Suzuki’s new Kizashi was designed to ultimately accommodate a V-6 and a hybrid powertrain, but due to its recent dissociation with General Motors, the sedan will have to make do with four-cylinder power.
Suzuki had been counting on using both a hybrid powertrain and a V-6 engine borrowed from GM for the Kizashi. But GM sold its 20-percent stake in Suzuki in 2008, leaving Suzuki without a source for either powertrain. That said, Suzuki might have a savior: Volkswagen. In December of last year, VW bought a 19.9-percent stake in Suzuki. The German auto giant hopes to tap Suzuki’s experience in small cars, but Suzuki could possibly utilize some VW powertrains in the future.
“We are looking at VW’s cost structure and their offerings. We want to keep our cars reachable to mere mortals,” Steve Younan, director of product planning at American Suzuki Motors, told Automotive News. “We would be happy with a small V-6 or a turbo-four. The Kizashi suspension is not at its limit. We are trying to be an affordable performance brand.”
Even though it has some worries about the possible cost of transplanting a Volkswagen powertrain, Suzuki has sent a team of engineers to VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. The team is reportedly investigating which engines can be used while still keeping the car at a reasonable price.
What engines will end up in the Kizashi’s engine bay remains to be seen. Given the current Kizashi’s 180-horsepower 2.4-liter I-4, either VW’s 3.2-liter V-6 or an uprated version of its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder could be possible upgrades -- so long as the transplant can be performed affordably.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)