Drive Type: 4x4
Newburgh, Indiana, United States
Despite having one heck of a lackluster presence here in the United States, Suzuki still manages to do well in other markets. That in mind, the automaker continually releases new products and concept cars at international auto shows that aren't destined for U.S. consumption, but this might not be one of those times.
The aging SX4 crossover is in need of replacement, and if Suzuki is still committed to selling passenger cars in the States, something fresh like this S-Cross concept could be just the ticket. Suzuki has, after all, confirmed that the S-Cross will eventually make its way into production.
We have no other details to divulge about the S-Cross, except that it's a small crossover concept and that it will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in September. Suzuki says that the S-Cross has a "Emotion x Quality x Aerodynamics" design theme that uses "distinctive dynamic lines that start on the front bumper, sweep across the doors, and continue to the rear of the body." No offense, Suzuki, but we've heard that before.
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.
By now, you're surely aware that Suzuki is pulling out of the US market. It was a bit of a foregone conclusion to most who've been paying attention to the automotive realm, but it still sent a small shockwave through the industry. And one of the most oft-heard retorts goes something like this: "Next up: Mitsubishi."
It's easy to understand why many question Mitsubishi's existence in the States. After all, now that Suzuki is gone, Mitsubishi is the Japanese automaker with the fewest sales in America. Furthermore, the automaker's market share has dropped from .7 percent to just .4 percent after seeing sales fall 29 percent to 50,103 units through October.
In any case, Mitsubishi fans needn't worry. Speaking to Automotive News, Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said, "We have no intention whatsoever of withdrawing from the US market." That's about as clear as clear can get. It's also worth mentioning that Gayu Uesugi was just named chairman of Mitsubishi Motors North America, and his main responsibility will be to revitalize the brand in the US.