The next-gen version of Suzuki’s popular Jimny SUV will be revealed towards end-2018. The current Jimny has now gone out of production to make way for its successor.
Although it’s still several months from reveal (predicted to land at the Tokyo Motor Show in October) the next Jimny has been seen testing several times, showing its new design. The new SUV will not be softened with a more road-biased look. It will actually be made to look significantly more rugged, with a retro design.
The fourth-generation Jimny is being developed with the feedback of existing Jimny owners in mind, who rank its effective off-road capabilities and robustness more highly than on-road performance.
Road handling will still be improved, but a Suzuki spokesman explained to our sister publication, Autocar UK, that the car's unique selling point was its hardy nature, so this will remain the focus during development.
As such, the car's design reflects its 4x4 status, taking influence from earlier-generation Jimnys with a simple, box-shaped body. Much of the design appears similar to that applied to the Mercedes-Benz G-class, such as the squared-off wheel arches and tail-lights located low on the bumper.
Images leaked onto the internet revealed the look of the car's interior late last year. Although it gains modern features such as touchscreen infotainment, the overall design remains clunky - likely due to a priority for function over form to enable users to operate controls and buttons with gloves on.
Suzuki has been testing the car in four countries in order to develop the car's chassis set-up and refinement for launch onto the global market.
The brand has remained tight-lipped as to what will power the future SUV, but sources expect Suzuki’s turbocharged 1.0-litre Boosterjet three-pot to be offered, with the brand’s naturally aspirated 1.2-litre a potential entry-point engine. No diesel engine is expected – the brand just confirmed that it’s pulled all diesel options from its current line-up.
Suzuki swapped the manual low-range gear selector in its latest Vitara for an electric rotary dial, but the new Jimny could stick with the former system to maximise its off-road adjustability.
The brand's decision to ignore temptation to build a more mainstream model should ensure that sales remain comparatively small (versus other compact SUVs). There is no news on an India launch for the upcoming Suzuki Jimny SUV.