For a car that doesn't exist – yet – the Suzuki Kizashi hybrid certainly rears its head an awful lot. The rumor had been that Suzuki wanted to release the car in 2011, but this plan was apparently canceled last year. Earlier this year, we heard that Suzuki might dip into the Volkswagen parts bin for both diesel and hybrid powertrains (VW owns 20 percent of Suzuki).
Now, at the New York Auto Show, Suzuki is proudly displaying the hybrid Kizashi EcoCharge concept, which uses a lithium-ion battery and a 2.0-liter inline-four engine – along with start/stop technology, regenerative brake and low-rolling resistance tires – to boost the standard Kizashi's 30-mile-per-gallon (highway) rating by an estimated 25 percent. So, that would be around 37.5 mpg. Not bad. Oh, and we forgot one important word up there. This is the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept, which means that this car still doesn't officially exist. Drat.
Seeing the Kizashi EcoCharge Concept on the show floor, though, we're reminded why we keep wanting to believe. The standard Kizashi is fine enough, but a more efficient version with some of the concept's design touches would be most welcome. The "charge" part of the concept's name is a bit misleading – there is no plug here – but we'll forgive this transgression if we can find one of these on the road sometime soon.