Mazda MX-5 rival could reach production with high-performance electric powertrain
If you thought Suzuki was only working on compact hatchbacks like the Suzuki Swift and micro off-roaders like the Suzuki Jimny, think again.
The Suzuki Misano may only be a concept car at this stage, but it shows there’s intent within the Japanese company to potentially spread its wings and take on the likes of the Mazda MX-5 and Toyota GR 86 with an affordable and agile sports car.
Created by Italian students at the Instituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, Italy, under the guidance of Suzuki Design Centre director Kimihiko Nakada, the 2021 Suzuki Misano roadster is a roofless sports car in the same vein as the million-dollar Aston Martin V12 Speedster.
“Thanks to the collaboration between IED and the brand Suzuki, a new concept vehicle was created looking both at the compact car and motorcycle Suzuki’s manufacturing,” said Nakada.
“Misano is a thesis born out of the passion of young designers and developed as a project in a design centre to offer the next generation a new lifestyle experience.”
The Misano cuts a striking pose with its long, low and sleek side profile with door cut-outs, S-shaped headlights, bold rear-end design and staggered fore/aft two-seat layout.
It also has a single rear roll bar for safety, and even that is sculpted artfully, blending into the car’s svelte overall design.
Anyone who remembers the Suzuki GSX-R/4 concept car from 2001 will see similarities here.
There are no images of the interior but Suzuki says it features a control stick in lieu of a conventional steering wheel, something that will no doubt be ditched if it makes to the journey from concept to production reality.
While you might expect a radical sports car such as the Suzuki Misano to be powered by Suzuki’s just-launched new Hayabusa motorcycle engine – a 140kW, 10,000rpm 1.3-litre four-pot screamer – the concept is designed as an EV.
According to its designers, the Suzuki Misano could take a ‘brick’ battery pack that would align parallel to the occupants on the other side of the vehicle, creating a balanced spread of mass across the roadster.
Measuring 4000mm from nose to tail, it’s slightly longer than the 3914mm Mazda MX-5, which is the world’s best-selling sports car of all time.
Suzuki says the Misano name came about because it “sounds Japanese, but is also linked with Italian motorsport culture”.
And before you write it off as a fanciful exercise, consider that the MG Cyberster sports car has just been confirmed for right-hand drive production and the case is currently being built for it to come to Australia…