
This naturally aspirated unit replaces the outgoing Jimny's 1.3-litre engine. It produces 101bhp and 96lb ft of torque for a claimed top speed of 90mph.
No diesel version of the Jimny is planned, with Suzuki having recently cut all diesel options from its line-up.
Talking to Autocar, Suzuki’s UK boss, Dale Wyatt, said the brand has so far had 4500 UK buyers sign up on the website as “interested” in the Jimny - the first time it has had such a level of interest.
That’s 150% of the previous model’s best annual sales volume; the last Jimny ended at 1100 units annually in UK after 20 years. The problem is going to be volume supplied, says Wyatt. Demand in Japan, where the Jimny is made, has been “staggering”. Wyatt sees scope in allocating 1100 cars for the UK in the new Jimny's first year, then 2000 subsequently.
The Jimny will offer five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes, with a part-time four-wheel drive system channelling power to the rear wheels normal use and with high and low-range modes. Suzuki swapped the manual low-range gear selector in the latest Vitara for an electric rotary dial, but the new Jimny sticks with the former system to maximise its off-road adjustability.
Like its predecessor, the new Jimny is built on a ladder-frame chassis, but it now has additional crossmembers to increase rigidity. It also gets three-link rigid axle suspension for off-road agility. The fourth-generation model has been developed with the feedback of existing Jimny owners in mind, who rank its effective off-road capabilities and robustness more highly than on-road performance.