4x4 Kizashi - will it reach SA?
SWITCHABLE MODES: The new Kizashi features 2/4WD modes, and while it may not be heading to SA, fans of the Japanese automaker's first mid-sized sedan will be pleased to know a Sport version is headed to our shores in 2012.
Suzuki's Kizashi, its first mid-sized sedan, has received a tepid welcome on our shores since its launch earlier in 2011 despite being an SA CoTY finalist. In the UK the Japanese automaker hopes to make its new sedan even more appealing by launching an all-wheel-drive version as well as a more striking Sport model.
With the launch of its Kizashi, Suzuki hopes to attract more upscale buyers especially with its quality and refinement. We reckon it's way underrated...
The i-AWD system provide traction in bad weather and enhances the sedan's already excellent cornering.
When driving in normal conditions, the i-AWD system can be operated in two-wheel drive where drive is predominantly to the front wheels with minimum torque transmitted to the rear; this is simply operated via a switch on the dashboard and can be altered when the car is in motion.
In all-wheel drive (i-AWD) the system sends power to the rear wheels immediately upon acceleration, with torque split – up to 50:50 front/rear - remaining dependent on several factors including wheel slip and throttle and steering input.
When in i-AWD mode, the control system monitors the vehicle operating conditions via sensors and, based on these sensed conditions will control the system power coupling device so that optimum torque is delivered to the rear wheels. This function improves driving performance on rough roads and stabilises performance in slippery conditions including snow covered ascents.
Suzuki is set to launch a Sports version in South Africa later in 2012. The new model has a number of design modifications including an assertive grille (with chrome accents), body side sill extensions and lower body side mouldings. Custom lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels as well as unique leather sport steering wheel will feature on the Sport model. Inside will also see special leather stitching on the seats, gear shift and parking brake.
According to Suzuki's Megan MacDonald, "At this stage the Kizashi AWD is not part of our future product line up. We have the Sport coming late next year, but haven’t committed anything to the AWD."