Suzuki Jimny ute imagined: Should it come to showrooms? - SUV VEHICLE

Suzuki Jimny ute imagined: Should it come to showrooms?

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A Suzuki Jimny ute would be the only car in its class in Australia, and could prove extremely popular like its SUV sibling.

Suzuki has long flirted with the idea of transforming its diminutive Jimny off-roader into a ute – but nearly six years after the current-generation model’s reveal, a pick-up version is yet to roll out of the company’s factories.

The fourth-generation Jimny has so far proven to be a runaway success for Suzuki, blending retro styling with a rugged ladder-frame chassis to offer something no other brand can currently match in Australia – a baby 4WD off-roader.

And the public has spoken, falling in love with the new Jimny that orders had to be paused for the most popular three-door variant, the automatic, so supply could catch up with the overwhelming demand.

Since the Australian arrival of the three-door Jimny in 2019, Suzuki has added a more practical five-door body style to its ranks – also offered in manual or automatic guise – with wait times currently up to eight to 10 months for a three-door auto.

But what’s next for the tiny off-roader?

While Suzuki is yet to confirm a Jimny ute, these renders by friend of Drive Theottle illustrate what a dual-cab pick-up variant could look like, based on the new five-door Jimny XL.

A Suzuki senior designer hinted to media at the Tokyo motor show last year the company is open to further expansion of the Jimny range.

“[The Jimny story] is not done, I think it’s just getting started, I think we can imagine many things,” the designer, who wanted to remain unnamed, said.

“Of course, it is under the name of Suzuki but Jimny has its own brand already, it’s almost like a sub-brand. So it can start to, you know, go off on its own, and who knows what it might be?”

Although not an official creation, multiple aftermarket companies not associated with Suzuki have created their own Jimny utes, cutting off the rear of the three-door, and replacing the back seats with an open-back tray.

In Europe the Jimny was pulled off sale in 2020 and re-introduced as a commercial vehicle – for which less stringent emissions limits apply – with a steel-mesh rear divider and lack of rear seats.

Suzuki has already given a preview of what a Jimny ute could look like, with a single-cab tray-back concept unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon.

Sporting all-terrain tyres, extra underbody cladding, a sports bar, and spotlights, the Jimny Pick-Up Style concept whet the appetite for a baby Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger rival.

However if the 75kW/130Nm 1.5-litre petrol engine from the current Jimny is retained, it would certainly not match the 3500kg braked towing capacity or one-tonne payload of Australia’s most popular models.

As it stands now, a Jimny ute may not materialise until at least the next-generation model, which could be more than a decade away – given the two previous generations of the 4WD lasted for 17 and 20 years respectively.

“There has been no discussion around a Suzuki Jimny ute but if one were to become available we would grab it with both hands,” the boss of Suzuki Australia, Michael Pachota, told Drive in January 2023.

“It remains high on our wish list but for now we have received no communication or any indication there is a Jimny ute in Suzuki’s forward model plans.

“That said, Suzuki has surprised us before, so we remain hopeful.”

The post Suzuki Jimny ute imagined: Should it come to showrooms? appeared first on Drive.

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