GLOBAL SUZUKI

history of suzuki 4X4history of suzuki 4X4

"A vehicle that can take on rough roads and go to places that cars couldn't go in the past"

With this philosophy, our first four-wheel drive model was developed in 1970.
This was the start of allgrip, Suzuki's renowned four-wheel drive technology.

Over nearly half century since then, Suzuki has refined its 4WD technology, at one time to expand driver's range of activities,
at another for greater peace of mind… At various time and various locations, Suzuki has met various demands.

And now, all that passion and all those accumulated technologies have been passed thorough evolution down to the allgrip Series.

1970s

1970s

1970Development of lightweight 4x4 vehicle.

  • LJ10

The first Suzuki 4x4 was also the first mass-production 4x4 in Japan's domestic mini-car category. With development starting in 1968, the first Suzuki 4x4 lightweight vehicle became available in 1970 and was marketed with only three seats.

In order to comply with limitations on the class's external dimensions the spare tyre had to be fitted behind the front passenger's seat.

It was a simple vehicle with zipped canvas doors and leaf springs to cope with big loads for the light and tiny 4x4 (it weighed just 600kg and had a wheelbase of 1930mm). A separate chassis allowed the use of lightweight body panels.

The first LJ was powered by a new but equally small twin cylinder air-cooled two-stroke turning out 25bhp from its 360cc.

1975The LJ50 was exported Australia it had 550cc unit.

  • LJ50

The LJ10 achieved success in the domestic market but Suzuki knew that other countries, without Japan's mini-car category, would need a bigger engine.

Countries don't come any bigger than Australia, so when the LJ50 was exported there it had a 550cc three-cylinder, water-cooled two-stroke unit that gave better power.

The spare wheel moved to the outside, on a hanger at the rear allowing two rear passenger seats, both facing each other.

Hard and soft-top versions were available in Australia, where the LJ50 soon gained a reputation as a fun go anywhere vehicle.

1977Birth of the last LJ model, the LJ80.

  • LJ80

The development upmarket for what was originally a utility 4x4 continued with the last LJ model, the LJ80.

Body changes were minimal, with larger front wheelarches and flared rear wheelarches to offer a more stylish design.

The bonnet, still held down with two spring clips like on earlier LJs, was slightly raised to make room for the biggest change - a new engine.

This was a four-cylinder, water-cooled 800cc four-stroke unit producing 41bhp.

The LJ80 sold well in Australia, where it went on sale in 1978, but that was just the start.

When the LJ80 was first exported to the Netherlands in 1978 followed by the rest of Europe it created and firmly established a whole new market sector for fun 4x4 recreational vehicles.

1980s

1981The SJ410 really broke into the new markets.

  • SJ410

In 1981 Suzuki continued to enjoy a developing level of success in the domestic market, but it was with the export of the SJ410 that the company really broke into new markets.

It was an all new design for a 4x4 vehicle that offered a new statement in fashionable styling.

True to the utility heritage, it still featured leaf-spring suspension although this had been softened with gas dampers at the rear and improved approach and departure angles.

Under the new bodywork, which featured a sloping grille, there was a new interior and a brand new engine, a four-cylinder 1000cc four-stroke delivering 45bhp.

The separate chassis and small dimensions combined with a bigger engine to make the SJ410 a real giant-killer off-road, and it continued to expand further the leisure 4x4 market created by Suzuki.

1984SJ413 - With sales in over 100 countries worldwide.

  • SJ413

SJ413 - Suzuki launched an upgraded SJ model which, as indicated by the model name, featured a lightweight 1.3-litre four cylinder engine that produced 66 bhp.

Inside, the comfort levels of the SJ413 were developed in-line with customer requirements and included a five-speed gearbox.

1988The Suzuki 4x4 family expanded with launch of the all-new Vitara.

  • Vitara 3-door

The Suzuki 4x4 family expanded with the launch of the all-new Vitara, a 3-door model that soon gained its own enthusiastic following.

The new Vitara was complemented by a 1.6-litre lightweight alloy engine.

It was a true 4x4 with separate steel chassis, five-speed gearbox, part-time four-wheel drive system and integrated two-speed transfer box.

However, ride and comfort achieved new levels with the leaf springs of earlier models replaced by coil springs front and rear, standard power steering and an interior that was functional but much more comfortable.

The 3-door was just the start of a whole new trend in 4x4 motoring.

1990s

1991The Vitara range expanded the longer wheelbase 5door model.

  • Vitara 5-door

The Vitara range expanded, literally, with the longer-wheelbase 5-door, 1.6-litre model.

Width stayed the same but the wheelbase went up to 2480mm and the overall length similarly increased to 4030mm.

By this time some models started to feature fuel injection to provide power of 80bhp and a catalytic converter to reduce emissions.

The performance of the 5-door model developed further with the introduction of 16 valves and multi-point fuel injection, giving 95bhp.

More legroom, more luggage capacity and the option of an automatic version helped reached new customers for the Vitara.

1995The first 2.0 litre V6 engine brought a new sophistication to 5-door Vitara.

  • Vitara 2.0 V6

The first 2.0 litre V6 engine ever in a 4x4 vehicle brought a new sophistication to the 5-door Vitara.

With 134bhp produced smoothly, aided by a 2.0-litre engine with 24 valves and four camshafts, this was the most powerful Vitara ever.

To match the engine the bodywork was revised, with stylish, lower splash guards and flared arches accommodating optional wider alloy wheels. Inside the interior was revised with higher specification features such as dual airbags, electric windows and mirrors and central locking.

1997The Vitara range was complete.

  • Vitara 2.0 TDi

In 1996 Suzuki introduced a turbo-diesel engine and the following year offered an intercooled version.

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit gave superb flexibility for off-road use and comfortable on-road driving, coupled with economical fuel consumption.

Intercooling the unit gave 23% more horsepower and 29% more torque. Short wheelbase, long wheelbase, 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre, petrol, diesel, manual, automatic - the Vitara range was complete.

1998Grand Vitara

  • Grand Vitara

From a technical point of view, from a styling aspect and from a quality perspective - the Grand Vitara confidently takes Suzuki further forward in the lifestyle motoring sector and is a continued emphasis of the company's corporate philosophy of uniqueness and market innovation.

With its elegant body styling, rugged full-frame and powerful 2.5-litre V6 and 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engines - the Grand Vitara has been designed to confidently look the part and to widen the scope of the users' active lifestyles. Inside, the fashionable interior is practical yet comfortable and has been designed for flexibility and convenience in order to efficiently accommodate five occupants and their lifestyle demands.

The new Grand Vitara allows more customers to expand their lifestyle horizons and explore their driving imagination, whether in the city or on the open road. It allows every customer to experience a real 4x4.

A new era of performance and style

  • Grand Vitara

Having evolved from the SJ30 to the Samurai, Suzuki's lineup of compact 4x4 vehicles gained a new model in 1998 in the form of a completely redesigned Jimny.

Comprehensive updates to the body and chassis meant that the new Jimny marked the beginning of a new era of compact 4x4 motoring.

Separate shock absorbers and coil springs for the front wheels gave the Jimny longer suspension travel than Suzuki’s earlier compact 4x4 cars and realized smoother response. And the adoption of three-link rigid-axle suspension with coil springs meant greater off-road stability and better traction, resulting in a more confidence-inspiring ride even during enthusiastic driving.

Other features of this ground-breaking model included a newly designed ladder frame and newly adopted air-locking hubs, which allowed the driver to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive on the move.

2000s

2001Seven-seater roominess and comfort

  • Grand Vitara XL-7

In 1981 Suzuki continued to enjoy a developing level of success in the domestic market, but it was with the export of the SJ410 that the company really broke into new markets.

It was an all new design for a 4x4 vehicle that offered a new statement in fashionable styling.

True to the utility heritage, it still featured leaf-spring suspension although this had been softened with gas dampers at the rear and improved approach and departure angles.

Under the new bodywork, which featured a sloping grille, there was a new interior and a brand new engine, a four-cylinder 1000cc four-stroke delivering 45bhp.

The separate chassis and small dimensions combined with a bigger engine to make the SJ410 a real giant-killer off-road, and it continued to expand further the leisure 4x4 market created by Suzuki.

2005An off-road athlete with dynamic performance for every situation

  • New Grand Vitara

This next-generation Grand Vitara inherited the originality of the Vitara series and represented an evolution that greatly boosted recognition of Suzuki sport utility vehicles.

An exterior design that included wide treads, flared fenders, and large wheels gave the new Grand Vitara a look of sportiness, dynamism, and stability. The cabin design similarly gave a sense of sportiness and dynamism.

For great performance, there was a choice of three petrol engines (1.6L VVT; 2.0L; and 2.7L V6) and a diesel engine (1.9L DdiS). High body rigidity was ensured by a built-in ladder frame.

A four-mode 4x4 system accommodated diverse terrain. And newly specified multi-link rear suspension combined outstanding off-road handling with improved on-road stability.

2006An active evolution of excitement and luxury

  • XL7

The fresh, new crossover design of the Suzuki XL7 was a step ahead of conventional styling for sport utility vehicles and clearly distinguished the XL7 from the earlier Grand Vitara XL7.

As the only seven-seater premium entry SUV with three rows of seats in North America, the XL7 occupied the market niche that Suzuki had carved out with the Grand Vitara XL7.

A newly developed high-power 3.6-litre V6 engine gave the XL7 the sporty performance that's a hallmark of all new Suzuki models. Also, a change from a ladder frame to a monocoque body and a change from a part-time four-wheel drive system to an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system realized superior ride comfort and handling stability.

X-over revolution - SX4

  • XL7

In 2006, Suzuki launched the SX4, which has been developed under the copcept of "X-over revolution". The SX4 features an electronically controlled 4WD system known as i-AWD. This is a 4WD system designed to assess the road surface and driving situation based on information from a range of sensors. It precisely and instantly allocates drive power to the rear wheels by an electronically controlled wet-type multi-plate clutch coupling in which the degree of magnetic clutch action is modulated to match traction needs.

Moreover, the driver can select the driving mode from among three: 4WD Auto mode which automatically controls the drive power in accordance with changes in conditions, 2WD mode which limits the drive power to the front wheels, and 4WD Lock mode which pre-allocates ample torque to the rear wheels to nearly 50:50 proportion. This provides flexibility to choose whether to emphasise fuel economy or the ability to handle difficult conditions.

2009Kizashi satisfies desires you never knew you had.

  • kizashi

In 2009, the i-AWD system was further refined and incorporated into the Kizashi. A new feedforward control feature was added to optimally allocate torque, before any front wheel slippage is detected, to the rear wheels in response to road surface conditions and the way the vehicle is driven. This has resulted in far smoother takeoff, acceleration and cornering.

In addition, Suzuki has adopted a Synergetic Vehicle Dynamics Control system. This improves driving stability by totally monitoring the drive conditions based on steering angle and yaw rate sensors, and synergetically controlling the i-AWD and EPS (electric power steering) systems.

2010s

2013New freedom is here - SX4/SX4 S-cross

allgrip

  • SX4/SX4 S-cross

Led by the launch of the SX4/SX4 S-cross in 2013, Suzuki proposed an optimal 4WD, the allgrip, based on its extensive 4WD history and experience. The allgrip not only offers improved 4WD performance but also brilliantly combines three values in great demand today: Fun to drive, Peace of mind, and High fuel-efficiency. 4WD is no longer just for certain situations or certain uses but a technology for "all" people in various kinds of weather situations or road surfaces: its value has now broadened.

2014Grab Your Field - All-New Vitara

allgrip

  • vitara

In 2014, All-New Vitara made its debut at Mondial de l'automobile de Paris 2014, and added to the lineup of the allgrip debuted in SX4 S-cross and has since earned a great reputation. Cutting-edge allgrip four-wheel drive system delivers driving pleasure and peace of mind in diverse conditions while promoting economy and limiting the burden four-wheel drive cars place on the environment. 4WD is no longer just for certain situations or certain uses but a technology for "all" people in various kinds of weather situations or road surfaces: its value has now broadened.

2016ALLGRIP for All People

allgrip

  • All Grip for All People

With nearly 50 years of experience, Suzuki redefined our 4WD technology under the allgrip name to provide even more confidence, satisfaction, and a broader horizon to all of our customers.

Suzuki is now making it possible for each customer to choose an allgrip variant that best suits their lifestyle by announcing the following three subcategories:

allgrip auto, with the viscous coupling four-wheel drive system, gives the driver peace of mind in everyday driving, especially when driving on slippery roads or snowy surfaces.

allgrip select, Suzuk's electrically controlled four-wheel drive system, provides the inherent values "Fun to drive", "Peace of mind" and "High fuel efficiency" by allowing the driver to choose from four driving modes (auto, sport, snow, and lock,) depending on the road surface or conditions.

allgrip pro offers high off-road ability to meet the driver's spirit of adventure, and allows the driver to go beyond the limits and explore the unknown, with the part-time four-wheel drive system with reduction gear.

To support each and every customer in expanding their range of activities and enhancing their diverse lifestyles, we will continue providing greater peace of mind and a growing variety of pleasures and adventures that customers can enjoy when driving a vehicle with allgrip.

Please visit allgrip website for further details.