Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Short Take: Suzuki Kizashi Turbo

At the recent Rocky Mountain Driving Experience event at High Plains Raceway, I got a chance to take a Suzuki Kizashi out on the track.

Interestingly enough, this Kizashi was a prototype (as far as I could tell, the only prototype we had a chance to drive on the track).  It was packing an aftermarket turbo kit (from Road Race Motorsports) that, according to the Suzuki representative on-site, is being seriously considered for production.

The Kizashi is, admittedly, my size of car.  It is easily the size that we considered to be 'mid-sized' just a couple generations back.  With so many family cars now living in the EPA Large-car class (I'm looking at you Accord) - it is certainly refreshing to have a smaller, more toss-able, package available.

Base Kizashi's make due with 185hp. The turbo model, if in the same tune I drove, would pack at least 100 more...taking what is a nice and enjoyable drive well into serious sports sedan territory (the turbo model does have the advantage of a all-wheel drive system to help put that power down).

Given its size and power, and the all-wheel drive system - the Kizashi turbo could give cars like the Impreza WRX and the Mazdaspeed3 a run for their money, especially with buyers that could use something in a slightly more spacious package than either of these offer.

I, for one, am looking forward to what Suzuki can do - if they choose to stay in the US market through the current economic downturn (and its impact on their already low sales).

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