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The Suzuki X-Lander, Crosshiker Hustler Concepts from Tokyo

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, November 30th, 2013

As we said in our preview article for the three concepts listed in the title, the theme of Suzuki’s booth at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show is, “Let’s Create a Brand New Story”. The concepts discussed below are Suzuki’s attempt at meeting the demands of today’s – and tomorrow’s – drivers. Whether they actually accomplish this goal is up to you to decide.

Before we get any further, though, it important to note that unlike the other Japanese carmakers we’ve discussed this week, Suzuki’s Tokyo Motor Show premieres consist of more than just the cars below… There are at least three new motorcycle concepts which we won’t discuss at this time. Keep that in mind as you’re evaluating their automotive spread.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept

According to Suzuki, the Crosshiker Concept is the sequel to the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show’s Regina Concept. Right in line with what we’d learned in the previews, this is a very compact crossover coming in at just under 1,800 pounds. It will buzz along tight city roads with a little 1.0L three-cylinder.

Suzuki describes it as, “a car packed with lightweight and fuel-efficient technologies,” just like its predecessor, the Regina.

From a design standpoint, Suzuki has done a good job of making the mini-crossover look vividly alive. The Suzuki Crosshiker Concept’s curvaceous silhouette feels both familiar and intriguing at the same time; especially the gradient red-black grille and the fluid, roundly slanted headlights. On the whole, the crossover looks just as good in-the-metal as we’d hoped it would from the previews.

Suzuki X-Lander Concept

The rugged X-Lander Concept is a study in functional design, the seamless fusing of utility and economy. Another compact crossover, this Suzuki Jimny-based concept uses a hybrid powertrain with a 1.3L engine and manual transmission to offer a perfect balance of power and fuel efficiency. Suzuki describes it as a vehicle “loaded full with playful touches so that the vehicle looks like a fusion of off-road power and mechanical precision.”

As you can see, the Suzuki X-Lander’s design is certainly unique – it’s an open top crossover, looking more like something you might expect on a military base than a city street. That’s not to say it looks bad, though; not at all.

Suzuki Hustler Hustler Coupe Concept

As yet another crossover (are you beginning to see a theme here?), the Suzuki Hustler Concept is designed to be an outdoors-friendly minicar that’s both fun and convenient to drive. Suzuki also showcased a coupe-version, called the Hustler Coupe concept, as seen below:

As you can see, the only thing that makes the Hustler Coupe Concept a ‘coupe’ is the fact that has two doors. Otherwise, it almost looks more like an SUV than its namesake.

Unfortunately, it seems that Suzuki is still determined to keep powertrain details quiet for these last two concepts. It’s safe to infer, then, that these are the two concepts furthest from production. Although, again, this is mere speculation on our part.

Before we finish, it’s important to remind all of our US readers that these cars are not for you. Suzuki is primarily targeting Europe and its home market, Japan, with these new concepts. The recurring themes you’ve seen throughout their new concepts are compact size, versatile interior space and fuel efficiency.

It’s safe to say that these are the tenets of Suzuki’s brand-new story.

Suzuki Plans 3 New Concepts for 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, October 31st, 2013

With the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show looming less than one month away, this is an extremely important time for every Japanese automaker. Everyone is competing for a share of the hype leading up to Japan’s biggest automotive event of the year. As of today, Suzuki has jumped into the fray with official confirmation of three new concepts to be showcased at the end of November.

The overarching theme behind Suzuki’s three new concepts is, “Let’s Create a Brand New Story”. In addition to the various cars that’ll be in their booth, the maker of Small Cars for a Big Future will also showcase a set of introductory videos for each new concept, “to show the brand-new story of Suzuki and its customers in a beautiful image.” They’ll be produced by movie director Shinji Iwai, so these won’t be your typical concept car videos!

But enough about videos and booths; below you’ll learn everything about Suzuki’s biggest batch of new concepts this year.

Crosshiker Concept

The Crosshiker Concept is a compact crossover built on the exact same platform as the 2011 REGINA concept. The REGINA, otherwise known as the G70 concept, was an extremely efficient concept targeted towards a global market. It was small enough for city roads while maintaining the spaciousness of an SUV. The Crosshiker concept goes smaller still with a total weight of just 1,785 lbs, or 810 kg.

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Plus, it gets an improved three-cylinder 1.0L engine.

Aesthetically, the Crosshiker evokes a lightweight Nissan Juke, and it’d be surprising if that weren’t at least part of Suzuki’s design inspiration. Don’t take that as a complaint, though; the seamless panoramic roof more than makes up for any underlying unoriginality.

X-LANDER Concept

Next up, we have the X-LANDER Concept, which is a roofless compact SUV designed as a sort of futuristic, urban Suzuki Jimny.

As you can probably guess from the rugged-looking tires, the X-LANDER Concept features four-wheel-drive. What you might not guess is that the aforementioned 4WD is connected with a lightweight hybrid powertrain featuring a 1.3L engine and a “highly efficient” electric motor. On top of all that, the X-LANDER gets a new “automatically controlled manual transmission”… If that makes sense.

According to Suzuki, “The [X-LANDER’s] design is loaded full of playful touches [for a] fusion of off-road power and mechanical precision. Drivers can use the car in the city and sometimes go out to play in the field.”

Hustler Hustler Coupe Concepts

Finally, Suzuki will round out their Tokyo Motor Show debuts with a pair of concepts called the Hustler and Hustler Coupe.

The Hustler Concept is a practical SUV for drivers who love the outdoors. The Hustler Coupe Concept is a uniquely intriguing city car that’s, oddly enough, not actually a coupe.

As you can see, the Hustler Coupe is clearly a five door vehicle, even if the back handles are cleverly hidden behind the back-door windows. Suzuki clarifies in their press releases that the Hustler Coupe concept is merely a “further design variation” that molds the previous Hustler SUV into a coupe-like silhouette.

At the beginning of their press release, Suzuki hinted that one of these three concepts would lead to a near-immediate production model, one would be coming within a year, and the last would be nothing more than a prequel to something long-term.

While Suzuki didn’t specify which concepts were coming when, if a guess had to be made, the Hustler and Hustler Coupe seem like the most likely to come first. From a design standpoint, they are the most ordinary, and therefore the easiest to port quickly into production. Next would be the X-LANDER, since it’s based on an already-existing model (the Suzuki Jimmy).

Finishing out with the “distant future” car would be the Crosshiker, since let’s face it – we’re never going to get a panoramic roof.

Of course, that’s just one writer’s opinion… Feel free to express yours in the comments below.

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