The budget Jeep Wrangler that we’ll never see in America is back looking better than ever.
Anyone questioning the might of Japan’s auto industry need only to look at the list of the world’s largest automakers. In spots one and two are the Nissan-Renault alliance and Toyota respectively, both of which pushed the Volkswagen Auto Group down two notches. But Japan’s winners haven’t come without a couple of losers. One of those is Suzuki, which announced its exit from the North American market five years ago due to poor sales and no legitimate competitive offerings in sight.
It wasn’t such a sad day when that happened given that Suzuki only sold models like the Grand Vitara small SUV, Kizashi sedan, and Equator midsize pickup truck. However, there’s a new model in the works, one layered with hints of nostalgia, that may make us Americans regret not keeping Suzuki alive in the USA. That would be the Jimny small SUV, the new rendition of which will make its global debut this fall at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Indian Autos Blog got ahold of a few leaked images of the new Jimny and has touched them up, adding color in order to give us a better look of what the rest of the world is soon to get from Japan.
The three-door box-shaped SUV will retain its retro styling, which allows the Jimny to join the ranks of the Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes G-Class, and upcoming Ford Bronco that capitalize on the popularity of their rugged looks for sales. The Jimny will receive its signature five slat grille, an echo of the Wrangler’s seven-slat face. Rounded headlights and a black front bumper compliment the black wheel arches and will lend to the retro theme while a spare mounted at the tail end (seen on the leaked Jimny images but not on this rendering) keep the aesthetic going at the rear. A ladder frame chassis will underpin the future Jimny so it can back up its bark with bite with Suzuki’s 1.0-liter Boosterjet or 1.2-liter Dualjet engines providing thrust.
Sending power to Suzuki’s AllGrip four-wheel drive system will be an automatic gearbox, though it’s unclear whether or not a manual will be offered. Keep drooling all you want, but it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see the new Jimny on our shores.