The Vitara, one of Suzuki’s most iconic vehicles, was launched in 1988 as a compact SUV . Dubbed Escudo in Japan and Sidekick in the United States, the small crossover came to North America for the 1989 model year. The Vitara name, mostly used in Europe and some South American and Asian market, was introduced in the United States starting 1999. That’s when the second-gen Vitara was born as a slightly larger, pricier and more powerful version of the first-gen model. A replacement was developed for 2005, but the current Grand Vitara has very little in common with the original concept. For 2015, however, the Vitara nameplate is making a surprising return to its roots, as it’s pinned as a compact SUV destined to compete against the Nissan Juke .
Set to break cover at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, the brand-new Vitara promises to have "a striking road presence," a "distinctive design," and numerous personalization options, the latter a feat Suzuki rarely offers. So is the Vitara signaling the Japanese are reinventing themselves? It’s a bit too early to draw a conclusion, but the compact SUV is definitely a new approach for a company such as Suzuki.
Click past the jump to read more about the Suzuki Vitara
Suzuki has only released one photo of the redesigned Vitara as of August 2014, but it’s more than enough to notice the company’s new approach for the nameplate. The crossover’s design comes straight from the IV-4 concept, and, unlike many other concept-to-production transitions, the Vitara inherited several styling cues. The overall shape, the muscular character line below the waistline, the hood, most of the front fascia and the black roof. Although different by design, the headlamps, the grille and the wheels are also related to the IV-4 concept .
What’s more, Suzuki promises customers will have the option of personalizing the vehicle with various color and trim choices. Sounds like the Japanese are getting ready to launch their own Mini Cooper for the crossover segment.
Suzuki has yet to release any info on engines, but we expect to see a Vitara powered by a range of fuel-efficient, eco-friendly gasoline and diesel engines. The front-wheel-drive crossover will also benefit from the company’s available Allgrip four-wheel-drive system.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing and availability info is not yet available as of August 2014, but Suzuki says the new Vitara will go on sale in the United Kingdom in spring 2015. Unfortunately, the Vitara will not make it to the United States.
The Nissan Juke is Vitara’s main competitor in Europe. An already established player on the crossover market, the Juke just got its mid-cycle refresh for the 2015 model year. The updated includes revised headlamps, boomerang-style taillights, and reshaped bumpers, among other features. Interior updates are less noticeable, but the Juke is now able to fold its rear seats completely flat, allowing for more cargo space. This adds to the Juke’s already enhanced cargo capacity due to its redesigned cargo area.
The turbocharged, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine carries over unchanged in the U.S.-spec Juke. The mill generates the same 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, while emitting less CO2 compared to model it replaces. In Europe, the crossover can also be had with a 1.5-liter, four-banger diesel sourced from Renault, Nissan’s longtime partner.
Gallery Nissan Juke
The HR-V is a brand-new vehicle for the U.S. market and it’s set to hit dealerships in 2015. The crossover rides on the same platform underpinning the Fit subcompact and it’s been on sale in Japan as the Honda Vezel since December 2013. Although it borrows some of its styling cues from the larger CR-V, the HR-V is an all-new proposition as far as design goes, boasting original body lines and a genuine rear end.
The HR-V promises to be quite spacious and practical, mostly thanks to its Magic Seat system which allows for multiple seating configurations and a second row that can be folded flat. Power should be provided by the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine motivating the Fit.
Gallery Honda HR-V
At the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Suzuki Motor Corporation will hold the global premiere of its all-new small and stylish SUV model.
The new five door car is named Vitara and it marks the return of the famous badge first used by Suzuki more than 25 years ago, also on a small SUV.
The Vitara is the production model based on the iV-4 concept; which was first exhibited at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013.
On sale in the UK next spring, the all-new Vitara will be available with optional ALLGRIP intelligent four wheel drive with petrol and diesel engines that offer low CO2 emissions as well as outstanding fuel economy in the sector.
Vitara will have a striking road presence with distinctive design. Customers will have the option of personalising the car with various colour and trim customisation options. Further details of these, as well as final specifications will be available closer to public launch.
Further information will be disclosed at the Suzuki press conference, scheduled on: -
Thursday 2nd October 2014 at 2:00pm At Stand 511, in hall 1.0.
A special microsite about the all-new Vitara is available on: http://www.globalsuzuki.com/paris2014/
YouTube Global Suzuki channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/GlobalSuzukiChannel