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Suzuki Vitara gets a boost

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 15 December 2015

AUSTRALIA is to get a turbo-charged version of the Suzuki Vitara next year that is fitted with a 1.4-litre BoosterJet four-cylinder engine.

Based on the Vitara S revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September and just launched in Europe, the 103kW (130hp)/220Nm Vitara Turbo will become the new flagship of the compact-SUV range, replacing the normally aspirated 1.6-litre RT-X in the second quarter of 2016.

The new Vitara variant will kick off a potentially big year for the Japanese brand in Australia, with the all-new Baleno small car and Ignis compact crossover also on the cards for local launch, GoAuto reports.

Apart from an extra 17kW of power and 64Nm of torque over the 86kW/156Nm RT-X that it replaces, the Vitara Turbo will also get a more affordable two-wheel-drive variant alongside the all-wheel-drive version.

The extra power and torque from the turbo engine finally gives the Vitara a powertrain competitive with the small-SUV segment sales leader, the 109kW/192Nm 2.0-litre normally aspirated Mazda CX-3.

If European fuel consumption figures are any guide, the Vitara Turbo should be significantly more fuel efficient than both the current RT-X and Mazda CX-3. The Vitara Turbo is claimed to record 5.4 litres per 100km on the Euro combined cycle, compared with 6.2L/100km for the RT-X and about 6.1L/100km for the petrol CX-3.

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