NY Show 2011 Highlights: Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge Concept

Suzuki’s Kizashi line consists of, well, just the Kizashi sedan. One engine, front- or all-wheel drive, stick or CVT. We don’t mind—a fact attested to by the praise littering the logbook in our long-term test car—but Suzuki needs more flavors of Kizashi if it wants to be a player in the mid-size sedan segment. At the 2011 New York auto show, the company is previewing two directions in which it could expand the Kizashi line: the hybrid EcoCharge concept and the rather more invigorating turbocharged Apex concept.

At the other end of the spectrum is the kinder, gentler Kizashi EcoCharge hybrid concept. Combining a 2.0-liter inline-four producing 144 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque with a 20-hp electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission, the pearl-white concept is said to achieve a 25-percent gain in highway fuel economy. That would take it from the 30 mpg of the current CVT Kizashi—with its 2.4-liter—to somewhere around 36 mpg. Since hybrids tend to offer greater benefits in the city than on the highway, its overall combined rating also could end up over 30 mpg.

As much as we dig the idea of a Kizashi with another 100 or so horsepower, variations with this sort of fringe appeal aren’t likely to get the Kizashi onto more shopping lists. Then again, they aren’t likely to knock it off anybody’s list, either. Bring 'em on.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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