Home2011 New York Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2011 New York Auto Show in New York City.
Suzuki Kizashi Concepts
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What is it? The Kizashi Ecocharge is Suzuki's entry into the alternative-fuel world, a gas-electric concept version of the Kizashi family sedan.

The car is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that works with a 15-kw generator connected to a 115-volt lithium-ion battery. This combination, Suzuki claims, boosts highway mileage by 25 percent over the standard Kizashi, while delivering a power boost during acceleration. Power output from the gasoline engine is 144 hp, while the maximum boost from the electric generator is 15 hp between 1,000 and 2,200 rpm. A six-speed automatic transmission completes the drivetrain.

Suzuki also employed other fuel-saving techniques such as automatic stop-start, fuel cutoff during deceleration, regenerative braking, and low rolling resistance tires.

Also on display is a turbocharged version of the Kizashi that links the Suzuki world of motorcycles with the automotive group.

The car is a modified version of the small sedan that comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The concept version adds a Garret turbocharger and an intercooler to that engine, among other modifications, which bring horsepower up to the 275 to 300 hp range. Boost is limited to 8.5 psi maximum.

Suzuki modified the front end with a deeper chin spoiler and LED foglights. Yokohama performance tires and lightweight alloy wheels round out the package.

What's new or notable? The Ecocharge concept uses seat materials that require 84 percent less energy to produce, and create 80 percent fewer emissions during the creation process.

CR's take: In our tests of the 180-hp Kizashi, we got 25 mpg overall, with an impressive 33 mpg on the highway.

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