Friday, June 6, 2014

Updates on The New B-Segment SUV

New B-Segment SUV, codenamed YAD, to be unveiled in this year's Paris Motor Show, has been spotted testing. Mass production in Hungary's Magyar Suzuki plant and China's Changan Suzuki plant to commence in early 2015.


Compact SUVs and 4x4s has been part of Suzuki's heritage. Suzuki has been making and selling small SUVs since the year 1970, and their 4x4 products, such as the Jimny, Vitara, and Grand Vitara, all have reputations for being some of the toughest 4x4s. The Jimny is well known for its excellent offroad capability despite being smaller than many other 4x4s. The Vitara was one of the pioneers in the SUV category, combining the ruggedness of utility vehicles and the comfort of passenger cars. In fact, in the time the Vitara was first launched, the term SUV was not yet known.

But in the past few years, Suzuki's presence in the rapidly growing SUV segment has been gradually decreasing, mainly due to the lack of new products. Suzuki has taken a very traditional approach in facing the Global Financial Crisis by not launching any new products, including in the SUV segment. Their only products in this segment are the Jimny, which has not undergone any major change since 1999, and the second generation Grand Vitara, which was first introduced way back in 2005. As a result, Suzuki's SUVs has been overshadowed by newer, more modern, more relevant products from other manufacturers.

Fortunately, that is about to change. Suzuki has said that they are ready to introduce a host of new products within the next few years, and SUVs will be one of their key segments. The first new SUV to be introduced is a new B-segment SUV codenamed 'YAD', which was previewed in last year's Frankfurt Motor Show by the iV4 Concept.

The iV4 Concept

The iV4 Concept at Frankfurt Motor Show 2013
In last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, Suzuki unveiled a compact SUV concept, called the iV4 ("individuality", "Vehicle", "4-wheel drive"). The concept car features distinctive design elements taken from previous Suzuki 4x4 models, such as the five segment vertical front grille seen in the Jimny, the clam-shell hood seen in the Samurai, Vitara, and the current Grand Vitara, and the blister fenders seen in the first-generation Vitara and Grand Vitara. These 'heritage' elements are then in a modern and contemporary form.

Another major design feature is the high level of customization options, including different combinations of body and roof colors and patterns.

These design features will be carried over in the production version of the iV4 concept when it goes on sale in 2015.

Spy Shots

Since the beginning of this year, various automotive media and forums have been reporting spy shots of the production version of the iV4. It has also been revealed that the production car is being developed under the codename 'YAD'.
Various spy shots of the 'YAD' SUV
The YAD will be built on a shortened version of the SX4 S-Cross platform, and powered by a version of the 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines that currently powers the S-Cross. The YAD is also expected to have ample amount of off-road capability, and will feature Suzuki's new AllGrip four wheel drive technology.

Possible Revival of The "Vitara" Name

When launched, the YAD will be positioned at a price range between the current Jimny and Grand Vitara. This leads to a speculation that the new SUV will be named "Vitara". However, when asked about this, a Suzuki official said that he will not be drawn on the speculation, stating that he was "unaware of any official name for the new B segment SUV as yet".

Paris Motor Show Unveil and Mass Production

It has been revealed that trial production of the YAD in Suzuki's Hungary plant will begin in summer 2014 before the official unveil in Paris Motor Show, while mass production in the plant will commence in early 2015.

The YAD will be a global product, which will not only be sold in Europe, but in other markets as well. In April's Beijing Motor Show, Suzuki announced that they will start production and sales of the new SUV in 2015 through the Changan Suzuki joint-venture. Suzuki Australia head Tony Devers has confirmed that the production version of the iV4 concept will be one of the very important products which they will launch in the Australian market in 2015.

The final production version of the iV4 concept will be unveiled at this year's Paris Motor Show. We will keep posting updates on this particular product, as it will mark Suzuki's attempt to regain it's share in the SUV segment.


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