The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi (Kee-Zah-Shee) has been heralded by many to be one of the best things to come from Japan in the past decade. Not just that, it’s directed to compete right with the Audi A4. It’s a bold challenge, but one that Suzuki has proven to be up to.
To go one up from where the current Kizashi stands in the market, Suzuki has decided to offer a new Kizashi Sport on the GTS and SLS models for 2011. And while they haven’t released any performance numbers or pricing, we’ve been assured that this new Sport model will make what’s already damn good be great.
As you can see from the exterior, the Suzuki Kizashi Sport gets the subtle, yet bolder treatment in terms of exterior stylings. The front bumper is much more aggressive and sees the lower fascia get almost a body winglet style of molding, as well as getting some chrome bits to add some extra flash. If you look closely, the front bumper almost resembles that of the Lexus IS-F just enough to be in your face, without having a that drunken breath smell. Going along the side of the Sport, you get a nice chrome accent with lower body moldings and some edgy and quite fantastic wheels. Going around the back you’ll see a color matched lip spoiler. The interior remains untouched.
For sub-$30,000 the Kizashi is a nice alternative to anything from Germany. The only issues are that there’s only a manual with the front-wheel drive models and a CVT automatic with the all-wheel drive variants. That’s a problem if you’re going to go head to head with a 2.0T A4 with Quattro AWD and a manual transmission. Granted, the Suzuki can get better gas mileage and claim a better price for similar performance.
SUZUKI DEBUTS 2011 KIZASHI SPORT
AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
• Suzuki enhances Kizashi lineup with world introduction of ‘Sport’ version.
• 2011 Kizashi Sport adds even more flash and class to content-packed Suzuki sport sedan.
• Competition in sporty hatch segment heats up with 2010 SX4 SportBack.
• Suzuki’s New York International Auto Show exhibit (First Floor 311).
NEW YORK (March 30, 2010) – American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) arrives in Manhattan – a city known for and populated by its many imports – for the global introduction of its 2011 Kizashi Sport at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Offered exclusively on Kizashi GTS and SLS trim levels, Suzuki’s new ‘Sport’ variant of its sleek and sophisticated sport sedan is scheduled to go on sale in the United States this August. Pricing for the all-new 2011 Kizashi Sport will be announced closer to the vehicle’s arrival in dealer showrooms.
“We’ve been thrilled with an enthusiastic reaction to the 2010 Kizashi, and we look forward to offering sport sedan buyers the newest iteration of our stylish sport sedan later this year,” said Koichi Suzuki, executive vice president American Suzuki Automotive Operations. “The Kizashi Sport provides us with an opportunity to build on the sport sedan’s short-term accomplishments and further engage driving enthusiasts looking for an affordable alternative to luxury performance vehicles.”
Based on the recently introduced 2010 Kizashi (pronounced “Kee-Zah-Shee”), already acclaimed for its near-luxury content and Euro-tuned platform, the 2011 Kizashi Sport moves the excitement meter upward with a host of external mods. These include a more muscular front fascia (with chrome accents) and lower grille, body side sill extensions, lower body side molding with chrome accents, a trunk mounted spoiler, custom light weight 18-inch alloy wheels and a 10mm lower ride height for a combination of better aerodynamics and a lower center of gravity for enhanced grip and sharper handling.
Inside, the new Kizashi gets a distinctive designed sport steering wheel with perforated leather grip and contrasting stitching on the leather seats, shifter boot and emergency brake boot (when equipped with black leather interior). Interior upgrades speak to the Kizashi’s sporting intent, with form-fitting sport seats and driver-centric cockpit.
The 2010 Kizashi is available in four trim levels, ranging from the well-equipped entry-level Kizashi S priced between $18,999 for FWD and $21,899 for AWD, to the luxuriously appointed SLS model ranging from $24,499 for FWD M/T to $26,899 for AWD Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Prices do not include the $735 destination and handling charge.
2010 SX4 SportBack
In addition, Suzuki will showcase America’s most affordable “Hot Hatch”, the all-new 2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack. Sharing its base configuration with the all-wheel-drive SX4 Crossover, the SX4 SportBack offers an all-new 2.0-liter engine delivering 150 horsepower with its standard six-speed manual transmission. For those with a preference for action with less interaction, a performance-tuned CVT (with paddle shifters) is optional. Suzuki’s new hot hatch also features an aero package, larger rear, fog lamps, spoiler, lower ride package (when compared to the SX4 Crossover) with KYB performance shocks, keyless start, stability control, all-new instrument cluster and a class-exclusive standard navigation system.
2010 Suzuki Auto Product Line
Suzuki Auto’s versatile line of vehicles includes the spirited four-door SX4 Sport, all-wheel-drive five-door SX4 Crossover, refined Grand Vitara compact SUV, award-winning Equator pickup truck and all-new 2010 Kizashi and SX4 SportBack. Every vehicle in the line provides Suzuki’s standout virtues of durability, leading-edge style and high-end features at very competitive prices. All 2010 Suzuki automobiles are backed by America’s #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
The Brea, Calif.-based Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC) was founded in 1963 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corp. (SMC) and currently markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of approximately 350 automotive dealerships and numerous other motorcycle, ATV and marine distributors in 49 states. With global headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, SMC is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle, and outboard motor manufacturer. In 2009, SMC sold more than 2.3 million new cars and trucks and more than 2.8 million motorcycles and ATVs. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has operations in 196 countries and regions. For more information, visit www.media.suzuki.com. Suzuki can also be found on Twitter (@SuzukiAuto), Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SuzukiAuto) and YouTube (www.YouTube.com/SuzukiAutomotive).
[Photos by Shawn Molnar]