A long-wheelbase (LWB) version of the 2021 Suzuki Jimny has been caught testing for the first time – but it's unclear whether the mule has the crucial set of rear doors the motoring world is yearning for.
Snapped by our spy photography partners in Europe, the Jimny prototype spied flaunts a notably longer wheelbase than the standard model currently offered by Suzuki in Australia – around a few hundred millimetres longer, if our initial glance proves accurate.
However, it's unclear whether it is a heavily-camouflaged five-door prototype rumoured in recent months, or whether it utilises its current three-door layout, but with a stretched chassis for extra seating and storage.
From certain angles, the latter appears to be the more probable theory, given only three doors are initially visible.
Additional length ahead of the rear axle would increase legroom for rear passengers, while retaining the three-door model's minimal rear overhang and impressive 49-degree departure angle for hardcore off-roading.
Alternatively, it's possible the longer wheelbase could instead be used for a more practical variant of the commercial-focused Jimny now offered as the sole option in Europe, which sees the passenger variant's rear seats deleted in favour of a large load area and blanked-out rear windows.
Suzuki's application of camouflage wrap over the rear side windows to cover the second row means it's impossible to confirm or rule out these options.
MORE: 2021 Suzuki Jimny review
Above: Our impression of what a three-door LWB Jimny might look like, by artist Theophilus Chin.
The Jimny LWB's styling appears otherwise unchanged, with identical front and rear bumpers, 16-inch alloy wheels, boxy proportions, circular headlights and slotted front grille.
Expect to hear more on the 2021 Suzuki Jimny long-wheelbase in the coming months, either in the form of spy shots, teasers, leaks or a full reveal – the lattermost a probable option, given the minimal levels of camouflage on the test car.
As for the five-door, rumours from January 2021 suggest an unveiling in mid-2021 could be on the cards – potentially (though not confirmed) alongside a long-wheelbase three-door variant.
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