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Two Suzuki Kizashi Concepts In New York

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On: Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 11:13AM | By: Chris Weiss

Two Suzuki Kizashi Concepts In New York

Suzuki has launched two new concepts based on its Kizashi sedan at the 2011 New York Auto Show. As was rumored, the first concept is a gas-electric hybrid version of the Kizashi. The second is a suped-up, motorcycle-inspired Kizashi fittingly named "Apex."

The EcoCharge Concept is powered by a combination of 2.0-liter I-4 engine and small, 20-hp electric motor. The motor derives its power from a lithium-ion pack. The car puts out 144-hp and 127 lb-ft while delivering a 25 percent boost in highway fuel economy. Other technologies like start-stop and regenerative braking maximize the EcoCharge's efficiency.

In terms of looks, the EcoCharge gets blue LEDs in various locations around the front end and a luminescent white satin paint job with a blue undercoat.

While the first concept is all about efficiency, the second is more about sportiness and performance. Called the Apex, the concept is basically a tuned version of the Kizashi.

In teasing the two concepts earlier this month, Suzuki described the motivation behind the Apex: "[It is a] wildly-schemed and amped-up homage to Suzuki's iconic motorcycle heritage."

To prove it wasn't lying, Suzuki tatted the Apex up with stickers straight off its GSX-R bike. Under the hood, it added some might with a 2.4-liter I-4 strapped to a turbocharger and intercooler. That engine puts out somewhere between 275 and 300 horses. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The Apex also gets 19-inch wheels with "burnt asphalt" finish surrounded by Yokohama S. Drive 245/34R19 tires.

Suzuki says that both concepts are simply design studies with no production plans, but the world has been expecting a hybrid Kizashi since the 2009 launch of the standard Kizashi, mostly because Suzuki said a hybrid model was on the way. So don't be surprised if a hybrid Kizashi based all or in part on the EcoCharge gets the production go-ahead.

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