Electrification, hybrids, multi-million dollar cars that are already spoken for: you can keep all of that. For me, the car of the 2016 Paris Motor Show might be the Suzuki Ignis. Why? Allow me to explain.
For a start, this is no crazy concept or sold-out hypercar: you’ll be able to buy an Ignis – as soon as January 2017 in some European markets. Secondly, in keeping with Suzuki’s aggressive price strategy, it’s likely to be one of the cheapest compact crossovers on the market.
And that’s before you get to the styling. Seriously, few cars – regardless of sector, size or price – are as cool as the new Suzuki Ignis. Here’s a compact crossover that looks quite unlike anything else.
It’s not often you can say that about a car of this size and nature.
There are hints of Suzuki’s past wherever you look, chiefly the Cervo, which arrived in the UK as the SC100, otherwise known as the Whizzkid. There are also hints of the original Vitara and Swift, and yet the Ignis still manages to establish an identity all of its own.
Note the clamshell bonnet (always a winner), the three indents that tip the hat to the Whizzkid, plus the short overhangs at the front and rear. It’s impossible not to look at the Ignis and smile.
Under the skin, Suzuki has made extensive use of lightweight materials, and although figures aren’t available, you’d bet on the Ignis slipping beneath the 1,000kg mark. Squeezing every last drop of performance from the 1.2-litre Dualjet engine shouldn’t be an issue.
As you’d expect from Suzuki, four-wheel drive will be available as an option, while 180mm of minimum ground clearance should ensure the Ignis is able to stand up to the Fiat Panda 4×4 in the battle for junior off-road supremacy. With a host of passive and active safety features, plus the latest smartphone connectivity, the Ignis has a head start on the Italian.
It also scores extra points for offering a huge array of personalisation options. There are 14 colours available, including Flame Orange Pearl Metallic, Neon Blue Metallic and Helios Gold Pearl Metallic. The Suzuki Ignis isn’t a car you’ll lose in the supermarket car park. You can even go two-tone, with a black roof.
If Suzuki is able to sell the Ignis from around £10,000, it could be on to a winner. Rather than mourn the loss of the evergreen Jimny, we only need to take one look at the Ignis to realise the future of Suzuki SUVs is in good shape.
Just hurry up and build a new Ignis Sport for Europe, Suzuki. Thank you.