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Spyshots: Suzuki iM-4 Production Model Testing in the Alps, Looks like a Jimny Crossover

Suzuki unveiled two concept cars in March at the Geneva Motor Show. One was called the iK-2 and already materialized as the Baleno hatchback. That leaves the iM-4, which has now been photographed for the first time in production trim.
Suzuki iM-4 Production Model Testing in the Alps 13 photos
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A whole team of Suzuki engineers took the yet unnamed car up and down the Swiss Alps earlier this week. The camouflage isn't that substantial, so the prototype is in the advanced stages of its development. That means most of the work took place in Japan or some other part of Asia that's hidden from our lenses.

Suzuki has a long tradition of building small 4x4 models. However, despite high demand for such vehicles from most markets, their sales aren't doing that great. From a distance, the current Jimny model looks like a great car, useful on weekend adventures and daily commutes. However, the reality is that it feels like it's about to tip over at 60 km/h, and the interior makes the Dacia Duster look like a Mercedes.

The iM-4 concept could thus be a preview for a Jimny replacement that's built like a crossover, with more car-like driving features and no separate chassis. Most people just want the raised suspension, not a serious small off-roader.

The Suzuki model lineup has been inundated by new, very small models. One is the Celerio, which we don't like. The SX4 S-Cross isn't all that great either, but the Vitara is very capable, perhaps even a segment leader. Let's not forget the most popular Suzuki model in Europe is the Swift and it has been joined by the Baleno in basically the same subcompact segment.

Revealed last earlier in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Baleno appears under-engineered and under-designed. However, it's being introduced with a brand new 1-liter turbo engine. That's just the sort of technology needed by the crossover that will likely replace the Jimny for it to compete with the Ford EcoSport and the Fiat Panda 4x4.

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