While the Kizashi Apex Concept shown at Suzuki's New York auto show stand showed off the brand's motorsports and motorcycle heritage, the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept here shows the direction for the hybrid version of the Kizashi that Suzuki has confirmed is under development.
Pop the hood, and the bright-green center and blue lettering of the clean-white engine cover might be a pretty good indication of Suzuki's intent with this concept. But there's plenty else to signal its more fuel-efficient powertrain, including cool-blue lighting in front and in back, aerodynamic enhancements, and lightweight aluminum wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires.
The concept has a 144-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine plus a 15-kW (20-hp) electric motor-generator that provides additional torque when accelerating or recaptures energy when coasting or braking. The motor-generator system—essentially a version of GM's eAssist—is a simple belt-driven one, which means that the six-speed automatic transmission attaches to the rest of the powertrain in typical fashion.
Altogether, Suzuki says that the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept would get 25-percent higher fuel economy than the standard 2011 Kizashi—in other words, up to 38 mpg on the highway.
The Kizashi Apex and Kizashi EcoCharge, if they build them, would be two very different directions for the Kizashi, altogether resulting, potentially, in much broader appeal. Tell us what you think, and be sure to click through the gallery above and check out the rest of our New York auto show coverage over at Motor Authority.