Spy photographers caught the next Suzuki Jimny testing in public. We won't get it in the U.S., but we can still dream about the tiny, body-on-frame SUV.
After about 20 years on the market almost unchanged, the ol’ Suzuki Jimny is finally getting a redesign. Because it’s only sold overseas, many in North America are unfamiliar with the Jimny nameplate. The previous-generation Jimny did make it to our shores in the late ’80s and early ’90s in the form of the Suzuki Samurai, but since then this tiny, body-on-frame SUV has been forbidden fruit to the U.S. market.
The current Jimny is an affordable but tough and rugged 4X4 with a bare-bones interior that shares many characteristics with the Jeep Wrangler. Powering the two-door SUV is a 1.3-liter I-4 that churns out an unimpressive 83 hp and 81 lb-ft of torque and is backed by either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.
The part-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) system uses a two-speed transfer case controlled by the push of a button. In 2WD, the rear wheels are powered, pushing 4WD routes power to the front wheels, and 4WD-L engages the lower gear for more difficult off-road conditions. Switching from 2WD to 4WD can be done up to 62 mph.
When compared to the current model, the upcoming mini SUV is much boxier, almost resembling a small Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The new model retains the current Jimny’s two-door body style and vertical-slat grille with round headlights, which looks similar to the Jeep Renegade’s front end. The Jimny also keeps the side-hinged, swing-out rear door with mounted spare tire that many SUVs once came with. It appears the body-on-frame structure will carry over, in addition to the front and rear three-link solid axle suspension set up. The large fender flares stay, the hood intake has been removed, and the glass looks larger and more squared off. We expect a similar part-time four-wheel-drive system, an upgraded interior, and hope a more powerful four-cylinder is utilized.
We will not receive any version of the Jimny in North America, but we can respect the fact that Suzuki is still building a compact, rugged, body-on-frame off-road machine.
Photo source: CarPix
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