Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Suzuki gets smart

The Suzuki Twin was launched in Japan in January and now there are hopes that this low-cost city car will be launched in Britain next year. It could become the United Kingdom's cheapest new car at £4,000 - greatly undercutting the Smart car which it resembles in concept.
The basic version of the Suzuki Twin will go 75 miles on a gallon of gas with a top speed of 78 miles per hour. The car is powered by a three-cylinder 660cc twin-cam gasoline engine featuring four valves-per-cylinder and developing 44bhp.
Suzuki also plans to offer a more expensive hybrid petrol-electric version which will return 100 miles per gallon - on a par with the Smart diesel. Like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, the Twin's engine shuts down whenever the car stops but automatically starts when the throttle is pressed. This not only improves fuel economy but reduces pollution. The model also features regenerative braking, recharging the batteries as the car slows.
The car is being evaluated for the UK and Australian markets (with the wheel on the right) - no word on availability elsewhere in Europe or in the USA and Canada.

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