Suzuki’s very first official photos of the 2019 Suzuki Jimny include a picture of the off-roader’s chassis, and there’s good news: it looks like the little Japanese billygoat has the goods to continue the Jimny’s reputation of being an off-road monster.
I’ve said it a number of times before, but I’ll say it again: I consider the Suzuki Jimny to be—at least on paper—one of the most compelling off-road vehicles out there. It’s tiny, it’s got a ladder frame and, crucially, it’s got two solid axles. That’s a great recipe for maneuverability, modify-ability, durability and articulation.
The great news for the upcoming 2019 model—the first new Jimny since 1998—is that it holds onto all of those important off-road features. Check out the new chassis:
Suzuki hasn’t revealed much about the 2019 Jimny, but the company has made it clear that this SUV is going to be a true beast in the muck. “Depend on robust authenticity,” the company says on its web page for the new Jimny, before mentioning the three features we all hoped the billygoat would offer: a ladder frame, a three-link rigid axle suspension and a part-time, two-speed four-wheel drive system.
The suspension, which we can see some of in the image above, holds each axle laterally via a track bar, and longitudinally via two control arms (these “radius arms” also serve to prevent axle rotation by mounting to the axles at two points). This setup, similar to that of the old Jimny, is straightforward, and should give this little off-roader plenty of wheel travel.
The frame, which looks extremely similar to the outgoing Jimny’s (with the x-shaped crossmember between the transmission and transfer case being one notable difference), appears to be fully boxed, and features what looks like about nine or ten cross-members. It looks beefy, though we’ll see how much it all weighs when Suzuki provides the official numbers soon.
According to the company’s Japanese website, the new Jimny will come in at least two trim levels: Jimny and Jimny Sierra, with the latter having a 1.5-liter inline-four engine and the former (almost certainly a Japan-only kei car) getting a tiny 660 cubic-centimeter inline-three. Both of those models get either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual.
Among the new features mentioned, the car company says the 2019 Jimny will get a forward collision warning system that can apply the brakes to avoid impacting another car or a pedestrian.
The interior looks great in the photos, with big, chunky buttons on the center console, and a thick frame around the LCD screen at the center of the dash.
The vehicle comes in a variety of different colors, and can even be had in a fun two-tone paint scheme with a blacked-out hood and roof. My favorite color scheme that I’m seeing on Suzuki’s website is this tan Jimny with black steelies:
We’ll learn more about the new Jimny when it officially debuts. But it appears that hard-core Jimny fans don’t have to wait until then to relax, because the new Jimny should be an off-road monster.
This handsome new Jimny isn’t likely to be available in the states, which is sad, because at a time when the vast majority of companies have chosen the ride and handling offered by independent suspension over the robustness and articulation of a rigid axle, the Jimny continues to hold onto its roots. And at a time when the one remaining mainstream off-road SUV with a solid front axle has gotten rather large, the Jimny remains a tiny box on wheels.
Sure, the tiny Jimny may not be the SUV the U.S. needs, but it’s the SUV that it deserves.
Photo credit for all pictures: Suzuki