March 25, 2005 Building on its considerable SUV heritage and borrowing from its recreational lifestyle roots, Suzuki revealed its compact SUV concept - Suzuki Concept-X2 - at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) yesterday. The Concept-X2 is a customer-focused SUV for "adventure-seekers unwilling to sacrifice capability, power, performance, safety or style in a right-sized sport-utility package." The Concept-X2 was unveiled as the second embodiment of the automaker's new customer-focused "Way of Life" philosophy - a new brand vision for Suzuki that was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit with the Concept-X.
"We're especially excited to reveal Concept-X2 to New York show-goers because it signifies the next great SUV from Suzuki - and the perfect incarnation of our new 'Way of Life' product-development process," said Koichi Suzuki, president of ASMC Automotive Operations.
"Our twenty years of experience in the U.S. SUV market has taught us that SUV enthusiasts don't want to have to sacrifice their own quest for adventure and unique way of life simply because they drive a compact SUV," added Mr. Suzuki. "The Concept-X2 blends refinement, comfort, utility and all-road performance in a right-sized sport-utility design American drivers increasingly want."
The Majestic Graphite Concept-X2 revealed today displays distinctive design, interior sophistication and leading Suzuki SUV engineering. Combining a V6 engine, four-mode, full-time, 4x4 transfer case and built-in ladder-frame construction with class-leading interior features such as an AM/FM/XM CD stereo with seven speakers including a subwoofer, the Concept-X2 was designed to be as comfortable off-road as it is on.
"Way of Life" Philosophy
As a new brand message and corporate philosophy, "Way of Life" has become the consumer-focused blueprint for how Suzuki will develop its cars and SUVs in the future. New Suzuki vehicles like the Concept-X2 and new generations of existing models will be created by considering the specific needs and desires of people Suzuki is calling "life enthusiasts" - those spirited, adventure-seeking drivers who live life to the fullest instead of watching it from a distance.
"Before our designers ever consider specific product design or performance attributes, they are challenged to completely immerse themselves in the lives of the people who will eventually experience our vehicles," explained Mr. Suzuki. "Instead of contrived solutions, the results are cars and SUVs that outperform their owners' expectations, and add real enjoyment and excitement to their lives."
Suzuki's "Way of Life" philosophy allows it to borrow from its rich recreational lifestyle heritage created from years of developing world-class motorcycle, ATV and marine products - and from its two decades in the U.S. compact SUV market.
Genuine SUV Toughness
The Concept-X2 is equipped with a V6 DOHC engine with a five-speed automatic transmission expected to deliver 185 horsepower. The result is a rugged, go-anywhere vehicle enabling its drivers to pursue their own adventurous way of life.
Built for authentic off-road capability, the Concept-X2 offers unibody, built-in ladder-frame construction, four-mode, full-time, 4x4 transfer case with locking center differential and four-wheel independent suspension. Four separate 4x4 traction modes - high-range, high-range lock, low-range lock and neutral - enable the vehicle to match its off-road capability to any terrain.
Style and Comfort
Evidence of the artful blending of urban sophistication with sporty ruggedness can be found in the Concept-X2's interior and exterior design. The compact SUV has a wide, low stance for a lower center of gravity. Inspired by an athlete at the peak of training, Suzuki designers envisioned bold exterior lines emanating from the vehicle's flared front- and rear-wheel arches, muscular fenders and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels to create a powerful-but-graceful first impression.
The same attention to sporty design and utility can be seen in the Concept-X2's life-enhancing interior features, which include a keyless start system, AM/FM/XM CD stereo with seven speakers, HomeLink(R) wireless remote control system and automatic climate control. Distinctive black leather seating with silver beading and heated front seats demonstrate how closely the interior matches the exterior in its blend of spirited design and comfortable utility.
Suzuki has engineered a range of active and passive safety systems into the Concept-X2 to provide occupant protection. Suzuki's Electronic Stability Program (ESP) supplements the stability provided by the vehicle's low center of gravity with its four major functions: anti-lock braking system (ABS); electronic brake-force distribution (EBD); traction control (TCS); and stability control.
Other key features include dual front and side airbags, front and rear curtain airbags, a head-impact protection structure, and an energy-absorbing front structure for enhanced injury mitigation.
Sales and Product Growth
Even as Suzuki undertakes the most aggressive product expansion in its history, it continues its record sales growth. The latest R.L. Polk data ranked the automaker first in increased sales in 2004 - with sales up 47 percent over 2003. Sales during the first two months of 2005 were up 17 percent, with February 2005 marking 13 consecutive months of rising sales over the previous year.
In the last two years, Suzuki has launched four new production models as part of its aggressive growth plan: the premium compact Forenza sedan, stylish midsize Verona sedan, five-door Reno and versatile Forenza Wagon. With six cars and two SUVs, ASMC's 2005 model line offers buyers class-leading features and amenities at a great value. Suzuki is committed to applying its "Way of Life" philosophy in all of its future products to support its aggressive growth objectives in the U.S. market.
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