Drive Type: 4 wheel drive
Trim: 2 door
Waterford Works, New Jersey, United States
Motorcycle land-speed record holder Bill Warner died yesterday after crashing during an attempt at setting another record. The 44-year-old was clocked at 285 miles per hour on the runway of a former air base in northern Maine, before he lost control of his modified Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle and veered off the runway.
It is not known what speed he was traveling when things started to go wrong and unclear what caused the crash, which happened shortly before 10:00 AM. Warner's crew suspect there were mechanical difficulties on his last run, in addition to a slight breeze, according to the video news report. Warner was conscious and able to speak after the crash but died an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou. The event and runway were closed for the rest of the day as police investigated the incident.
Warner was participating in "The Maine Event" at Loring Air Force Base in an attempt to reach 300 mph in one mile. Warner's best land-speed record, set in 2011, was 311.945 mph in 1.5 miles on the same runway, according to the Loring Timing Association, a record that still stands today for open-cockpit motorcycles. After that run, Warner said the scariest part was stopping the bike before the end of the runway. Be sure to check out the video news report after the jump.
Despite the fact that the coffin has been sealed on Suzuki's US automotive arm, the brand is carrying on elsewhere in the world. The first new product to spearhead the Japanese automaker's product offerings in Europe is this SX4 crossover, making its official debut here at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. You may remember the little SX4 as the cheapest all-wheel-drive car on sale in the US, packing cute styling and efficient, affordable packaging. And it doesn't appear that the formula has changed too much for this new generation, despite what we think are less attractive new duds derived from Suzuki's 2012 S Cross Concept.
The new SX4 is powered by a choice of two 1.6-liter engines - one diesel, one petrol - the former mated to a six-speed manual transmission while the latter uses a CVT with a "seven-speed manual mode" operated by steering wheel-mounted paddles. All-wheel drive remains intact on the SX4, now with four driver-selectable modes and the Allgrip name.
Suzuki is touting the SX4 as having the world's first double sliding glass sunroof, offering "the largest opening areas" in the segment. Overall, the updated interior looks nicely designed and quite functional, though not exactly a shining beacon of refinement.
Thanks to a sketch of the Suzuki S-Cross concept, we can already see the styling direction that the next-generation SX4 will take, and Suzuki is still hard at work on the production version of the car as evidenced by this latest batch of spy shots. These photos look almost identical to those captured back in July, but we see a little more detail at the rear of the car and get a better idea of the next SX4's proportions.
With the baggy camouflage lifted up at the rear of this prototype, we can see that the SX4 replacement has a very Mazda-chic look to it with downward-angled taillights that stretch into the liftgate. Aside from this, the big news is that we're finally getting a sense of the new SX4's size. Suzuki's press release attached to the Paris-bound S-Cross sketch said that the SX4 replacement would be growing to the compact segment rather than being a subcompact like the current car. Recent reports indicate that the next version of this car will be sized closer to the Grand Vitara, and in these pictures, you can definitely see how much the car has grown.
Still unknown is when we can expect to see the production version of the new SX4, or what will be inside it (available turbo power?), but hopefully Suzuki will not delay things like it did with the Kizashi and its numerous concepts.