But will it be a hybrid or a fully electric model?
Suzuki has teased an electric Jimny off-roader as part of the brand's European electrification program leading up to 2030. Also included were plans for four other BEVs and several new hybrids.
Although the Jimny remains forbidden fruit in the USA, a version of the second-generation model was once sold here in the 1980s, when it was marketed as the Samurai. An electrified powertrain could provide extra impetus to sell the latest Jimny here, as is the fact that a more practical five-door version was recently revealed. Proof of the electrified Jimny can be seen in the screenshot below, taken from a presentation of Suzuki's growth strategy.
In the screenshot, we can see a battery EV lineup of five Suzuki models, including the unmistakable boxy profile of a Jimny. Alongside this is a graphic that says there will be a powertrain ratio of 80% all-electric vehicles and 20% hybrids, showing the Japanese brand is committed to electrification but will also retain combustion power in some form for the remainder of the decade. It's also not impossible to rule out multiple powertrain options for popular models like the Jimny, as off-road enthusiasts may require combustion to get to hard-to-reach spots on their journeys where charging infrastructure is not readily available.
In any case, it'll mark a significant departure from the model's modest gas engines up until this point; the latest model has a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter four-cylinder that makes only 101 horsepower. It also sticks with a basic five-speed manual or old-school four-speed automatic, but these are the specs that make the Jimny both affordable to buy and cheap to maintain.
The slide indicates Suzuki's first EV will arrive in 2024, but this is unlikely to be the Jimny. Instead, it will be the production version of the eVX Concept that debuted earlier this month in India. An arrival date closer to 2030 seems more likely for the Jimny EV. The screenshot also shows the new Fronx SUV and a hatchback that hasn't been seen yet.
Suzuki doesn't currently sell any cars in the United States, with the closest thing comparable to the Jimny being the off-road-only Mahindra Roxor. As far as road-legal competitors go, the five-door Jimny is smaller than the three-door Jeep Wrangler by some margin. Like that Jeep, the Jimny's short wheelbase of under 100 inches, along with its four-wheel-drive system, gives it great off-roading capabilities.
Whether Suzuki can keep the weight and cost down with an electrified version remains to be seen, but it will be an interesting evolvement of one of the brand's most iconic models.
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