Suzuki Australia’s plan to turbocharge the Kizashi have stalled, but the Queensland importers are producing their own special edition.
Suzuki Auto Co, which imports Suzuki just for the Queensland market, has produced a “Karbon Kizashi” concept which is a cosmetically enhanced model with no performance modifications. Two years ago, Suzuki Australia displayed a turbo version at the Australian International Motor Show, but so far has been unsuccessful in prompting the manufacturer to proceed with the project.
Queensland importing boss Adam Le Fevre says he can’t comment on the turbo model. “We’re more interested in personalised enhancements rather than performance modifications,” he says. “We don’t believe that turbocharging of any model in the range is applicable in this market.
“What you are doing is limiting the availability of the people that can drive it because of licensing restrictions for P platers who are a big part of our buyer group demographic. We don’t want to muck around with performance and homologation issues.”
Instead, Suzuki Auto Co has contracted a Victorian company to produce carbon-fibre-styled decals to break up the monotony of the body panels. The Karbon Kizashi has appliques covering the roof, around the driving lights, wing mirrors, lower door garnishes, twin exhaust flutes and rear boot lip spoiler.
It also gets black chrome Advanti 19-inch wheels, up from the standard 18-inch wheels from the all-wheel-drive Sport model. ”It’s a local enhancement of the model in response to feedback from customers and dealers,” he says. ”We’ve listened to comments and looked at what some European models are doing as it has Euro styling cues.”
The final mix of cosmetic updates has yet to be decided, but a display model is doing the rounds of Queensland dealers. Le Fevre says they have not yet decided on a price, but it will attract a premium.
The special edition run will be limited to about 40 and the final package will be available sometime next month. Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis says they are also “playing with a couple of things” and talking to suppliers to produce limited-edition models. He says the first special edition will be a Swift.
Suzuki Auto Co is also considering a special edition of the Swift. The company developed a Swift Super Sport to display during the recent Australian International Rally round in Queensland. The car is designed to look like the rally car that won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2007 and 2010.
“Swift lends itself to personalisation by customers and is one of the most customised cars on the market,” Le Fevre says. ”It has decals, tinted glass and a modified exhaust for more breathing capacity, but at the moment it is just a display model to highlight to customers the potential of what they can do.
“It shows that owners are only limited by their imaginations. ”If we get interest we will do a limited run of these too. About 15 minimum and no more than 40 to keep it exclusive.”
Its livery is inspired by the Junior World Rally Championship winning Swift hatches driven by Per-Gunnar Andersson and Aaron Burkhart. However, while the original was a three-door car not marketed in Australia, this is a four-door version.
Both vehicles are touring Queensland dealerships and the importer is inviting comment from the public and dealership staff. ”We’ll take their responses back to the drawing board with the intention of being able to offer a keenly priced graphics package that will be available at retail level,” he says.