Suzuki Motor Corporation has officially released images of its new Jimny ahead of a formal unveil in Japan later in the year. Spied testing multiple times and with a number of leaked images, details regarding the Jimny have been floating around for a while now.
The new images confirm what had been revealed in the leaks, including the more rugged yet still retro exterior styling and the more upmarket interiors, which seem to have been borrowed from the Swift hatchback.
The fourth-generation model 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.
Till march 2018, the Jimny over three generations has sold over 3.85 million units across 194 countries.
Road handling will still be improved, but a Suzuki spokesman explained that the car's unique selling point was its hardy nature, so this will remain the focus during development. An image of the car's ladder chassis shows this, and it's also confirmed that three-link rigid axle suspension will be fitted, and part time four-wheel drive, with low range transfer gear is also used.
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.
Although the Jimny’s cabin 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. Its scale is not expected to drastically change from the outgoing car.
The brand has remained tight-lipped as to what will power the future SUV, but sources expect Suzuki’s turbocharged 1.0-litre three-pot Boosterjet engine to be offered, with the brand’s naturally aspirated 1.2-litre a potential entry-point engine. No diesel engine is expected as the brand recently confirmed it has 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 the temptation to build a more mainstream model should ensure that sales remain comparatively small (versus other compact SUVs).
Is it India-bound?
Suzuki has yet to make an official statement regarding the Jimny’s India entry. Could this be the small, affordable 4x4 India has been waiting for? If it does arrive, it will be a viable replacement for the Gypsy, which has been on sale in the country since 1985.