The biggest international auto show of the 2011 calendar year is getting closer and closer to opening its doors when the event kicks off on March 1st, 2011. Unlike recently concluded auto shows we’ve had since the calendar turned to 2011, the Geneva Motor Show is always the one that gets our juices flowing. Not that those other events weren’t any good, but Geneva brings out all the goods. All the big boys come out to play at this event, so much so that making this preview took more days than we expected because everyday, a new model was being announced as attending the event.
Now that the Geneva Motor Show is less than two weeks away, we feel like it’s time to give you a sneak peek on what cars to expect at the event. A lot of brands that routinely skip other auto shows will all be in attendance at the Geneva Motor Show, proving that without a shadow of a doubt, this Swiss spectacle is one of the most important - if not the most important - events in the automotive calendar.
Hit the jump to check out just who will be in attendance when the show opens its doors on March 1st, 2011.
Suzuki is getting a head start on the Beijing Auto Show by announcing a brand new concept car called the Swift R that is said to preview the future Swift Sport. The Beijing show is a long way off - taking place in April 2011 - but Suzuki wanted to start talks about the future sports version of their smallest model early to keep everyone’s interest piqued from now until the show. A lot is riding on this model because Suzuki wants to attain the same kind of success they experienced with the old Swift R.
The style of the concept is inspired by the Suzuki supersport motorcycles, especially the GSX-R 1000. It features a front bumper with enlarged air intakes, rear spoiler, and wheel arches increased significantly in order to change the character of the Swift.
No words yet on what type of engine under the hood, but we presume there will be a 1.4 liter TSI engine that will deliver either 150 hp or 180 hp. It will most likely be combined with a 7-speed DSG transmission.
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.
Suzuki UK has unveiled a special edition SX4 SZ-L especially for the UK market. This small crossover features a styling package that gives the exterior and the interior of the Suzuki a little extra. It will be offered in two colors - Silky Silver Pearl and Cosmic Black - and will be priced at £13,145. The new edition will go on sale this week, ready for the ‘60’ registration plate.
The SX4 SZ-L version will be distinguished by unique Gunmetal colored roof rails, a new front grille, alloy wheels, and front and rear skid plates. For the interior, the SX4 will receive a new style Alcantara trim in light gray plus a three spoke leather steering wheel with Gunmetal stitch detailing and six disc in-dash CD changer.
The SX4 SZ-L special edition will only be offered in two wheel drive format with 120PS 1.6-liter petrol engine and manual transmission. With a sprint from 0 to 60 mph made in 10.7 seconds, the SZ-L version will have a fuel consumption of 45.6mpg with emissions of 143g/km.
A few weeks ago, GPS manufacturer Garmin issued a recall on its Nuvi portable navigation systems after it was discovered that the batteries in these units have the potential to overheat and could, in a worst-case scenario, result in the system catching fire.
It also just so happened that Suzuki has three vehicles in its line-up that use the aforementioned Garmin GPS – the SX4, the Grand Vitara, and the Equator – and as such will also be issuing a recall of the cars to fix the malfunction at the soonest possible time.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 20,000 of these Suzuki vehicles ranging from the 2008-2010 SX4, the 2010 Grand Vitara, and the 2009-2010 Equator, will be recalled beginning this month with Garmin technicians on hand to replace the malfunctioning batteries “by replacing the battery and inserting a space on top od the battery” at no cost to the customers.
So, if you own any one of these models, you can contact either Garmin (1-866-957-1981) or Suzuki (1-887-697-8985) for further information on the impending recall.
Back in March, Maruti Suzuki reached a very important milestone when they reached their landmark of selling one million cars a year. It took them a few months, but they are ready to celebrate that milestone by releasing the "Swift One Million Edition." The Swift was specifically chosen for this honor due to the fact that the one millionth car was a Swift. The special edition will only be built in a limited number of 1000 units.
The "Swift One Million Edition" will be available in a specially created "Goldsmith Black" color with tons of features that will allow the Swift to stand out that much more. Some of the features include splendid graphics, a special integrated stereo with USB and speakers, luxurious leather seats, cushions, foot-mats, and an artistic decal on the exteriors.
"The interiors of the Swift One Million Edition have aesthetics of a commemorative edition. The new features and the characteristic body graphics together compliment the sporty character of the Swift. We are confident that this special edition will bring pride to the select owners who get to possess it."
"It is indeed a moment of pride for us. Swift One Million Edition is our gesture to show gratitude to our customers who have strongly supported us in our journey to reach milestone of one million sales in one year."
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!
Suzuki UK has announced the addition of a new SZ grade for the SX4 crossover. This will provide British customers with a choice of three ‘SZ’ grades and two engine options – one diesel and one petrol.
The Suzuki SX4 SZ5 is powered by a 2.0-liter DDiS engine that offers high power and a strong torque of 320Nm at just 1,500rpm. The 2.0-liter DDiS incorporates a water cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system which is deactivated during warm up to help reduce emissions and a closed coupled diesel particulate filter (DPF) which enables more effective emission purification.
The new SX4 is also offered with a new i-AWD switchable three-mode all-wheel drive system that allows the driver to select 4WD-Auto, 4WD-Lock, and 2WD modes to suit driving conditions, giving excellent traction on low grip surfaces.
There are certain vehicles that just sell well. Take the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry for instance. No matter what happens or how good the competition is, these two will sell well for their companies. We’re not saying that there is anything wrong with these two models, except for the Camry, which is dull as a dishwasher, but a buyer needs to look at what else is on the table. The first choice might not be the best choice.
In many cases, the cars that are often ignored are the better buys. These are the dark horses of the automotive world. These are cars that fly under the radar of the American public.
Below are our ten best cars that aren’t quite known to the general public. Sure, us car people know about them, but your average consumer might be unaware. This list is not a top ten; so don’t think that one is better than ten, because it might not be.
There are a few models on the list that won’t be under the radar for long, but as of now, we still consider them dark horse models.