A camouflaged prototype believed to be the next-generation Suzuki Jimny has been spied this week for the first time, giving us a first look at the diminutive Japanese off-roader. Meanwhile, leaked images from a Suzuki product presentation unwraps the the design of the next-generation model.
Looking like a shrunken Mercedes-Benz G-Class mixed with a Jeep Renegade, the new Jimny continues with very upright boxy styling that is becoming more of a rarity these days, while the high ride height and chunky tyres indicate the new model should maintain its true off-roading prowess.
Not a huge amount is known about the new Jimny in terms of its mechanicals, though the company has confirmed the next-gen car will maintain its famed off-road ability by way of a ladder-frame chassis and low-range gearing.
In addition to the spy photos, leaked images from a Suzuki product roadmap presentation have surfaced online, showing the new Jimny completely undisguised, and it looks almost exactly like the camouflaged prototype - obviously sans the black and white clothing.
The upright front grille with circular headlights and large grille slats are reminiscent of the previous version, while also looking very much like a baby Jeep.
It appears the Jimny will remain a three-door proposition - though don't expect anybody to be calling this an 'SUV coupe'. Pumped guards house a chunky wheel and tyre package, while the large windows and square mirrors have been designed with maximum visibility in mind, rather than aerodynamics.
It's a similar story out the back, which features a retro-style tailgate-mounted spare wheel, a large rear windscreen, low-mounted tail-lights, and a side-opening rear door.
The inside will be where the biggest developments have been made, and while the interior of the camouflaged prototype wasn't snapped, the leaked images from the presentation show that the Jimny will feature a touchscreen infotainment system and a multifunction steering wheel - bringing it into the 21st century.
It also looks as if the Jimny will feature contemporary mod-cons like climate control air-conditioning - the dials appear to be taken out of the Swift hatch - along with AUX and USB inputs.
Top: 2019 Suzuki Jimny, Bottom: 2015 Suzuki Jimny Sierra
Safety will also be a key focus for the new version, which will be subject to far stricter crash-testing requirements. Speaking with CarAdvice last December, Andrew Moore, general manager for Suzuki Australia, said: "We need side airbags – we’ve told the factory that – and the feedback I’ve had is that they’ve said we will have side and curtain airbags fitted [for the next-generation model]".
Timing for the all-new model is unclear at this point, though we could see the new Jimny revealed as soon as the 2017 Tokyo motor show in October, or sometime in 2018. Stay tuned.
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