Next-gen Suzuki Vitara SUV expected in late-2021

Spanish automotive media including outlets like Motor.es had reported that the next-gen Suzuki Vitara is confirmed for the local market in 2021. Juan López Frade, president of Suzuki Ibérica is quoted in stories confirming three launches for Spain this year and that one of them is the next generation Vitara. The launch of the 2021 Suzuki Vitara is scheduled in Autumn (September – December). The second new Suzuki is the relaunch of the Jimny as a commercial vehicle, while the third launch is a ‘surprise,’ as per these reports.

If the COVID-19 outbreak hadn’t caused a delay, the 2021 Suzuki Vitara would have debuted (global debut) in October 2020, as reported on bestcarweb.jp. The Vitara is now among the oldest vehicles in the SUV segment and the replacement couldn’t come at a better time.

In this story we compile information reported so far on the new Vitara which hasn’t yet made its spy photo debut.

Exterior

The Suzuki Vitara is expected to look more SUV-like than rivals in its fifth generation. The Japanese publication BestCarWeb has suggested a fresh design (viewable in rendering on the source link above) comprising a brawnier front-end with more aggressive headlamps and taller radiator grille, a noticeably rising waistline, a kick on the D-pillar and a rakish back glass. Visual changes on the sides and the rear lend a sportier character to the small SUV.

AspectCurrent Suzuki Vitara2021 Suzuki Vitara
Length4,175 mm4,200 mm
Width1,775 mm1,780 mm
Height1,610 mm1,620 mm
Wheelbase2,500 mm2,500 mm
Expected New Vitara specifications based on Japanese web reports.

The current Suzuki Vitara measures 4,175 mm in length, 1,775 mm in width and 1,610 mm in height. It has a wheelbase of 2,500 mm. The all-new Suzuki Vitara is expected to be 4,200 mm long, 1,780 mm wide, and 1,620 mm tall and have the same wheelbase. The competition will include models like Hyundai Kona, Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Citroen C3 Aircross and VW T-Cross.

Interior

2020 Suzuki Vitara mild hybrid interior UK
The interior of the current Suzuki Vitara looks dated and lacks a lot of features offered in sub-compact SUVs.

More significant changes in the Vitara can be expected on the inside, as the current model does not stack up with the competition in equipment. Fully digital instrument cluster with customisable layouts, HD, capacitive touchscreen, electronic parking brake, wireless charging, configurable mood lighting, 4G LTE Wi-FI hotspot and minimalist design are common features on B-SUVs today. While Suzuki would probably skim on some of these for cost concerns, it would need to at least meet halfway with large screens for the instruments and AVN, and have connected vehicle features.

2021 Suzuki Vitara engine

The next-gen Suzuki Vitara will likely ride on an improved version of the current platform. Under the hood, the K14C 1.4-litre Boosterjet petrol engine (136 PS/210 Nm) of the old model was expected at launch. However, this engine has been replaced by the K14D 1.4-litre Boosterjet petrol unit that should serve the next-gen model.

The K14D engine is essentially an enhanced version of the K14C unit and is equipped with a fuel-saving mild-hybrid system called the Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS). The SHVS’s battery pack is a 48-volt unit with 8 Ah of capacity. An electric motor generating 10 kW (13.6 PS) and 50 Nm of torque using the energy stored in this battery pack assists the engine with various functions like torque-fill control, torque boost and idle stop.

Suzuki Vitara Hybrid

Leveraging its partnership with Toyota, the global leader in partially electric vehicles, Suzuki plans to have a greater level of electrification in SUVs. Following the Suzuki ACross (the rebadged RAV4 PHEV), the next-gen Vitara could be the SUV to benefit from Toyota’s advanced hybrid system, and is now a question of when.

A proper hybrid such as the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) would mean the Suzuki Vitara packing a significantly higher voltage secondary battery pack with more capacity. The mild hybrid’s battery pack is limited to 48 volts, but in the case of a full hybrid, it can be up to 600 volts. So, unlike MHEVs, HEVs can be driven using only the battery. Some HEVs, like the Toyota C-HR, for instance, allows the driver to manually engage EV mode where for a few minutes the car can move without the engine cutting in.

The next-gen Suzuki Vitara could get a full hybrid variant at some point in its lifecycle for Suzuki to maintain its emission profile in Europe.

Suzuki electrification strategy

From the announcements it has made so far, the company is not too bullish on launching pure electric vehicles for the moment. The Japanese automaker is expanding its portfolio of 48-volt mild-hybrid vehicles while relying on Toyota for its European hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

In the announcement on February 24 on the mid-term plan (Apr 2021 – Mar 2026), Suzuki provided an outline. It said with regard to CO2 emissions, it would develop electrification technologies by 2025, and implement these in vehicles from 2025, and make full-scale quantitative increase from 2030. Over the next five years it has committed to invest ¥1 trillion into R&D, such as electrification.

Suzuki’s current HEVs and PHEVs are cross-badged/reskinned Toyotas, but future HEVs include models designed and manufactured in-house. The collaborative business agreement between Suzuki and Toyota does include sourcing the latter’s hybrid system (Toyota Hybrid System for Suzuki models. In the next five years, expect to see Toyota’s tech lurking underneath more mainstream Suzukis.

2020 Suzuki Vitara – Image Gallery