Suzuki details all-new, SA-bound Jimny mini-4x4

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It seems likely the new Jimny will cost more than the £13k starting point of the current Jimny. There's a tall, boxy bodyshape with a clamshell bonnet and seven-slot front grille, while the retro round headlights and tailgate-mounted spare wheel are as practical as they are charming.

Two folding rear seats allow for up to 377 litres of luggage space, which is 53 litres more than in the old Jimny. The vehicle features 15-inch wheels with gunmetal finish. The new model rides 20mm higher on 15-inch alloy wheels, but the overall length has reduced slightly to 3,480mm.

A seven-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth is available on higher equipment grades, although full United Kingdom specs and prices are still to be confirmed. Today, Suzuki confirms the new model does come with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, codenamed the K15B.

Suzuki has also squashed at least one of the rumours that have been buzzing around the cybergarage by specifying only one engine choice for the global market outside Japan - a 1462cc, naturally-aspirated DOHC 16-valve long-stroke petrol four rated for 75kW at 6000 revs and 130Nm at 4000rpm - an nearly 20 percent improvement on the 1.3-litre current model's 63kW and 110Nm.

A new 101bhp 1.5-litre petrol unit replaces the last car's 1.3-litre engine, and is available with ether a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed auto. As measured on outgoing NEDC fuel economy and Carbon dioxide regulations, the new Jimny claims 41.5mpg with the manual box, dipping to 37.6mpg for the auto. A low range transfer box is also provided.

All the switchgear is big and chunky, specifically shaped for easy operation while wearing gloves - Suzuki obviously intends that you should take the new Jimny way outside your comfort zone, given that it boasts an approach angle of 37 degrees, a departure angle of 49 degrees and a ramp breakover angle of 28 degrees, thanks to 210mm of ground clearance, and a turning circle of less than 10 metres. It also gets three-link rigid axle suspension for off-road agility.

While it has a ladder-frame chassic, Suzuki says it has worked on the new Jimny's on-road handling with a new steering damper on the front suspension, created to minimise steering wheel vibration. On the front of safety features, the new Jimny gets forward braking assist, six airbags, lane departure warning, weaving alert, ESP and ABS.

Inside, the new Jimny will be much safer and high tech than its geriatric predecessor.