Suzuki has revealed the new Across as a hybridised family SUV based on the Toyota RAV4, following a recent agreement between the two manufacturers to collaborate on selected models.
It’s the first car to emerge from the strategic alliance and gives an indication of how the two firms will seek to differentiate their own versions of shared models. The Across bears a strong resemblance to the RAV4 but is set apart by an all-new front end that features Suzuki’s large trademark grille.
The differences between the two cars’ cabins are more subtle, with the Across having a largely identical-looking interior save for a new steering wheel. The RAV4’s 9.0-inch touchscreen display features as standard and offers smartphone mirroring functionality.
The SUV’s electrified powertrain is carried over wholesale from the new RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid and comprises a 173bhp 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder mated to a pair of electric motors – one with 180bhp on the front axle and another with 54bhp at the rear – for a top speed of 112mph / 180kph.
Combined power output is unconfirmed, but in the RAV4, this system produces 302bhp, making it the most powerful RAV4 yet, and Toyota’s quickest alternatively fuelled model. The Across emits 22g/km of CO2 on the WLTP combined cycle, compared with the RAV4 PHEV’s 29g/km, so it’s likely to use a detuned variant of the powertrain.
Four driving modes feature: EV mode for pure-electric driving; Auto EV/HV and HV mode, which allows the petrol motor to provide occasional power boosts; and battery charger mode, which uses the petrol motor exclusively.
The SUV’s 18.1kWh battery allows it to travel 46 miles on electric power alone and it’s expected to be able to reach speeds of up to 84mph in this mode, like the RAV4.
An electronic four-wheel drive system, called E-Four, is as standard and can split torque between the two axles in ratios ranging in bias from 100:0 to 20:80. Suzuki says this provides “enhanced stability during take-off on slippery surfaces such as snow-covered roads, and confident handling when cornering on varying road surfaces”.
The Across is also equipped with a Trail mode function that maximises grip on slippery surfaces by diverting power away from wheels that are losing grip towards wheels that have good traction.
Safety features include a pre-collision system, lane-keep assist, road sign assist, dynamic cruise control and blindspot monitoring. Suzuki’s eCall system is fitted as well, automatically alerting the emergency services in the event of an accident.
Additional features detailed so far include standard-fitment LED headlights and daytime-running lights and 19in two-tone alloy wheels. When the Across goes on sale in the UK and Europe later this year, it will be available in six colours: white, silver, black, red, grey and blue. Prices are yet to be confirmed for either model.
As well as the Across, Suzuki will soon sell its own version of Toyota’s Corolla hatchback, which will be built alongside the existing car at the company’s UK factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire. Announcing the partnership last year, the two firms said it will combine “Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles”.
Collaboration in India too
In India, the Toyota and Suzuki partnership has already seen the launch of the Toyota Glanza, the rebadged Maruti Baleno. The alliance will also see Maruti Suzuki supplying the Vitara Brezza (tweaked and sold as the Toyota Urban Cruiser), the Ciaz and the Ertiga to Toyota. The two Japanese carmakers will also make a big push for hybrid electric vehicles in the country with Toyota supplying its hybrid systems to Suzuki. Additionally, they will cooperate to develop a new Toyota C-segment MPV that will be supplied to Suzuki as well.
Cognisant of the fact that the global automobile sector is currently experiencing a turning point unprecedented in both scope and scale, not only because of enhanced environmental regulations, but also from new entries from distinct industries and diversified mobility businesses, the two Japanese automakers intend to achieve sustainable growth, by overcoming new challenges surrounding the automobile sector by building and deepening cooperative relationships in new fields while continuing to be competitors, in addition to strengthening the technologies and products in which each company specializes and their existing business foundations.