At the 66th IAA Frankfurt Motor Show today, Suzuki revealed to the world for the first time ever the Baleno - a new compact hatchback that raises the bar in terms of styling, packaging and technology.
The new Baleno compact hatchback
The new Baleno with its stylish design, spacious interior and Suzuki’s latest technologies, is the ideal compact hatchback and one that is based on Suzuki’s experience of making compact cars for 60 years.
Within the Baleno’s sporty and elegant styling—based on a “Liquid Flow” design theme suggestive of an energetic mass of liquid in motion—is a cabin with comfortable seating for adults both in the front and in the rear and a class-leading luggage space of 355 litres*.
For high levels of driving performance and fuel efficiency, the Baleno features new technologies in the form of a newly developed platform, a BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine, and the SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) mild hybrid system. Fine-tuned over repeated test runs in Europe, the Baleno offers a driving experience achieved by Suzuki’s pursuit of the best balance between nimble performance and refined riding comfort.
The all-new Baleno will go on sale in Europe next spring.
*According to a Suzuki survey of B-segment hatchbacks as defined by Suzuki (a hatchback model with an overall length of 3,700mm-4,100mm) and measured using the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) method.
New mid-term management plan SUZUKI NEXT 100
In June this year, Suzuki established and announced the SUZUKI NEXT 100, a five-yearmid-term management plan designed to build the foundation for the next 100 years of the Suzuki Group, which will mark its 100th anniversary in 2020.
The plan, with Suzuki’s basic principle of “focusing on the customer” as its cornerstone, aims to heighten corporate value and achieve sustainable growth, with the Suzuki Group uniting worldwide as one “Team Suzuki” to undertake structural reform, promote globalization, and solidify Suzuki’s base of business. Aiming to strengthen its manufacturing, the entire group—in line with Suzuki’s policy of placing top priority on quality—will fortify its technology development capabilities and improve productivity so that it can create original products that exceed customers’ expectations. By doing so, Suzuki hopes to be able to increase its consolidated net sales from the 3,015.5 billion yen recorded in fiscal 2014 (1 April, 2014-31 March, 2015) to 3,700 billion yen in fiscal 2019 (1 April, 2018-31 March, 2019).
In its automobile business, Suzuki is heightening its development efficiencies by consolidating vehicle platforms and concentrating engine development. Over the next five years, it plans to introduce 20 new models worldwide and to expand its all-time, global-sales high of 2.87 million vehicles, achieved in fiscal 2014, to 3.4 million vehicles in fiscal 2019. The Baleno announced today at the Frankfurt Motor Show is Suzuki’s first global step toward introducing these 20 new models.
In order for Suzuki to hone its advanced technologies and cutting-edge design to further strengthen its manufacturing, it plans to continuously launch more than one new model each year in the important European market, aiming to achieve annual sales in Europe of 280,000 vehicles in fiscal 2019. In the current fiscal year, in addition to launching a new model, Suzuki is also planning to make its current lineup even more exciting, such as by introducing a new “S” grade as a sporty version of the Vitara, and, thus, forecasts European sales of 205,000 vehicles, an increase of 5 per cent over the previous fiscal year.
The Vitara’s new S grade
A new S grade will be added to the lineup of the Vitara, which has been selling well since its launch in spring 2015 . With a 1.4 BOOSTERJET engine for enhanced driving performance and a five-slotted front grille based on that of the iV-4 SUV concept model shown at the previous Frankfurt show, as well as red accents throughout its interior and other features to provide a sportier feel.
It will be the Vitara’s highest grade, with LED headlamps, leather-and-suede-like seats, RBS (Radar Brake Support) autonomous emergency braking system and adaptive cruise control, among others, as standard. The S grade will be available in seven colours, including two two-tone combinations. Sales will soon start in succession in various countries in Europe, as Suzuki responds to customers’ diversifying needs.
New technologies in pursuit of better driving, fuel efficiency, safety and security
The pillars for strengthening technology development as outlined in the SUZUKI NEXT 100 plan will be pursuit of better driving performance and better fuel efficiency through improving vehicle bodies and powertrain efficiencies and pursuit of greater safety and security through driving-assist and information and communications technologies. The new Baleno features three new technologies for achieving better driving performance and better fuel efficiency: a new-generation platform, the new BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine and the SHVS mild hybrid system. Furthermore, the Smartphone Linkage Display Audio system with a 7-inch display that offers an intuitive operating experience has been evolved to feature Apple CarPlay support, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car.
This new Suzuki platform was developed by radically reviewing the basic structure of the vehicle underbody in pursuit of achieving lightweight and solid basic performance. As a result of enhancing rigidity while achieving lightweight by creating a continuous and curving skeletal structure, the new platform achieves an approximately 10 per cent increase in body rigidity compared to conventional vehicles in the same class, as well as an approximately 15 per cent reduction in total vehicle weight compared to the platforms it replaces.
Additionally, by aiming for not partial optimisation but rather optimisation of the entire vehicle including components attached to the underbody, Suzuki has been able to keep vibration and noise in check, while maintaining ride comfort. This means better driving performance and fuel efficiency, without sacrificing collision safety and NVH performance.
Also, Suzuki will heighten its development efficiencies by integrating, based on the new platform, its current four platforms into three, centered on minicars, A-segment vehicles, and B-segment and larger vehicles, and by adopting modularization of functional components, such as suspension systems, air conditioning systems and seat frames.
New BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine
The BOOSTERJET is a newly developed direct-injection turbo engine that is characterised by improved fuel-efficiency and driving pleasure, which is made possible by using a small displacement, high torque turbocharger.
By controlling the wastegate valve, which closes to create higher boost pressure during heavy-load operation and remains open during normal driving, the BOOSTERJET reduces pumping loss, thus achieving high levels of both power and fuel-efficiency performance. The engine employs six-hole nozzle fuel injectors, atomised fuel injection technologies and high-tumble port technologies to inject fuel with a high combustion efficiency for greater fuel economy and improved power output.
The BOOSTERJET engine has been developed with Suzuki’s ethos of reducing weight and size, with added responsiveness and smoothness to achieve the characteristics Suzuki engines are renowned for.
The BOOSTERJET comes in the two displacement sizes of 1.0 litre and 1.4 litres. Suzuki will first introduce the 1.0 BOOSTERJET, which has a maximum output of 82kW and a maximum torque of 170Nm, in the new Baleno, and will first introduce the 1.4 BOOSTERJET, which has a maximum output of 103kW and a maximum torque of 220Nm, in the new S grade of the Vitara.
New mild hybrid system (SHVS)
The SHVS is a mild hybrid system by Suzuki that uses an ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) to assist the engine during acceleration and generate electricity through regenerative braking.
An ISG is used in place of a conventional alternator because an ISG regenerates electricity more efficiently. It also heightens regenerative efficiencies by detecting the degree to which the brakes are applied and accordingly amplifying the amount of electricity generated.
Using the electricity stored through regenerative braking, the electric motor function of the ISG enhances fuel efficiency by partially assisting the engine, which it does by making up for the additional fuel usually required during the high-fuel-consumption required when starting from a stop and accelerating.
Furthermore, the SHVS fitted to Baleno uses a compact, high-charging-performance lithium ion battery, making frequent engine assists possible.
As part of a wider response to environmental issues, Suzuki intends to actively expand the number of vehicle models fitted with the SHVS mild hybrid system. The SHVS system are fuel, space and cost efficient.
Smartphone Linkage Display Audio with Apple CarPlay
Smartphone Linkage Display Audio with Apple CarPlay is now available using the Smartphone Linkage Display Audio system, which offers an intuitive operating experience through its 7-inch display. By connecting an iPhone to the system via a USB cable, Apple CarPlay’s various functions appear on the instrument panel touchscreen. Maps, Phone, Messages, and Music, as well as Podcasts, Audiobooks, and third-party Apple CarPlay compatible apps, can be controlled via the touch screen or voice commands using Apple’s Siri language interface. This allows the driver to easily and safely use an iPhone while still focusing on driving.
Suzuki will first introduce Apple CarPlay on the S grade of the Vitara and will then introduce it on successive new models, including the newly announced Baleno. It also plans to make upgrades available for current vehicle models with the Smartphone Linkage Display Audio system.
CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 and later iPhone models.
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