NEWS: Retro fourth-gen Suzuki Jimny leaked ahead of July debut

Though it has been on the market for nearly 50 years, the stalwart Suzuki Jimny has had only three complete generational changes. The fourth generation of the kei SUV debuts this July, but renderings based on leaked information in Japan’s Best Car magazine have revealed that it will be a throwback design reminiscent of the beloved second-gen. 

The second-generation Jimny debuted in 1981 and stayed in production until 1998. Despite its kei size and engine displacement, it wasn’t just a cute ute. Suzuki made a serious off-road machine, with a ladder frame chassis, transfer case, and low range. It was just smaller and lighter — between 1,520 and 1,650 pounds — than its 4×4 Pajero, Bighorn, and Land Cruiser rivals.

The third generation Jimny kept all the good off-road stuff, but the design was modernized. In fact, early versions didn’t even have the vertical slit grille. I guess when it’s only the third evolution it doesn’t really need to go retro. Amazingly, the design continued for 20 years with only minor changes along the way.

Now it’s time for the long-awaited all-new Jimny, and it appears Best Car‘s rendering was spot on. Images were captured by an intrepid spy photog outside Suzuki’s Hiroshima factory and uploaded on May 25, showing rows of fourth-gen models all lined up and ready for delivery. Funky colors include highlighter acid green and retro tan.

Making a return are the vertical slit grille, round headlights, tall side mirrors, two small lines on the sides of the cowl hinting at the hood vents of its predecessor, low-mounted taillights, and the general boxiness of the silhouette.

It’s not just the exterior, either. Leaked images of the 4th-gen dashboard reveal throwbacks like the three-spoke round-center steering wheel, dual pod square bezels for the gauges, and grab handle. Even the three evenly sized climate control knobs seem to evoke the triple round vents of the older Jimny (the leaked image is for LHD Asian markets).

In keeping with kei specifications, the Jimny will retain a 63-horsepower, 660cc turbocharged motor. Best Car says it will be mated with a 4-speed auto or 5-speed manual. As with previous Jimnys, a slightly longer (though same wheelbase) version will be built for non-kei registration and overseas markets. That one, according to Best Car, will feature a 1.5-liter engine. Sadly, that market will not include the US. Still, the Jimny is one of the coolest off-roaders money can buy, and the retro design just makes it cooler.

Images: Best Car, Suzuki.


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14 Responses to NEWS: Retro fourth-gen Suzuki Jimny leaked ahead of July debut

  1. Aaron says:

    Please tell me it still has beam axles!

  2. Joe Hornberger says:

    I. WANT. IT. Please, come back to the U.S.!

    • CelicArt11 says:

      Suzuki is considering the possibility to bring it to Mexico. Suzuki is getting real popular down here with the Vitara and Ignis but specially the Swift. There’s a 3 cylinder 85 hp NA, a 1.0 liter 115 hp turbo (they call it Boosterjet) and the Swift Sport with a 1.4 turbocharged engine making 140 hp weighing less than a ton. Great cheap to run, reliable, fun and cute little cars!

      • Ant says:

        I suspect one of those engines will be more likely than the 1.5 – I’m not sure about markets outside Europe, but I don’t think Suzuki has a 1.5 in its current range, only naturally-aspirated and turbocharged 1-litre 3cyls, and the turbocharged 1.4. Of those one of the 1-litres seems more likely. They’re good engines too.

      • Michael says:

        Interesting fact CelicArt11. Does Suzuki sell Swift Sports in Mexico? Also are the Suzuki cars sold in Mexico also made in Mexico?

        I have a question for JNC Ben, If I were to purchase a new car in Mexico, would I be able to legally import it into the US?

        • CelicArt11 says:

          The first Swifts Sport are just arriving! Specialized car media is going crazy with them, lots of praise for an amazing price, they should be around US$20,000 (haven’t really checked). I have previously test driven the 1.0 boosterjet and I loved it! Can’t wait to get my hands on the SPORT. All Suzukis are imported from Japan, there’s no manufacturing in Mexico.

  3. R Robbins says:

    Front looks IFS from the crossmember, back is still live axle.

  4. Mark Newton-John says:

    The probable reason Suzuki dropped the slotted grille in the third generation was that Jeep sued GM saying the Hummer’s slotted grille was too similar to Jeep’s. Jeep lost.

  5. Mark Newton-John says:

    Not coming to America. Not worth or can’t federalize

  6. Anonymously_Crazy says:

    3rd Generation design is kind of timeless too… should be a good value use unit

  7. McRocksteady says:

    Jimny Cricket!!!

  8. Clay says:

    Might be worth moving to Mexico to own a 140 hp Swift. Even the 50 hp Geo Metro was fun.

    • CelicArt11 says:

      Insurance companies now have to provide coverage within the US and Canada. A brother in-law just went to the US in his diesel Peugeot van (funky looking good fun car really!!!) and I asked him if he had to get a temporary insurance while being there and he told me it was all covered with his Mexican insurance. So come all get Suzukis and show them there´s market for them in the US!!!

  9. Andy B says:

    Last photo – I see radius arms! Live axles front and rear ftw!

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