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Larger, More Powerful Suzuki Xl-7 for Nth America

Larger, More Powerful Suzuki Xl-7 Aimed at North American Buyers

The all-new Suzuki XL-7 "crossover" lifestyle model unveiled in the United States recently is the largest, most powerful car ever produced by Suzuki Motor Corporation.

Distinctive styling and a plush interior caught the attention of visitors to the New York Motor Show where the new generation XL-7 made its debut.

The seven-seater XL-7 is a bigger brother to the popular Grand Vitara four-wheel-drive range which is sold internationally.

The Canadian-built XL-7 however, is aimed at the North American market and will not be exported to other territories, like New Zealand or Australia.

"Of course we would like to have the vehicle but the CAMI factory in Ontario is the only plant where the XL-7 will be built and it is not geared to assemble right hand drive vehicles," said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand Ltd.

Unlike the second generation Grand Vitara that ended production last year, the third generation model now on sale is a completely different model to the 2007

The previous XL-7, which was sold in New Zealand, was an extended version of the Grand Vitara with similar styling.

However, the new model stretches 4,995mm in overall length – 310mm more than the out-going XL-7.

Wheelbase increases from 2,800mm to 2,857mm, body width is up 55mm to 1,835mm, and the vehicle is 10mm higher at 1,750mm.

While Suzuki styling cues are still apparent, the new XL-7 is strikingly different, with large headlights that have integrated turn signals and boldly flared wheel guards.

This "crossover" SUV includes full-length under body rails with a safety cage in the middle for added strength.

When the model goes on sale in America later this year, Suzuki will offer a choice of front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. The company expects demand to be about fifty-fifty.

A new 3.6 litre, 24-valve, double overhead camshaft V6 engine has been introduced for the American XL-7.

Developed in association with General Motors Holden and manufactured in Suzuki's high technology Sagara engine plant in Japan, the engine achieves 186 kW of power and 329 Nm of torque.

Variable valve timing and a unique engine control unit help make the powerful engine economical. The motor averages 9.8 litres/100 km (28.8 miles per gallon) in the official highway fuel test cycle and 13.0 litres/100 km (21.7 miles per gallon) in the city cycle.

The five-speed automatic transmission has a manual shift over-ride.

A fully independent suspension comprises MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link design at the rear. Higher specification versions are fitted with Nivomat self-levelling rear shock absorbers to maintain a consistent ride height regardless of loading.

There is a sophisticated rollover sensing system and the choice of 16-inch and 17-inch diameter aluminium alloy wheels.

Electronic stability programme (ESP), including traction control, a tyre pressure monitoring system and electronic brake force distribution (EBD) are among the numerous safety features.

The XL-7's hydraulic power assisted rack and pinion steering is geared to a sharp 2.7 turns lock to lock, and the Suzuki boasts a towing capacity of 1,590 kg.

Inside the plush XL-7 is a generous amount of leg and headroom, and all three rows fold flat, allowing the carrying of long loads.

Satin nickel appliqués on the instrument panel, wood grain trim, leather upholstery, a DVD player and satellite navigation are among the many XL-7 options.

The top-line Suzuki four-wheel-drive for the New Zealand market will continue to be the five-door 2.7-litre V6 Ltd model with automatic transmission.


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