The Suzuki Jimny must be one of the biggest hits in the automotive world today, when Suzuki revealed it in August, the looks alone won the world over. In fact, if you haven't already, check out the article I've released on Monday to see what's all the fuss about (click here for the article).
Anyway, since the day I looked at the car in person, I've been thinking about it. I read that brochure the salesman gave me until I can recite every single word on there. And I can't stand it anymore, I got on those Japanese second-hand car sites to see if I can get one to Hong Kong earlier than October next year (that's how long the queue was).
And this little thing popped up. It might look very similar to the Jimny you see up there, it even has the Jimny nameplate up front. However, this particular Jimny is smaller than the Jimny you see up there, it's got a smaller engine, and the price tag is quite a bit smaller too.
Can you see the differences on the outside now? Yes the one that is sold worldwide actually has plastic body cladding everywhere, mainly surrounding wheel arch, to protect the car when it's going extreme offroading. The Japanese spec has none of those. Because this is a kei-car, and in order for the Jimny to satisfy those very strict rules about how wide and long the cars must be, Suzuki have shrunken the Jimny by taking those matte black parts off the side of the car. The regular Jimny that's sold worldwide is called a Jimny Sierra in Japan, because it's a regular model, and the Jimny you see on the right, is the actual Jimny, so bear that in mind!
A kei car can't have that big of an engine right? So what's under the bonnet?
Under the sharp and cute body, sits the same chassis as the Jimny Sierra, as you'd expect. But up front things are very very different. In the Jimny Sierras, we'd see a 1.5 naturally aspirated engine producing 101hp, which is considered ancient in the eighties. But the real Jimny, has features a 658cc inline three turbocharged engine, with variable valve timing, and a compression ratio of 9:1, which revs to 7000rpm and has a staggering output of 63hp. Wow. The 0.66L engine is also available with a five-speed manual and a four speed auto, like the Jimny Sierra.
What about the mpg figures? The tiny engine must mean something more impressive.
You might expect the very small turbocharged engine would result in a significant increase in the fuel consumption figures. The regular Jimny Sierra can reach 44mpg, and the Jimny kei car can reach...drum roll...46mpg. If you get the four-speed slushbox, that'd drop down to 40mpg on the highway.
That's a bit pathetic isn't it?
Ahh you see, to make up for the frankly horrible fuel consumption, Suzuki has quite an extensive list of options for buyers of the Jimny to order. To start off you can have a tent out the back of your Jimny when you're camping. You can also buy a roof box if you've ran out of boot space (which you would considering the boot space of the Jimny). You can also spec yours with protection covers to protect your differential when doing rock crawling in your kei car.
If you think you're Jimny looks a bit drab on the inside, worry no more, because you can now put some brown leatherette on your steering wheel, the door handles, the grab handle on the glovebox, and on the handbrake lever. You can also spec some patterned clove seat covers for your Jimny to match the brown bits in your car. If you want to go one step further, you can specify to have the back of the rear view mirror and your key to be covered in green camo, to match your jacket.
If you want something to show off at a friend's party, you can tell them you've got some upgraded rims and some mud flaps on your Jimny, and you need not worry, because for a small cost, Suzuki will sell you these items for bragging purposes. Other extras include some number plates, bolts, door visors and some patterned floor mats.
If you don't want your spare wheel to expose to the insects in the jungle, you can buy wheel covers to cover up your lovely alloy, you can even buy these with different writings and decals if you so wish.
What if I want something that stands out more?
Don't worry, Suzuki have got you covered. They are going to offer four different styling packages to spice up your Jimny. First it's the Heritage Style, which features some steelie-lookalike, and some red decals...
Then there's the Survival Style. Remember the green camo key cover and the rear view mirror clip-ons? This is to match those on the outside of your Jimny, so you've got a beige body with some green camo stickers down the side.
This is more for you offroad adventurers, in this Offroad styling package, Suzuki will sell you some mudflaps and some new wheels for good measure. They will even throw in that iconic yellow to make you stand out if you get stuck in the forest.
This the Survival Style, Suzuki will have sell you a deep blue car with a roof rack and some letterings on the side, much like those you put on an early 2000s ricer...