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2018-11-06 09:05
2018 Suzuki Jimny side

Image: Motorpress

Despite its petite size for such a rugged vehicle and one that has a reputation of a giant-killer, the all-new Jimny is the best version yet. Suzuki launched the fourth-generation off-roader earlier in November. 

While luxury specifications and accessories may vary from model to model, every new Suzuki Jimny has the same mechanical pedigree and is ready for serious off-roading. 

We take a look at the four aspects of the new 4x4 essential to creating a perfect off-road vehicle. 

READ: Funkiest 4x4 by far - Suzuki launches fourth-generation Jimny in SA: We have prices, pictures and specs

1. Ladder frame chassis

The backbone of the all-new Jimny's capabilities is the ladder frame chassis. In the new model, Suzuki's engineers have added a patented cross member, the Suzuki X-member, between the two rigid axles.  

The X-member consists of two diagonal cross members that further strengthen the chassis. This helps to limit body flex in serious cross-axle off-road driving and also creates a very sturdy platform for the fitment of the body and the underbodyparts. As an additional benefit, the additional torsional strength has improved the Jimny’s on-road driving dynamics and overall crash safety. 

2018 Suzuki Jimny side


The very rigid ladder frame is the basis of the Suzuki Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) system, which integrates high-strength steel, computer-aided design and the rigid platform for greater crash safety.

Sitting atop the ladder frame are eight new rubber mounts. These mounts are vertically softer and horizontally harder than before, for a more comfortable ride and more responsive handling. 

2. Rigid axle suspension system

Rigid axles greatly improve serious off-road capabilities, as they mechanically force one wheel down if the opposite wheel is raised from the ground. Furthermore, the axle system prevents the nose from diving under speed, which is a boon when driving in dunes, and it handles rutted roads with greater ease. 

The rigid axles are connected to the wheels with three links – a lateral rod on each wheel and two leading (on the front) and trailing (on the rear) arms. 

Suzuki has strengthened the axle housings by 30% and has added a steering damper to the front suspension to limit steering wheel kickback and vibration on rough terrain. 

3. ALLGRIP PRO four-wheel drive with low range transfer gear 

The all-new Jimny replaces the push-button selection between 2H (rear-wheel drive), 4H (4WD high gear) and 4L (full low range, 4WD) with a shift lever that is directly connected to the transfer gear and can switch between 2H and 4H on the fly at speeds of up to 100km/h. 

The mechanical four-wheel drive system is greatly enhanced by Suzuki’s proprietary Brake Limited Slip Differential and electronic stability control systems. The Brake LSD-system adjusts torque to the wheel with grip if another wheel on the same axle starts spinning. The system has an extra-power mode, which kicks in below 30km/h in low-range mode for the best possible traction. 

Brake LSD is supported by Hill Hold Control and Hill Descent Control, which are standard on all models. Hill Descent Control will maintain a descent speed of 10km/h in 4WD high range and 5km/h in 4WD low range, which allows the driver to focus on navigating obstacles, without having to operate the brake pedal. 

All these integrated 4x4 assist systems are combined as Suzuki’s proprietary ALLGRIP PRO off-road system and are standard on all models of the new Jimny.

4. Approach, departure and breakover angles

The all-new Jimny improves on its predecessor’s off-road angles by offering an approach angle of 37 degrees (35 degrees on the previous model), a departure angle of 49 degrees (46 degrees on the predecessor) and a breakover angle of 28 degrees (previously 27 degrees).

The departure angle is especially impressive and benefits from the slightly shorter body and redesigned rear bumper. The Jimny has a ground clearance of 210 mm, which is 20 mm more than the previous model.

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