If the COVID-19 outbreak hasn’t caused a delay, the 2021 Suzuki Vitara should debut in October, as originally reported on bestcarweb.jp. The Vitara turns 6 years old next month.
The Suzuki Vitara is expected to look more SUV-like than rivals in its fifth generation. The Japanese publication 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 more noticeably rising waistline, a kick on the D-pillar and more rakish back glass. The visual changes on the sides and the rear lend a sportier character to the small SUV.
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.
More significant changes in the Vitara can be expected on the inside, as the current model does not stack up with the competition. 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.
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 previously. However, this engine has been replaced by the K14D 1.4-litre Boosterjet petrol unit in the old model. So, maybe we will see the K14D engine in the next-gen model instead of the K14C engine.
The K14D engine is essentially an enhanced version of the K14C unit. Unlike the latter, the former is equipped with a mild-hybrid system. The mild-hybrid system’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, idle stop, etc.
Suzuki Vitara Hybrid
Leveraging its new partnership with Toyota, the global leader in partially electric vehicles, Suzuki plans to have a greater level of electrification in its SUVs. Following the Suzuki ACross (the rebadged RAV4 PHEV), the next-gen Vitara could be the one to benefit from one of Toyota’s more advanced hybrid systems.
A proper hybrid system would mean the Suzuki Vitara packing a significantly higher voltage secondary battery pack with more capacity. The voltage of a mild hybrid’s battery pack is limited to 48 volts, but in the case of a 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 engage EV mode. In other HEVs, it is not possible to switch between the power sources manually. The Hyundai Kona Hybrid is one of these HEVs.
The next-gen Suzuki Vitara could get a full hybrid variant later in its lifecycle.
On the ‘Maruti’ Vitara SUV
Maruti Suzuki is likely to skip the global Vitara in India once again. The company may launch an India-specific model derived from the Futuro-e concept of Auto Expo 2020 in 2022 instead. Local reports suggest that it has planned a market-specific three-row SUV, besides a 5-door Jimny variant.