Suzuki S-Cross to hit Australia

Suzuki S-Cross to hit AustraliaThe production version of Suzuki’s S-Cross compact SUV will arrive here.

The S-Cross concept SUV unveiled at the Paris motor show this week is ready for production and is expected here late next year or early 2014, a spokesman for Suzuki Australia says. “Europe will get the car first, then we’ve said we definitely want it,” says company spokesman Andrew Ellis.

The S-Cross will fit between the SX-4 hatch and the Kizashi in size and will be the first time Suzuki has made a C-size platform. This platform has a front-drive layout with the ability to support an all-wheel drive system. It will be first used in the production version of the S-Cross – which will be renamed – then used beneath a future hatchback and a sedan.

Ellis says the smaller Jimny 4WD and larger Grand Vitara wagon would continue in production and not be replaced by the S-Cross. The SUV version will be available in front-drive and AWD and will face up against compact SUVs including the Nissan Dualis, Volkswagen Tiguan,Mitsubishi ASX and Hyundai ix35.

While Europe’s version will be made in Hungary, the Australian-bound model is to be built in Japan. Suzuki in Europe has already announced it will use a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel supplied by Fiat but that is the only drivetrain detail available at the car’s debut in Paris.

Ellis says Australia will get a petrol engine and possibly a diesel, but the origin and capacity of these is not yet known. Suzuki is 9 per cent owned by Volkswagen and has access to a strong list of petrol and diesel engines. However, Suzuki and Volkswagen have a fragmented relationship that is soured further by Fiat’s rumours that it wants to take over Suzuki.

Suzuki supplies to Fiat the SX-4 – also made in Hungary – which is rebadged Sedici. In return, Fiat supplies Suzuki with diesel engines for European cars, including the same 1.6-litre turbo-diesel fitted to the SX-4/Sedici. Suzuki UK sales and marketing director Dale Wyatt, speaking at the Paris show, says the company was “open to a partnership going forward” with production of the S-Cross.