Suzuki's new sport sedan promises a lot despite its expected low price
According to the Japanese publication, Nikkei, Suzuki may be planning a hybrid version of their upcoming Kizashi sedan for 2011. The recently unveiled Kizashi will compete in the hotly contested midsize sedan market with the likes of the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, and the Ford Fusion, among others.
The first cars to roll off the assembly line will be powered by a 2.4-liter dual overhead cam four cylinder mated to either a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual. All-wheel drive will be optional.
The hybrid Kizashi powertrain being co-developed with General Motors will reportedly offer 20% better fuel economy than the four banger. GM and Suzuki have a long relationship dating back to the early eighties when the General owned as much as 20% of the Japanese automaker. GM sold the last of that share last year amid their financial woes.
In late July, Suzuki announced that the gas-powered Kizashi would hit U.S. dealerships by winter. While a hybrid version was mentioned, no schedule was offered at the time. The unveiling of the production Kizashi has been somewhat of a visual letdown in light of the various radical conceptual designs that Suzuki had displayed on the auto show circuit over the past few years. Nevertheless, with sales down more than 60% from last year, the new sedan may be Suzuki's only hope.
2008 Suzuki Kizashi 1 Concept
2008 Suzuki Kizashi 2 Concept
Last year’s Kizashi 3 is the closest of Suzuki’s trio of Kizashi concepts to the upcoming production version
Source: Nikkei via Green Car Advisor,