SUZUKI HAS CANCELLED plans to offer hybrid and V6-powered versions of its new Kizashi sedan. Both models would have relied on technology provided by GM, which sold its 20 percent stake in Suzuki in 2008.
Scheduled for a 2011 or 2012 launch, the V6 and Hybrid-powered Kizashi variants would have bolstered the new sedan's chances in the mid-sized segment, where many models are offered with larger capacity engines.
All is not lost however, according to Suzuki America's Steve Younan. Speaking with industry paper Automotive News today, Younan said that Suzuki has sent Kizashi Chief Engineer Hide Kumashiro to the German headquarters of new partner Volkswagen. Kumashiro will explore options for Volkswagen powerplants.
"We would be happy with a small V-6 or a turbo-four," Younan said. "The Kizashi suspension is not at its limit. We are trying to be an affordable performance brand."
The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi is scheduled for an Australian launch in May, kicking off with the front-wheel-drive models. Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers told TMR last month that the higher-spec all-wheel-drive models could arrive in the near future.
"We'd like to think that it [an AWD variant] is not far away," Mr Devers said.
For now, the Kizashi - in all markets - is powered by a 138kW 2.4 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission and a continuously variable automatic transmission.