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Suzuki chases 2.0-litre Liana

Over there: The SX was revealed in America last week at the Detroit auto show.

Suzuki Australia puts its hand up for a hotter version of the Liana hatch

18 Jan 2002

SUZUKI Australia is considering importing a sports 2.0-litre version of the Liana hatchback called the SX.

Revealed at the Detroit auto show this week, the SX is powered by a new 105kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, while the standard Liana we get here produces 76kW from its 1.6-litre engine.

If all goes according to plan, we should see the car launched here by the Melbourne motor show of 2003, with pricing set around $25,000 in today's money.

However, the production SX is also a far cry from the concept first shown by Suzuki at the New York auto show last April, that had a 165kW supercharged 2.0-litre engine, four-wheel drive and much tougher looks.

The good news is that our SX could come with four-wheel drive - depending on pricing - and that there is still thought to be a much hotter Liana in the wings more akin to the original concept.

Rumours suggest it may be called GSX - an obvious link to Suzuki's four-stroke motorcycle heritage.

"We'd love to have the new SX, no question about that, it's just a matter of determining right-hand-drive availability and whether we can land it here at a competitive price," Suzuki Australia's general manager automobiles David Le Mottee said.

"You can be certain that we are talking to Japan seriously about the car."Mr Le Mottee added that the SX could have a name change by the time it gets to Australia, although it would still be part of the Liana family.

"We really need to think about it," he said. "If there is another variant, we really want to make sure it dovetails in with it."The SX, which goes on sale in the US in March with the 4WD version appearing in September, matches its 2.0-litre engine to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and comes well equipped including a bodykit and alloy wheels.

Mr Le Mottee said the higher-performance "GSX" was also wanted in Australia: "We have told the factory there is a definite market here for a high performance version."Meanwhile, Suzuki Australia is also waiting on final details of the hot hatch Ignis GTi, which is expected to go on sale in Australia next January, probably with a new 1.8-litre engine.

In the shorter term, it will launch value pack editions of the Ignis five-door and XL-7 off-roader at this year's Melbourne motor show.

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