The new, fourth generation Suzuki Jimny four-wheel-drive which has just been unveiled in Japan will go on sale in New Zealand early in 2019.
Set to make its Japanese launch on July 5, the highly anticipated Jimny has already attracted considerable interest with its retro design and retained separate chassis that stays true to the model’s long time off-road heritage.
As one of the longest running models on the New Zealand market, the current series Jimny was first introduced here in 1999. Year to date local sales are up 3.5 percent on the same period in 2017 and the model is selling at record levels, according to Gary Collins, General Manager of Automobile Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand Ltd.
“We are delighted Suzuki has kept so many of the useful features of the current Jimny while updating the specification, incorporating a fresh and evolutionary body design, a new three-link rigid axle suspension and a completely revised interior,” he said.
Suzuki has sold more than 2.85 million Jimny’s in 194 countries since the first model appeared in 1970. Generation two arrived in 1981 and the third generation broke cover in 1998. Such has been the car’s evergreen qualities that the iconic current version has remained in production for two decades.
A long time favourite as one of the least expensive four wheel drive vehicles available in New Zealand, the upcoming model will still feature low range transfer gearing that helps make it such a great vehicle off road. Jimny has been especially successful with local authorities and businesses that need to venture off dedicated roads and also as a favourite lifestyle vehicle for everyday motorists.
The 1999 model has been so successful that few changes were necessitated during a lengthy production life. In 2005 new engine and transmission refinements, greater convenience and a fresh interior injected new life into the lifestyle vehicle. This included variable valve engine technology; “push and start” all wheel drive selection and a redesigned dashboard.
Attractive, well balanced styling, compact size and excellent fuel efficiency have been winning features of the Jimny that emits the lowest exhaust emissions of any four wheel drive model sold in New Zealand.
“When the Jimny was facelifted 13 years ago there was no need to make significant changes to the unique and distinctive three-door body shell, so changes focused on improved interior quality and drivability,” said Collins. Despite the car’s low retail price, the standard Drive Action 4WD system meant it was not necessary to stop the vehicle to change from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive high ratio at speeds up to 100 km/h.
“Dealers were swamped with orders when we launched the current Jimny in April 1999 and the replacement model next year is likely to result in similar strong demand,” said Collins.
Jimny soon won a significant design award in Japan and in 2001 was voted 4WD car of the year by a leading special off-road publication in Britain. It was a pioneer in the recreational vehicle market and its clever design has been an enduring success.
Building on a 48 year heritage, pricing and full specification details of the unique new Jimny will be available closer to the launch date.