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Two new Suzuki Kizashi Concepts - one frugal, one powerful


April 21, 2011

Two new Suzuki Kizashi Concepts - one frugal, one powerful

Two new Suzuki Kizashi Concepts - one frugal, one powerful

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Suzuki is having a bet each way in the performance vs fuel efficiency stakes with the unveiling of two new additions to its long-running line of Kizashi concepts at the New York International Auto Show. While the Kizashi EcoCharge hybrid concept combines a 2.0-liter petrol engine,15kW motor and a 115-volt air-cooled lithium-ion battery to optimize fuel efficiency, it's show floor stablemate the Kizashi Apex Concept is geared toward performance.

Kizashi EcoCharge Concept

The EcoCharge Concept's hybrid system is made up of a 2.0-liter, four cylinder petrol engine, a liquid-cooled 15kW motor and a 115-volt air-cooled lithium-ion battery. Throw in regenerative braking, engine stop-start system, fuel cut-off during deceleration, a six-speed automatic transmission, lightweight alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tires and Suzuki says the Concept will better the petrol only production version by 25 percent in terms of fuel economy.

"The basis for the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept was to attain substantial gains in fuel economy without the traditional sacrifices in drivability. While delivering a substantial fuel-economy gain, the electric charge to the powertrain system has still retained the dynamic handling advantages that make the Kizashi a standout category performer," said Steve Youman, director of automotive marketing and product planning for American Suzuki Motor Corporation.

Kizashi Apex Concept

On the other end of the scale, the Kizashi Apex Concept meanwhile is aimed squarely at performance. Splicing some of its DNA from the company's GSX-R Superbike, the Apex Concept packs a Garrett turbocharger, six-speed manual transmission and electronic boost control to achieve a claimed peak output into the 210-220 kW range (just under 300 horses) with maximum boost of 8.5 psi.

The air-to-liquid intercooler design has also been scaled down to reduce turbo lag and improve throttle response.

On the outside the Apex gets a makeover based on the Suzuki's motorcycle racing colors, LED-based fog lights and 19 inch alloy wheels while the interior gets the black leather treatment.


\" Suzuki says the Concept will better the petrol only production version by 25 percent in terms of fuel economy.\"

I do not believe that this car will prove popular since it has only a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency over the petrol only version. A hybrid is expensive to build. There is an insufficient amount of data presented to make a clear analysis. The mpg and other ratings such as Cd and the weight of the car should be provided. It is a good looking car but looks as if it might stand some aerodynamic improvement such as slight (12-15%) taper from front to back on the sides.

Since lowering of power requirements could be attained by reducing the Cd, one might consider car aerodynamics as a secondary power adjunct. In other words, a car with a small ICE and excellent aerodynamics might be considered as a hybrid since its low Cd permits it a high mpg. The same could be said of one with an electric motor and a very low Cd. A hybrid does not necessarily have to have two different drive systems but two different ways to help it move efficiently and aerodynamics should be considered one of them.

Adrian Akau

I agree with Adrian. Emphasis on low Cd and ultra low weight should be the first design goals if economy is desired. That said, a 25% improvement with a hybrid is pathetic. They should be embarrassed. The extra cost could not be paid back in a decade. Unfortunately, this seems to be the standard offering. I want an EV, but I\'ll wait until they get serious.

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