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Suzuki unveils "concept" weapon

Image booster: Suzuki Australia reckons the SX is just what it needs.

Suzuki reveals another challenger for the Subaru Impreza WRX

23 Apr 2001

LOOK out Impreza WRX! Suzuki is the latest manufacturer to reveal a challenger for Subaru's iconic budget blaster.

Revealed in "concept" form at the New York Motor Show last week, the SX Sport Wagon is a 165kW four-wheel drive based on the new Liana five-door.

The Liana goes on sale in Australia as a 1.6-litre front-wheel drive either late in 2001 or early in 2002.

But the SX - meaning Sport Crossover - is yet to be signed off for production, although the tip is that it will be built and go on sale in the US in late 2002, and should get here by early 2003.

The SX is powered by a supercharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine, with suspension by MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabiliser bars all-round. Stopping power is provided by disc brakes mated to ABS anti-locking all-round.

Low-profile 225/45 Z-rated tyres are mounted 17-inch alloy wheels.

"We would love that car here as is," Suzuki Australia general manager automotive David Le Motte said.

He believes the SX could be a flagship performance car for the company in Australia in the same way the Swift GTi once was.

"That car started to tell the world Suzuki doesn?t just sell small, economical cars that are reliable and great quality, but also sells performance cars as well," he said.

"And that's what the SX could do for us - in much the same way the old Liberty RS and early WRX did for Subaru." Mr Le Motte agreed that pricing would be a key to the SX's success and nominated a sub-$40,000 price tag at today?s money as a desirable ingredient for the package.

"That (the price) depends on the amount of technology they throw into the car. If it's bristling with mega-technology then it would wear a premium price and we'd certainly have to look at it," he said.

"But based on Suzuki's global pricing policy and their history, I'd suggest the car - if it was to lob here - would undercut its closest competitor." But Mr Le Motte was not getting carried away about potential sales volumes.

"I think it would be hundreds not thousands," he said.

How they measure up SX vs WRX sedan Length 4201mm 4405mm Width 1880mm 1730mm Height 1580mm 1465mm Wheelbase 2479mm 2525mm Front tread 1631mm 1485mm Rear tread 1659mm 1480mm

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