Suzuki Australia has announced that it will add a second powertrain to its Vitara small SUV lineup in the second quarter of 2016, with a 103kW/220Nm turbocharged 1.4 petrol borrowed from the European-market Vitara S set to power a high-end variant.
That engine will effectively replace the 86kW/156Nm 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated petrol in the top-grade RT-X model, though unlike the current AWD-only RT-X the new engine will be available in both front- or all-wheel drive.
In Germany the Vitara S 1.4 turbo (dubbed the BoosterJet in that market) is available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
At this stage it's unclear whether Suzuki Australia will offer the Vitara Turbo with both transmissions, or stick to its strategy of making only the top-grade available as an automatic.
The 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated engine won't be going away though - it will be retained in the entry-level RT-S, with its $22,990 retail price expected to remain unchanged for the 2016 model year.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed for the new Vitara Turbo range, but with a 2WD model on the way and similar equipment levels to the soon-to-be-superseded RT-X, an entry price below the auto-only AWD-only RT-X's sticker of $31,990 would not be unreasonable.
The addition of a manual variant could also see the base price of the Vitara Turbo tumble into the mid-$20k region, though that has yet to be confirmed.
Another key change is the impending inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring in all Vitara models dold from January 2016.
Full specifications and pricing of the Vitara Turbo range will be announced closer to its launch in the second quarter of 2016.
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