What Mazda and Suzuki Brought to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, September 14th, 2013

By next Monday, the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show will be old news, and the ripples of the week’s biggest stories will have finally died out across the web. So, today we’re going to get in a some last minute coverage of the smaller Japanese automakers who might’ve been glazed over throughout the week.  Keep reading to get a quick overview of what Suzuki and Mazda brought to the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Oh, and for those of you wondering about Mitsubishi, the most noteworthy thing they brought to Frankfurt was the powertrain seen in their Outlander PHEV. Instead of putting you to sleep with that, we’re just going to focus on Suzuki and Mazda and call it a wrap.

Suzuki iV-4 Concept

Suzuki iV-4 Concept

Unfortunately, our U.S. readers will never get to drive whatever production model spawns from the Suzuki iV-4 Concept pictured above.

For a basic understanding of what the Suzuki iV-4 Concept is all about, simply dissect the name – the first “i” apparently stands for “individuality”, the “V” stands for “vehicle”, the hyphen stands for… well, nothing actually. And the “4” stands for “4-wheel-drive”. In other words, it’s the Suzuki Individuality Vehicle 4 Wheel-Drive Concept!

Very clever, isn’t it? (Except “i” think that the “i” is one of those boring, early 21st Century fads of basking in Apple “i” coolness. I’ve had enough of it, personally.)

In all seriousness, the Suzuki iV-4 does come off as a bit confusing and a bit stale. The design feels just as mashed together as the name; like Suzuki was trying to maintain their current design language while still throwing in new ideas. It reminds us of a less refined Lexus LF-NX Concept, which people already complained about for being over-dramatic.  Hopefully the production model will be more refined and more toned down.

Fortunately, Suzuki has plenty of time to work out the kinks in their newest small SUV. Honestly, we’re not worried since the rogue Japanese automaker has a surprisingly long history of well-made midsize and compact SUVs. The press release says they’ll be launching the production version of the iV-4 Concept in Europe sometime in 2015, with further details coming intermittently until then.

European Mazda3 Debut and Lots of Confirmations

Mazda brought their newest addition to the SkyActiv lineup, the Mazda3 hatchback, to the Frankfurt Motor Show. With it they released full specs and pricing details for the European version of the car.

On the whole, the European Mazda3 gets smaller powertrains than the U.S., with no 2.5L petrol available, and surprisingly only one diesel. Starting price is £16,695, but the five trim packages available can inflate that beyond £20,000.

Interestingly enough, each of the four Mazda3 hatchbacks on display in Frankfurt made a 9000+ mile journey to appear there. Each car was boated from Japan to Vladivostok, and then driven through five countries and two continents to arrive in Frankfurt. So either Mazda’s pockets are rather more empty than we had feared, or this was some kind of endurance publicity stunt. Or both.

In other news, Mazda re-confirmed that we’ll be seeing 5 more new SkyActiv vehicles by 2016, with one completely new SUV. Apparently, the three current SkyActiv models have already bumped European sales by 20% in 2013, thanks in large part to their best-selling model, the new Mazda CX-5. In the future, we’re expecting a Mazda2 supermini, a Mazda5 replacement, a co-developed MX-5 with Alfa Romeo, and then two more SUVs – one to slot below the CX-5 and one to slot above it. Keep in mind that things could still change, but these are what seem most likely.

Well, with that we’ll wrap up our coverage of the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Hope you liked it, and if you have any thoughts, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading and come back next week for more Japanese car news.

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