SUZUKI held tarmac tests for the SX4 WRC early June in southern Europe. The European tests already started in April, but this was the full-fledged start of the tarmac tests.
The SX4 WRC brought in for testing was further evolved from the earlier prototype design; in fact, its specifications are already close to what is planned to be fielded in this season’s WRC test entry.
Through five days of driving tests, the team confirmed the performance and reliability of the improved machine; then in the course of the next five days worked on refining the basic settings of each component to find further performance upgrades.
The course selected for the latest round of testing had a technical layout with big ups and downs and successive tight corners, but the SX4 WRC demonstrated stable performance without encountering any significant troubles, both through low-to-mid-speed corners and on high-speed runs.
Nobuhiro Tajima, President of SUZUKI SPORT said “The machine is shaping up to an extent that I think it’s competitive, to quite a degree. But our rivals’ machines are also evolving to be faster and stronger, so we need to make sure we find even more speed and performance for our car.
That’s why we’ve decided to move up our schedule and try and see if we could incorporate into our test-entry 2007 model the specs originally intended for the 2008-entry model. We really need to go to such distance to have a fighting chance in the WRC.
We’ve taken the time in Japan and Europe for thoroughgoing improvement and testing, and now our improved machine is showing very good performance in the tarmac tests. Corsica is just a few months away, and we’ll be working to steadily improve and bring our machine to top shape so we can hope to show some fast rally driving.”