A production version of the Suzuki S-Cross concept will go on sale next year to give the Japanese car maker a valuable player in the burgeoning small-SUV segment.
Suzuki Australia says it will import the baby SUV, which has yet to be given a showroom name, as soon it becomes available after production starts in the third quarter of 2013.
“The sub-compact SUV segment is growing in Australia – they’ve (VFACTS) have created a new segment already because they’re forecasting manufacturers everywhere will be in there,” Suzuki Australia boss Tony Devers told CarAdvice at the concept’s reveal at the 2012 Paris motor show.
“It’s quite a sizeable car. From the dimensions we’ve seen the interior space is quite similar to Grand Vitara. From a luggage and versatility point of view it hits the mark.”
The Suzuki S-Cross concept is 4310mm long, 1840mm wide and 1600mm high, making it 190mm shorter and up to 95mm lower than a Grand Vitara.
Devers said the company couldn’t rule out the S-Cross cannibilising some SX4 sales but that it sees two different markets for the two models.
“SX4 buyers currently are quite specific people,” he said. “Younger people, 30-40, with a sporty lifestyle, who go to the snow or surfing. Then there’s the secondary group, the older buyers, 45-60, who like the high seating positioning and the fact it’s easy to get into and out of.
“So this one [the S-Cross] we’d be positioning more at younger people and young families. And the natural progression from there is they go to a Grand Vitara [compact SUV] and then a Kizashi [medium car].”
Devers says the concept is very similar to the final production version, pointing out that there’s “nothing too outlandish” about the show car.
Suzuki, in partnership with its Indian spin-off Maruti Suzuki, of which it owns 54 per cent, continues to work on a production version of the XA Alpha concept (above) shown at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo last January.
The XA Alpha concept is even smaller than the S-Cross, measuring just four metres in length.
It’s not yet clear whether that model will be made available to markets such as Australia, but Suzuki Australia says a range of new models is on the way to help boost sales – including a proper small car that would compete with the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Mazda3.