Everyone’s favorite forbidden fruit cute-ute, the Suzuki Jimny, was given a fourth-generation platform in 2018, and it is already headed for death in the European and UK markets for being too heavy on its CO2 emissions. New regulations rolling out at the end of this year mean that the diminutive SUV’s 1.5-liter gasoline engine pollutes too much for European buyers, pushing Suzuki’s corporate average emissions above the 95 grams per kilometer cutoff.
The Jimny, believe it or not, has been tested to emit as much at 170 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The new European standards are given a sliding scale based on the weight and size of the vehicle, allowing larger vehicles a dispensation for more CO2 emissions. Manufacturers also get allowances for more emissions depending upon how many electric vehicles they sell, called “super credits”. This is why Mercedes can still sell the G-wagen, while Suzuki has to get rid of its tiny rugged Jimny. As a manufacturer producing small cars and not offering any pure electric vehicles, Suzuki is badly positioned to weather this new set of regulations.
This is, of course, producing some counter-intuitive effects, as Europe has traditionally been the home of lightweight cars with small naturally aspirated engines, but this type of car is hit heavily by these new emissions regulations. With the rise of large and heavy SUVs in Europe, manufacturers will likely shift focus away from compacts toward these more profitable big cars. This need to balance lightweight subcompact city cars with ultra-expensive low emissions tech may cause some companies to bow out of the space. This could cause a net negative in the European emissions game. The best laid plans of mice and men, and all that jazz.
Suzuki hopes to fill all current orders for Jimnys in 2020, as imports are extremely limited and its factory is already at maximum capacity producing these as fast as it can. In 2021 the Jimny could continue on in Europe as a two-seat ‘N1’ commercial vehicle, as commercial vehicle sales don’t need to meet the same stringent emissions regulations.
Who knows, perhaps Suzuki can develop the Jimny to meet Euro regulations in the future? The 1.0-liter turbocharged engine currently used in the Vitara produces more horsepower and torque in a more compact and efficient package. Perhaps this BoosterJet engine could find its way into a future European Jimny.
For now, Europe, no Jimny.