A four-wheel-drive Best Buy store
When it comes to automakers, most want to be everything to everyone, with few exceptions. Want a full-size SUV? We've got it! Need a small wagon? Right over here! Looking for a hybrid family car? You're in luck! It's this mentality that is running rampant in the world of automotive concept vehicles. Luxury import brands are building compact hatchbacks and homegrown American makes are trading plastic sedans for groovy roadsters. So, it shouldn't be shocking to hear that Suzuki, known mainly for small SUVs and smaller cars, has rolled out a midsize SUV concept, the Concept-X, to test public reaction to the idea of a bigger Suzuki ‘ute.
When it comes to what SUV shoppers are looking for, Suzuki has done its homework. According to its own research, potential SUV buyers are focused on five main criteria; versatility; functionality; safety, infotainment; and performance. Designers have done their best to meet the challenge. Six-passenger seating, "4GO" full-time four-wheel-drive with low range capability, and a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission address the issues of versatility, functionality and performance. But safety and infotainment are the strong points of the Concept-X. Safety features include antilock brakes, stability control, side-curtain airbags, active cruise control, emergency 911 dialing, and a lane departure warning system. But what’s most impressive is the exterior warning system – it uses heat-sensing cameras to detect objects and helps to prevent driving over animals and children. The infotainment requirement is satisfied with a satellite TV, 12-inch LCD screens in the second and third rows, a navigation system with traffic updates, and Bluetooth communications technology. What the research apparently didn't discuss was styling, but Suzuki hasn't ignored that issue. Like many of its competitors' SUV concepts, fluid bodylines, bulging fender flares, and wraparound lighting elements characterize the Suzuki Concept-X. Twenty-inch alloy wheels accent the design, and the Concept-X features both power-retractable running boards and suicide doors. The overall design is attractive, though not exactly inspiring.
Suzuki is trying to move itself forward with this new suv, laden with desirable safety and infotainment features. Much of the technological gadgetry found on the Suzuki Concept-X is just now appearing on the market, but in limited applications and on luxury brands. Suggesting that all those goodies, as well as the unique heat-sensing cameras, will eventually make it to a Suzuki production model is reason enough to take interest in the Concept-X. Photos courtesy of Suzuki