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Steane Klose | Aug 1, 2008

Suzuki Australia has bolstered its SX4 line-up with the addition of new AWD models – SX4 AWD and SX4 AWD 'S'.

Available only as a hatchback, both models will come standard with a 107 kW 2.0-litre engine, dual airbags, ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD, air conditioning and an MP3 compatible sound system with steering wheel mounted controls. (And heck, now with AWD, you’d have to hope that Suzuki has a bucket-load of kilowatts and a new GTi badge waiting in the wings.)

The SX4 AWD S model, priced at $24,990, adds seat-mounted side airbags, curtain airbags, keyless entry, cruise control, climate control air-conditioning, alloy wheels and fog lamps.

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Both models, regardless of transmission option (manual or auto), will feature Suzuki's i-AWD (intelligent All Wheel Drive) system, offering 3 selectable driving modes to choose from.

It’s a smart set up. For dry conditions, 2WD, with only the front wheels providing the drive, can be selected for best fuel economy. Selecting 4WD Auto however, the standard mode for driving, distributes most of the torque to the front wheels with torque to the rear automatically increased or decreased to match traction requirements - such as when driving on slippery surfaces.

Alternatively, when the going gets tougher (in mud, sand, or snow), 4WD Lock can be selected, providing torque to the rear wheels from start up for escapes in low traction conditions. The system automatically switches over to, and remains in, 4WD Auto at speeds over 60 km/h.

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The ‘intelligent’ 4WD controller constantly monitors driving conditions in order to deliver the most efficient division of power. The key delivery component is the EMCD, an electronically controlled wet-type multi-plate clutch coupling, in which the degree of magnetic clutch action is modulated to match traction needs.

The coupling is regulated with an electrical current alternating between the two and four wheels drive modes, and a simple rocker switch is mounted on the centre console enabling effortless operation of the i-AWD system for the driver.

Suzuki, who has yet to make a mark with the SX4, will be hoping the new variant kicks things along in the showroom.

"The new model SX4 AWD represents excellent value for money. In the small car segment, no other vehicle comes close to matching its combination of practicality and all-wheel drive performance," Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers, said.

The new SX4 AWD will go on sale on August 1 with pricing as follows.

SX4 AWD 5-speed manual $21,990

SX4 AWD 4-speed automatic $23,990

SX4 AWD S 5-speed manual $24,990

SX4 AWD S 4-speed automatic $26,990

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