Today we have yet another Juke-rivaling compact crossover from the ongoing 2014 Paris Motor Show. It’s the new Suzuki Vitara Concept, based on the Suzuki iV-4 Concept from this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Those of you with a long memory will remember the Suzuki Vitara SUV from over a decade and a half ago.
Let’s take a look, shall we? Here’s the official video promo:
This concept is a pre-production study for a smaller incarnation of the long-dead Vitara name. As such, Suzuki’s goal with the design of this Vitara Concept was to express their styling heritage with a strong, solid design. At the same time, what we see here is likely pretty close to the eventual production model.
The trapezoidal front-bumper insert in particular is meant to evoke a sense of sturdiness; a visual representation of the driving stability offered by Suzuki’s ALLGRIP system. However, strong and solid doesn’t have to mean plain and boring, and the Vitara Concept showcases a wide combination of body colors and custom design details, such as the colored wheel inserts you may remember from the iV-4 Concept.
With such an intense focus on strength, it’s no surprise that the new Vitara has the highest road clearance of any compact crossover we’ve seen in Paris. This makes for plenty of off-road potential, and a big selling point for Suzuki’s ALLGRIP system is allowing the driver to choose the best driving mode for any given road surface.
Unlike many of today’s stereotypical off-road SUV’s, the new compact Suzuki Vitara maintains a relatively light curb weight without sacrificing off-road performance. This is thanks to advanced high-tensile steel that makes the crossover simultaneously light on its feet and able to take a punch. Suzuki says that this and other weight-saving measures allow the Vitara Concept to achieve CO2 emissions of just 111g/km.
Of course, we can’t talk about emissions without mentioning the crossover’s 118bhp 1.6L diesel, the cleanest of the engines offered. Emissions jump to 123 g/km with the 1.6 L petrol, and even more if you opt for an automatic transmission. Keep in mind, though, that all of these figures are with a four-wheel drive system, which Suzuki says it’s been able to incorporate into the Vitara without sacrificing fuel efficiency.
Inside, you’ll find the Suzuki Vitara Concept has a relatively plain design with the exception of the custom colored accents that can be matched to the driver’s preferences. There are a few neat amenities like an analog clock and an optional sunroof, but it doesn’t stand out from some of the other interiors we’ve seen in Paris (even if this one is the most realistic).
Of course, plain doesn’t mean ill-equipped, and there’s plenty of technology to be had in the Vitara’s quiet cabin. You’ll notice the touchscreen at the center of the dash, and the concept boasts smartphone connectivity and adaptive cruise control, along with safety features like pre-collision automatic braking.
Suzuki says they plan to begin production of the new Vitara crossover sometime in early 2015. It’ll launch in Europe soon after, and be exported globally later in the year.