Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
October 31, 2007
Reinforcing the link between the company's rich motorcycle heritage and versatile line of fun-to-drive automobiles, Suzuki introduces the SXForce, a sportbike-inspired concept based on the on the all-new 2008 SX4 Sport. Designed and built by Road Race Motorsports of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., the SXForce boasts a powerful 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine matched to a five-speed manual transmission.
While the SXForce is sure to be a showstopper on display, it was designed to look even better on the road. The fully drivable, track-tested SX4 Sport concept receives several performance enhancements, including a fully tuned performance suspension system, F1-style outlet gills to help underhood air flow, tailored rear bodywork with carbon fiber diffuser, Carbontrix rear wing, Tein coilover suspension height and damper setup, and reinforced structure to further enhance rigidity for optimal handling. The SXForce is outfitted with 18-inch Enkei racing wheels and a staggered high-performance Toyo T1-R tire package - 225/45-18 in the front and 235/40-18 in the rear. It also is equipped with Rotora six-piston calipers with two-piece 355mm rotors for sportbike stopping power.
The motorcycle theme continues inside the SXForce, beginning with suede and leather seats and interior appointments, mimicking sportbike leathers. Other interior enhancements include motorcycle instrument cluster and controls, roof air intake for optimal breathing and a revised track-themed interior, featuring carbon fiber components and accents. Engine vitals are monitored via a Zeitronix ZT-2 wideband data logger. All vital engine parameters are logged on a laptop and viewed on the ZT-2 gauge mounted on the Hayabusa handlebars. The SXForce is equipped with an integrated Garmin navigation system, and its rear seats have been removed and replaced by a high-output Rockford-Fosgate audio system.
With its sports-minded heritage, coupled with a passion to excel in the world's most competitive venues, Suzuki Auto drives toward another motorsports challenge with its entry in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Derived from the five-door SX4 Crossover, a prototype model of the SX4 WRC was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2006. Developed as a driver-friendly World Rally Car offering high controllability under a wide range of rally conditions, this creation by Suzuki Sport, Suzuki's motorsports division, has involved an extensive testing program on many different types of surfaces. As a supplement to the testing, Suzuki Sport chose two events in 2007, the Rallye de France and the Wales Rally GB, to closely represent the majority of surface types. The Rallye de France is known as one of the most challenging tarmac events, and the Wales Rally GB, held later in the year, is well regarded for similar reasons.
The SX4 WRC boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged J20 engine with full-time 4WD drivetrain and a five-speed sequential gearbox. The vehicle's 1,997 cc engine delivers 320 brake horsepower between 4,000 and 4,500 rpm, along with a maximum torque of 590 N-m (435 lb.-ft.) at 3,500 rpm.
The SX4 WRC's powertrain features a carbon three-disc clutch, electronically controlled center differential and mechanical front and rear differentials. Its well-balanced chassis and rigid structure allow the front and rear MacPherson struts with coil springs work to their full potential, and its Reiger shocks deliver dynamic, responsive handling. For tarmac, the vehicle is fitted with 20/65-18 tires fitted on 8X18-inch wheels. On gravel, 17/65-15 rubber is mounted to 7X15-inch wheels.
The SX4 WRC sits on a wheelbase of 2,500mm, stands 1,450mm high and weighs 1,230 kg (the minimum authorized). All specs reflect those of the final-phase development-test vehicle and are not necessarily indicative of the 2008 entry. As noted by Nobuhiro Tajima, vice president of Suzuki Sport, the endeavor is still in the early stages of development, including the engine, transmission and suspension.
The WRC effort builds on Suzuki's outstanding success in the JWRC, where the Swift Super 1600 has enjoyed an excellent record, creating even more excitement and anticipation in 2008.
(October 29, 2007)