When Suzuki unveiled the all-new 2010 Suzuki Kizashi sedan last month, the company promised a hybrid version in the future. Yesterday, Japan’s Nikkei reported that Suzuki will introduce the Kizashi hybrid to North American markets in 2011. Suzuki officials refused to deny the report.
Suzuki’s hybrid system, using small lithium ion batteries to help boost vehicle efficiency by approximately 20 percent, was co-developed with General Motors.
The Kizashi is Suzuki’s first mid-size sedan—an attempt to gain market share in the North American market. The conventional 2010 Kizashi is expected to come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, available with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission. The hybrid version intended for Japan is likely to be smaller and employ a smaller engine. Details about a hybrid Suzuki Kizashi in the US have not been announced.
According to the Nikkei report, Suzuki’s entry into the hybrid business will intensify competition with Toyota and Honda for green car buyers, and therefore reduce the price tag for hybrids.