2010 Suzuki Bonneville Kizashi
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!
Press release after the jump.
Since its introduction to the press in July of 2009, Suzuki’s Kizashi has been recognized as a midsize sedan with a difference – or two. Boasting a rigid structure, composed platform, suspension tuned on the famed Nurburgring and available all-wheel drive, the Kizashi has enjoyed accolades from both media and consumers; most notably, the Kizashi ranked first in AutoPacific’s 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction survey. And with 185 horsepower from its 2.4 liter DOHC four, the 2010 Kizashi boasts class-leading power in the four-cylinder segment.
Fast forward to August 2010, and Suzuki moves the Kizashi into a category typically reserved for Bonneville streamliners. With extensive modifications supplied by Richard Holdener and Tom Habrzyk of Advanced Product Engineering and with Road & Track’s Sam Mitani behind the wheel, American Suzuki’s first-ever automotive assault on the salt begins on August 14 in Wendover, Utah. There, the Bonneville Kizashi – competing in the Blown Gas Coupe category – will rocket its way toward the 200 mph benchmark and, if successful, into Suzuki’s already remarkable motorsport history.
The Bonneville Kizashi began with a pre-production Kizashi prototype. In May 2010, construction of the Bonneville racer began with interior disassembly, underscoring Kizashi’s initial design premise. "Premium without the premium" is, suddenly, completely without the premium, reflecting a bare metal working environment intended for but one mission. Its upscale appointments removed, the Holdener/Habrzyk team installed the SCTA-approved roll cage, an aluminum bulkhead in the rear, racing seat, seat harnesses and window net.
With the cockpit modifications made, it was time to take a look under the hood and build on, with this Kizashi, the performance tradition rooted in Suzuki’s first win on Mt. Fuji some 55 years ago. The spare motor was disassembled to confirm the stock measurements, while the cylinder head was flowed and ported. The Bonneville Kizashi benefits from a new intake manifold, a tuned ’long tube’ header and – for high rpm durability – forged rods and pistons. With up to 20 pounds of boost from the Turbonetics turbocharger, the Kizashi’s increased horsepower required air-to-water intercooling (and Snow water/methanol injection) – while its output demands a new ACT Clutch and Pressure Plate. A scattershield is added, the oil pan is welded for a new drain fitting and a new 3.5-inch exhaust is fabricated aft of the turbocharger. Additional protection for the high-boost, high-rpm turbo motor is provided by full synthetic 5W-20 racing oil from Lucas Oil.
The Kizashi platform – and its Nurburgring heritage – is morphed into a salt-specific recipe with new coilovers, steel wheels seam welded, and speed-specific 15x7-inch Goodyear Front Runner® rubber. An air dam keeps the Kizashi’s nose planted, window straps and hood pins ensure the hood and glass stay in place, and a parachute can bring the high speed show to an emergency stop. Finally, a dual fire system provides the extra assurance so important for Mitani, with some 900 boosted horses but only a few feet in front of his now high-speed capsule.
With the build completed at the end of July, the first week of August provides a narrow window for the chassis dyno tune and over-the-road (closed course, professional driver) testing. Then it’s on to Bonneville and the week of speed, beginning Saturday, August 14 and ending on Friday, August 20. If the week goes as planned, and the Kizashi performs as designed, the SCTA will have two new members among its 200 mph ranks: Road & Track’s Sam Mitani and the 2010 Suzuki Bonneville Kizashi.
Suzuki also will launch a dedicated tab on its Facebook page as well as provide details on the Suzuki AllPoints website where race fans can access testing information, vehicle specs, photo albums and more. To learn more about Suzuki’s 2010 Bonneville activities, visit www.facebook.com/suzukiauto or www.suzukiauto.com/allpoints/events/bonneville/.
Technical Specifications – 2010 Bonneville Kizashi
- Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
- Overall Length: 183.1 inches
- Overall Width: 71.7 inches
- Engine: 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine
- Horsepower: 500 wheel hp @ 7000 rpm
- Torque: 420 lb.-ft. @ 5100 rpm
- Transmission, Manual: Six-speed manual transmission
- Brakes: Front ventilated disc brakes/Rear disc brakes