JIMS 2008: SUZUKI X-HEAD A truck without limits
A definite must-see at the 2008 Johannesburg International Motor Show is the Suzuki X-Head – a head-turning concept vehicle that redefines the role of the compact utility vehicle.
The Tonka Toy-like X-Head was one of Suzuki’s highlights at least year’s Tokyo Motor Show, and also wowed the crowds at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit earlier this year. It comes to JIMS as one of only a handful of concepts, and is expected to be a major drawcard.
The Suzuki X-Head is described as a cross-utility vehicle with unlimited applications. It also sets out to prove that compact dimensions don’t have to hamper true capability – a design truth clearly demonstrated by Suzuki’s world-lauded range of compact vehicles.
Thus, the all-wheel drive X-Head links the tough, no-compromise off-road capabilities of Suzuki’s Jimny and Grand Vitara all-terrainers to exceptional utility talents and a healthy dose of motoring fun. The result is a vehicle with a diverse array of talents, without losing sight of the need for motoring enjoyment.
Key to the X-Head’s versatility are a series of loadbed modules that can be installed to focus the functionality of the Suzuki on a particular application. For instance, the ‘Camper’ module provides everything two adults need to sleep comfortably while exploring the great outdoors.
The ‘Rescue’ module, on the other hand, transforms the X-Head into an emergency vehicle that can be deployed for rescue operations on even the toughest terrain. There’s even a ‘Fashion’ module that turns the X-Head into the ultimate in trendy urban mobility solutions.
Permanent all-wheel drive
Under the angular skin of the X-Head, technologies employed include a permanent all-wheel drive system with a limited-slip differential to ensure exceptional traction under all conditions.
Power is provided by a four-cylinder DOHC petrol engine, driving all four wheels via a six-speed twin-clutch manual transmission.
Traction is further enhanced by specially produced X-tread tyres, while unusually steep approach and departure angles ensure ultimate mobility under even the most challenging conditions.
A rear-vision camera is linked to the widescreen monitor in the cabin to ensure good driver visibility when reversing in confined spaces, while the neoprene seat covers are not only comfortable and practical, but also waterproof and therefore easy to clean.
Included in the X-Head’s standard equipment list is a portable, multi-utility toolbox that includes a unique combination tool that integrates a flashlight and a hammer.
Small cars: big future
The X-Head forms part of Suzuki’s ‘Small Cars for a Big Future’ philosophy, which entrenches the company’s focus on the development of cars that may be compact in size, but with extensive application potential.
The Suzuki X-Head can be seen a the Suzuki Way of Life World display at JIMS, situated along the lakeside of the Johannesburg Expo Centre.