Suzuki Australia is keen to get its hands on a hotted-up version of the high-riding new Ignis city car as soon as possible, potentially using a version of the Baleno’s turbo engine.
However, the small issue of whether such a car is even in development lingers, though given the old Ignis' use in rallying (as pictured below at The Acropolis), we’d imagine it’s been at least considered.
Such a hypothetical vehicle would give the company a rather unique proposition in the market – a zippy urban runaround with the footprint of a micro car and the ground clearance (180mm) of a small SUV.
The 2017 Suzuki Ignis launched this week – rebirthing another lapsed nameplate from the Japanese company’s past – with a tiny 1.2-litre engine with 66kW/120Nm, sending torque to the front wheels via five-speed manual or CVT auto transmission choices.
While these outputs are small, the Ignis' minuscule 820kg kerb weight means its power-to-weight ratio eclipses the Swift’s. This is thanks to Suzuki’s new global platform.
But here’s the better bit: the Baleno’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder ‘BoosterJet’ turbo engine would fit under the Ignis’ clamshell bonnet, and its 82kW/160Nm outputs would give the Ignis warm-hatch performance and a buzzy off-kilter thrum.
Given the Ignis GLX has a list price of $18,990, a warmed-up one (hopefully with a manual gearbox option) wouldn’t be much over $20,000.
This is something that Suzuki Australia Automobiles general manager, Andrew Moore, knows all too well, and he is very enthusiastic about the idea.
“Suzuki Australia have been pushing very heavily for Ignis to come with a BoosterJet turbo. It’s a sporty SUV, and we’ve had great success with the Vitara turbo,” he said.
“We’re very keen to see a BoosterJet turbo, and I think based on the reception of the vehicle and other markets asking, my feeling is there’d be enough demand to justify it.”
We spoke to Suzuki division general manager for Latin America and Oceania, Takanori Suzuki, at today’s Australian launch, and he said no such program was firmly underway, but he did express intrigue at the idea.
On a more realistic note, Suzuki Australia is toying with the idea of importing the Ignis in all-wheel drive guise later this year, though the European and Japanese market mild-hybrid seems less likely.
What do you think? Do you like the idea of a warmed up Ignis turbo? The more positive feedback Suzuki sees, the greater the odds are that it will make one.