Suzuki SX4t Concept
If you know me, you know I like Suzuki's SX4. A lot. In fact I'm making my girlfriend cross shop the SX4 for when her dying Focus finally gives up the ghost. But what about me? No, I wouldn't buy an SX4 because I'm a leadfoot. But what if Suzuki and Road Race Motorsports got together and slapped a turbo kit on the SX4, boosting power from 143 hp to 221 hp and torque from 136 lb-ft to 208 lb-ft? Where do I sign up? We're talking about the new SX4t Concept (the "t" stands for Turbo) and along with much more grunt they're throwing in sport springs, 17" Rota wheels, a carbon fiber hood and a decidedly oddball-looking paint job. They also yanked off the roof rack. Inside you get drilled pedals, sports seats and a proper wheel. For anyone tsk-tsking the fact that a WRX wagon has more power than this amped-up tuner, please remember that the WRX tips the scales at 3,252 lbs, whereas the SX4 is just 2,800 lbs. Expect the kit to add $5,400 to the SX4's price, bringing the total to $21,000. That's still less than a MazdaSpeed3 and you get standard AWD. Once again, where do I sign up?
I dont understand suzuki. In bike world they are even with honda, yamaha and Kawi. I.e. stunning. In US car world they sell badged stuff lacking first-class-ness. Maybe be size of company restrains their development ability for cars. Maybe they are NPV'ing each investment in a low profit industry. Even so, if we get crack at what euros say is good car I will look at it. If they want 200 hp and 200 lbs from a small car 4, they dont need turbo. A 2 litre Kayabusa motor would be a paradigm shift, lets say one giant leap past Honda S2000 mill. Honda could do the same, now ten years later. 10-12,000 rpms in a car motor that pulls smoothly in gear from say 1600 to redline. Think of the headlines.
My philosophy is that it better be either quick or fuel efficient. The SX4 is neither, which is what you call lose lose. It's like the last gen Protege. Yeah, the handling was wonderful, but the engine was a dog that barely cracked 30 on the highway. I say slap the blower on there. If you can't make it economical, make it fast.
Yes, that drivetrain needs a little refinement (and possibly strengthening?) before slapping on a turbo and calling it "good". But SX-4 fans have been calling for this setup for a while now, so kudos to Suzuki for hearing the customer.
Andy Carter - Honda already has the most important factory mod for the Honda Fit - its called the K20 motor - it makes 200 hp, comes in the Civic SI (and came in the RSX-S), and bolts right in. Tuners have been doing this for the last decade at least (it used to be the 170 hp B18C1 from the Integra GS-R or 195 hp B18C5 from the Type-R into the Civic hatch - again, another straight swap).