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by Matt Brogan

Suzuki’s mid-size sedan, the Kizashi, has finally been officially introduced to the public, and Suzuki Australia has confirmed its interest in having the car for the local market.

Offering all-wheel-drive, the Kizashi will go on sale in Japan and the US initially before spreading to other markets, including Australia.

“Kizashi is scheduled for launch in the US in late 2009 and we are keen to establish potential production and specification for Australia,” said Suzuki Australia General Manager, Tony Devers.

“With the addition of the just launched Alto and Kizashi, Suzuki would be competing in more market segments than ever before,” he added.

Suzuki Australia is yet to finalise its specification levels and pricing.

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Under the bonnet the Kizashi is powered by a 2.4-litre, DOHC, four-cylinder engine mated to a choice of six-speed manual or CVT transmissions, though only the latter will come with all-wheel-drive.

The all-wheel-drive system can be switched off to allow power to only go to the front wheels, presumably for fuel and wear-and-tear savings. Suzuki says the system is based heavily on its i-AWD system in the smaller SX4.

Power and torque figures will be released closer to the December on sale date but expect around the vicinity of 150kW/245Nm.

The suspension has been designed to get the best of the sedan to allow it to compete with more performance-oriented rivals like the Mazda 6 and Subaru Liberty.

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Suzuki promises high-end Akebono brakes and optional 18-inch alloy wheels as well.

Inside, the Kizashi will offer cloth or leather seats, as well as a 425-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

Eight airbags, ABS and ESC will fitted as standard to all models in the range.




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