Mike Stevens | Mar 29, 2011

Suzuki looks set to build on its first foray into the medium car segment with the Kizashi, announcing plans today for two global unveilings at April's New York Auto Show.

The Japanese carmaker has so far revealed little in the way of details for the new models (or concepts), except to say that both cars will "take the Kizashi to the next level."

The current Kizashi range is made up of three models, from the entry Kizashi to the mid-level Prestige and on to the top-shelf Kizashi Sport AWD.

All three are powered by the same 2.4 litre petrol engine, producing 131kW and 230Nm of torque.

What Suzuki has planned for its new mid-level sedan remains to be seen. While a new wagon or coupe body style is a possibility, Suzuki may also be planning to reveal a production version of the Kizashi Turbo Concept revealed at last year's Australian International Motor Show.

Powered by a turbocharged version of the Kizashi's 2.4 litre engine, the Turbo concept offered 179kW and 330Nm of torque.

The availability of a turbo model in the Kizashi line-up would likely go a long way towards building appeal for the whole range, a point Suzuki Australia CEO Tony Devers acknowledged at last year's show.

“Customers have been asking about a turbocharged version of this car since the original Concept Kizashi was unveiled at Frankfurt more than three years ago,” Mr Devers said.

"[Suzuki] worked closely with Road Race Motorsports in the US to produce a concept car with the potential to attack the medium car performance market."

The Kizashi has failed to set the medium segment aflame, trailing behind the Subaru Liberty, the Ford Mondeo, the Hyundai i45 and the top-selling Toyota Camry.

Based on the range-topping Kizashi Sport AWD, the Concept Kizashi Turbo gains a lower ride height, upgraded brakes and a front strut brace for increased rigidity. Enkei 19-inch RPF1 wheels prop up each corner, wrapped in 40-series Pirelli rubber.

Devers said that Suzuki would use the 2010 Australian International Motor Show to gauge customer reaction to a high performance Kizashi.

For now, Suzuki is staying mum.

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