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by George Skentzos

Suzuki has added a new performance flagship to its local range with the introduction of the Suzuki Kizashi Sport AWD.

Based on the range-topping XLS specification, the Suzuki Kizashi Sports AWD boasts a sophisticated intelligent all-wheel-drive system and aggressive styling features.

The i-AWD system constantly monitors input from ESP sensors to anticipate oversteer, understeer or traction loss and can split drive to either the front or rear wheels for optimum take-off, acceleration and cornering.

“Most soft roaders and all-wheel drive systems employ a reactive system that engages all four wheels only after detecting a loss of traction.” said Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers.

“With the Kizashi Sport AWD, the new active handling works in partnership with ESP to ensure optimum handling levels. We call it synergetic vehicle dynamics control.”

The driver can engage the i-AWD system at the touch of a button, switching between two and all-wheel-drive modes – rewarding enthusiastic driving while ensuring maximum safety for all occupants.

It is powered by a 2.4-litre DOHC four-cylinder engine based on the same powerplant introduced with the 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

In the Suzuki Kizashi Sport AWD it develops peak power of 131kW at 6000rpm and 230Nm at 4000rpm while maintaining a fuel consumption figure of 8.4 litres per 100km.

This is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which is capable of varying engine speed as required to ensure optimum power and fuel efficiency.

“Now, with the arrival of the Kizashi Sport AWD, we can offer Australian customers a range of premium mid-sized vehicles that surpasses anything else on the market for performance, dynamics and value for money,” said Devers.

In keeping with the sporting theme, the Suzuki Kizashi Sport AWD features steering wheel mounted paddle shifts as standard.

The Suzuki Kizashi Sport AWD sits 10mm lower than its front-wheel-drive siblings, which has resulted in its centre of gravity being lowered 15mm – reducing body roll and offering improved turn-in and directional change.

The new sportier design incorporates 18-inch alloy wheels, a new sports mesh lower grille, new front bumper, sports side skirts, more pronounced rear spoiler and chromed body garnishes and fog lamp bezels.

Inside the Sport AWD model adds a unique sports steering wheel with chrome garnishes and Bluetooth as standard, along with equipment standard to the XLS variant such as dual zone climate control, a 425w Rockford Fosgate sound system and heated electric front seats.

It includes a raft of active and passive safety equipment, including six airbags, ESP and Traction Control, ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and dusk-sensing HID headlamps.

The Suzuki Kizashi Sport AWD is priced at $39,990 excluding statutory and dealer delivery charges.




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