When considering motorcycles, Suzuki is likely a brand that comes to mind. Their cars, on the other hand, nearly go unnoticed unless you are looking for specifically cheap transportation. They typically only account for a fraction of a percent of U.S. auto sales, but that fraction is a tight and very loyal market. Well, it looks like they are trying to dig themselves out of obscurity by adding high-end features to their vehicles.
Starting in the 2013 model year, nearly every Suzuki car, truck, and SUV will include a Garmin stereo system that will also include Pandora radio. With the internet taking over everything nowadays, it’s only expected that internet radio would make its way into more cars – heck, some cars now have a hard drive bigger than my desktop PC, seriously…
Pandora works a lot like satellite radio, as it is not broadcasted from terrestrial towers, but rather streamed through the internet. You can personalize your own station too, so there is no need to swap the station every time something you can’t stand comes blasting through the speakers.
There is no receiver or anything like that for Pandora radio, so this is really not costing Suzuki much, meaning the cost to you would be minimal, if anything. The Garmin radio connects to an iPhone, per Pandora, and the iPhone in turn receives the Pandora signal, broadcasting it through the radio. It makes us curious because Pandora radio also has an Android app, which means nearly any phone on the market can receive its signal. However, Pandora specifically mentions just the iPhone in its press release.
We are starting to wonder if iPhone and Garmin are maybe up to something, or did the Pandora rep just misspeak. For the sake of all Suzuki buyers that choose to use this service, we hope the latter is the truth. From our research, it looks like Garmin and Suzuki have apps for both Android and iPhone, so it was likely a mistake to just say “iPhone.”
Regardless of its connectivity, this is a step in the right direction towards Suzuki reeling in its direct competitors, Hyundai and Kia.
Hit the jump to read Pandora’s official press release.
Gracing the Suzuki stand at the New York Auto Show is a concept car that should have us clamoring for a production version sooner rather than later.
Joining the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept in New York is the Kizashi Apex Concept, a turbocharged version of the Kizashi that Subaru built and designed to not only come with improved performance dynamics, but to also show the link between the company’s automotive division and its long-standing and highly competitive motorcycle division.
Dressed in a colorful racing livery that makes you feel that it’s itching for some pavement, the Kizashi Apex Concept is all about performance. While the stock engine of the model remains intact, the Japanese automaker added a plethora of add-ons - specifically a Garrett turbocharger - to make the car primed and ready for a good ol’ fashion throwdown.
If you won’t take our word for it, hear it straight from the horse’s mouth: "Our turbo-equipped concept leverages the already-exceptional Kizashi platform and infuses it with a substantial boost," said Steve Younan, director of automotive marketing and product planning for Suzuki’s US division.
"The Kizashi Apex Concept will further elevate our flagship sedan in the U.S. among enthusiasts who crave added power and performance."
Truer words have never been spoken.
Details on the Suzuki Kizashi Apex Turbo Concept after the jump.
Suzuki has big plans for its flagship model, the Kizashi. That much we already know. What we didn’t expect though was that the model would be branching out with different variants.
At the New York Auto Show, the Japanese automaker further cemented their intention of giving its customers new options for the sedan by unveiling a couple of concept cars tied up to its name.
One of these concepts is the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept, a hybrid vehicle Suzuki is preparing to compete against the likes of the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight, among other hybrid cars out on the market these days.
While Suzuki hasn’t had any discussions on the production plans for the car, we’d be very surprised if this model doesn’t get greenlighted for production soon, especially when you consider that the market is ripe for other brands to enter and give its established rivals a run for their money.
Either way, its looking more and more likely that the hybrid wars will have to make room for another vehicle.
Details on the Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept after the jump.
Does anyone remember the old Doublemint commercials? The lyrics go a little something like this, "Double your pleasure, double your fun." Road Race Motorsports knows what we’re talking about. They have created a package for the Suzuki Kizashi that will practically double the amount of horsepower for the mid-size sedan. The Suzuki Kizashi Platinum Edition comes with an astounding - for a Suzuki anyway - 300hp, up 115hp from the standard 185hp. They’ve also come out with a 200hp version for those lame-os that can’t handle that kind of extra power. The Platinum Edition is now on sale with customized orders available to suits the needs of dealers and private clients.
The suspension packages will be offered in Stages 1, 2, and 3 along with two or three dress up packages. Road Race also has its own line of wheels in 18 and 19 inch matched up with 255 tires.
The Platinum Edition package also includes an improved braking system, anti swaybars, chassis stiffening bars, Road Race Motorsports’ own Sport Dual Catback Exhaust System, and much more.
Whoever said that land speed records are only reserved for supercars and completely modified sports cars are sadly mistaken. You will probably be surprised to know that even standard vehicles – with the proper upgrades, of course – can have their (record) time in the spotlight as well.
Take this particular Suzuki Kizashi for example. While the Kizashi model isn’t exactly the type you’d associate for a speed machine, give it a few tune-ups and upgrades and you end up with a machine that can lay waste to a land speed record.
Such was the case with this model, dubbed the Bonneville Special, which clocked an average run of 203.720 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats, breaking the previous record of 202.301 mph in the Blown Gas Coupe category in the process.
As part of the preparations to turn the Bonneville Special into a rampaging rocket, the boys of Advanced Product Engineering, led by Richard Holdener and Tom Habrzyk, put in hours of laborious work to power the Kizashi with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. They also put in the time to add a Turbonetics turbocharger, a new intake manifold, forged pistons and rods, an intercooler, and revised headers. The result of all that work is a record-breaking car that produces over 500 horsepower and 420 lb/ft of torque. These numbers were impressive enough to allow the Kizashi to stake claim to the land speed record of the BGC category.
When people think of racing, they typical don’t think of Suzuki. And if they do, it’s probably not the Kizashi that is on their mind, but a suped up race bike. Well, Suzuki wants to change all of that with their new special edition Kizashi that will compete in the Blown Gas Coupe category at Bonneville on August 14. The special edition Bonneville Kizashi gets a rigid structure, composed platform, suspension tuned on the famed Nurburgring, and available all-wheel drive system.
The car is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine that delivers 500 wheel hp at 7000 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. It also gets a new intake manifold, a tuned ’long tube’ header, forged rods and pistons, a Turbonetics turbocharger, a new 3.5-inch exhaust, and full synthetic 5W-20 racing oil from Lucas Oil. It’s main target will be to hit a top speed of 200 mph.
The Kizashi platform has been upgraded with the use of new coilovers, steel wheels seam welded, and speed-specific 15x7-inch Goodyear Front Runner rubber. An air dam has been added to reduce the air flow under the car and window straps and hood pins keep the hood and glass attached to the car. If the Suzuki Kizashi gets out of hand, there is always the parachute to bring it to an immediate stop.
UPDATE 08/19/2010: The Bonneville Special just clocked an average run of 203.720 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats, breaking the previous record of 202.301 mph in the Blown Gas Coupe category in the process!
We’re guessing this isn’t the kind of start Suzuki was expecting with their new Kizashi sedan. Barely a year after the car was launched; it’s already facing its first recall issues. Not good. Not good, at all.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 5,701 Kizashi sedans – those that were manufactured from October 13, 2009 through May 31, 2010 - are poised to be recalled over issues with the center-lower glove box on the dashboard, which as it turns out, may open in the event of a crash possibly causing a potentially serious injury if it hits any of the front passengers.
The Kizashi recall is expected to begin sometime in the middle of July at which time Suzuki will be replacing the part in question at no cost to the car owners. In the event that you have a Kizashi sitting in your garage all nice and new, you might want to err on the side of caution and give Suzuki a call at 1-714-996-7040.
A few weeks ago we took a trip to a local bar to watch our hometown baseball team, the Cleveland Indians. Normally we would just go to the game because the tickets are pretty cheap, but even $5 is a bit much to watch a team that really stinks.
Going into the game it was hard to get excited because we have won very few games and are in last place in the division, so needless to say, we weren’t expecting a whole lot. Amazingly though, the team did pretty well and even won the game.
It wasn’t easy for them, but it was determination that brought them a well deserved win. The same can be said for Suzuki. It’s been quite some time since they have been anything to write home about, but after years of hard work and staying under the radar, they finally have a winner on their hands.
The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi was one of those cars where you never quite knew what to expect. Sure, people have written that it was good and a step in the right direction for the company, but, like buying a generic brand cereal, you never want to believe the hype no matter what they tell you or how good it might be.
The Suzuki Kizashi is a fantastic car from a company known for motorcycles rather than automobiles. It proved that the alternative Japanese automaker could produce cars just as good as its rivals; Honda and Toyota. Now, Suzuki wants to take the momentum earned with the Kizashi and create a sports sedan to rival the Honda Civic Si and the TRD division of Toyota.
Called the Kizashi Turbo, this new variant, built on the base sedan, has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a new catback exhaust system, and an upgraded suspension producing 290 horsepower. It also provides enough room in the back for two and plenty of luggage space for a road trip. All in all, the new Kizashi is a big stepping-stone for Suzuki.
After Suzuki unveiled the Sport version at the New York Auto Show, the company announced they will also prepare an even more powerful version. The production version of the Kizashi Turbo debuted on Speed Channel’s Test Drive program on April 30th, 2010. The Suzuki will deliver a total of 290 HP and will be connected to the track pavement via 19-inch Dunlops.
The boost in speed is achieved by a 16G turbocharger and Road Race’s high flow intercooler. Road Race continues its quest for cool by adding custom fuel management, Road Race’s Sleeper blow-off valve, a velocity air intake and an extreme spray injector.
The car will also feature sport springs working in combination with Kizashi’s ultra-rigid unibody and all-independent suspension. High-speed stability is enhanced with the addition of a rear-mounted spoiler supplied by Delta Tech Engineering. Whether you are Road Race founder Rob Tallini, Tommy Kendall, or the average Suzuki enthusiast, the Suzuki Concept Kizashi Turbo will quench the thirst for speed.