• Celebration of over 100 years of Suzuki as a Global brand from its origins in Textile manufacturing to Car, Motorcycle, Marine Outboard Engines and ATV models.
  • Sho-Sho-Kei-Tan-Bi’ which translates to ‘smaller, fewer, lighter, shorter and neater’ and represents the basis of Suzuki’s manufacturing since its foundation.
  • Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co launched in 1920.
  • Suzuki’s first motorcycle launched in 1952.
  • Suzuki’s first car launched in 1955.
  • Establishment of ‘S’ company trademark in 1958.
  • Suzuki’s first victory at the Isle of Man TT in 1962.
  • Suzuki’s first outboard motor launched in 1965 with 5.5Hp.
  • Suzuki’s first Four Wheel Drive vehicle – Jimny LJ10 – launched in 1970.
  • Suzuki’s first Snowmobile launched in 1971.
  • Suzuki’s first motorised wheelchair launched in 1974
  • Suzuki’s first prefabricated houses introduced in 1974 and general-purpose engines in 1980.
  • World’s first four-wheel ATV model launched by Suzuki in 1982.
  • Company name changed in 1990 to Suzuki Motor Corporation.
  • Return to MotoGP in 2015 with GSX-RR.
  • 100 per cent ‘Hybrids for all’ availability across its passenger car range and unique in the industry offering 12 Volt, 48 Volt, Higher Voltage Hybrid and PHEV models.
  • Suzuki pioneered the Compact and Lightweight 12 Volt Hybrid system in 2016.
  • Six models in the car range have 4×4 capability optionally available which is unique in the industry.
  • Choice of 19 Sports, Street, Adventure and Scooter type motorcycles available plus two Motocross models.
  • 30 Marine Outboard engines in the range from 2.5hp to 350hp 4.4-litre V6.
  • World’s first Micro-Plastic Collecting Device for installation on outboard motors.
  • Choice of Three different types of King Quad ATV available with 500cc, 500cc with PAS and 750cc with PAS.
  • 2025 global sales plan for 2.0 million motorcycles and 3.7 million cars.

Introduction

Suzuki celebrated its 100th year in 2020 and we look back to where it all began from the textile industry and how the core DNA and ‘Kaizen’ principle of continuous improvement in engineering and customer satisfaction runs through the company across its Car, Motorcycle, Outboard Marine Engines and ATV products.

The Japanese art of craftsmanship or ‘Monozukuri’ is applied to not only its products but also its plants around the world to eliminate unnecessary waste, maintain high quality and manufacture efficiently. Whichever Suzuki product is chosen, the highest levels of Customer Satisfaction are ensured.

11 years before the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co was officially formed in 1920, founder Michio Suzuki pioneered a new type of textile loom design in 1909 after watching his mother using her labour intensive and primitive device to weave cloth. Very early looms used a manual cotton thread loading device (known as a shuttle) so Suzuki decided to design his own and, in summary, managed to patent a much more advanced machine that enabled weavers to work up to 10 times faster and with a lot less fatigue too by utilising his auto thread loading shuttle system.

Suzuki began low volume manufacturing and soon developed strong demand by selling his patented design to local people, the company grew rapidly with a loom that customers could fully depend on for reliability and ease of use.

Michio Suzuki also learned that while manufacturing looms for production of plain white fabric that weavers needed looms that could produce cloth with both vertical and horizontal stripes, so he developed a unique device capable of weaving patterned cloth from dyed yarn. Suzuki’s innovation represented the start of an uncompromising focus on creating products that meet people’s needs and realise new lifestyle possibilities.

Suzuki decided to diversify his skills into Transport and began designing and developing his first car from 1937 although further work on this was shelved due to the outbreak of the Second World War. It was only when the Cotton industry crashed in 1951 that Suzuki returned to Transport development in Japan and his son Shunzo joined him.

Riding his pedal cycle in strong head winds one day, Shunzo Suzuki realised he could make his daily journey much easier by designing his own simple motor assisted cycle and with his R&D team demonstrated the ‘Power Free’ 36cc motorcycle in 1952 which went into production that same year.

Power Free was simple in design, offered very easy maintenance and was unique at that time as it could be ridden fully motorised, partially motorised or by using the pedals without any engine assistance.

With the ongoing success of Power Free, Suzuki began to develop a more powerful engine and the second model to debut was named Diamond Free that went on sale in 1953. The 60cc 2hp engine was more powerful than its competitors and sales were strong from the outset. In the Autumn of 1953 production volume largely exceeded expectations achieving 150% of the projected production. By then, Suzuki was building 6,000 motorcycles per month.

After initial R&D from 1937 car development finally resumed from 1954 when Suzuki Motor Co was formed and its first car emerged in 1955 with lightweight and innovative design and a two-stroke 360cc engine. Using Suzuki’s ‘Yaramaika’ spirit, (translated as ‘Let’s do it’) which was deep in the root of the Enshu region where Suzuki originated together with his determination to drive forward, Michio quickly began researching and benchmarking vehicles produced overseas and gained a wealth of knowledge to build the first Suzuki car.

Known as the Suzulight, it was developed by a team of just six people and was the first car ever to utilise fully independent suspension and rack and pinion steering.

Suzulight was a compact vehicle weighing just over 500kg and powered by a 360cc, 15PS two cylinder, two-stroke engine which was the first of its type to ever be fitted to a car. It was also the first car in Japan to feature a Front Wheel Drive / Front engine layout.

The Suzulight easily met the Japanese ‘Keijidosha’ or Kei light car legislation and Suzuki and his team quickly began their first development road testing of it.

As a prototype, its most memorable early drive was a 300km trip across the Hakone mountainous region between Hamamatsu and Tokyo which proved challenging on roads that had not yet been paved. The R&D team arrived to present the car to the President of ‘Yanase Auto’ Japan’s leading authority on Automobiles who thoroughly tested the car. He returned several hours later very impressed and immediately gave Suzuki full approval to put the Suzulight into production.

Production commenced in October 1955 with initial production of 3-4 cars per month but by early 1956 monthly volume had climbed to 30 units. From the archives, Michio Suzuki delivered his first retail car to a local Doctor who had previously carried out his home visits on a bicycle.

In 1959, design changed with the development of the Suzulight TL model and popularity of Suzuki cars quickly grew. The TL also adopted the Front Wheel Drive / Front Engine layout method and gained high acclaim thanks to its superior interior and storage space within its very compact size. The engine remained as a two-stroke, air cooled 360cc unit but with an increase in power to 21PS at 5,500rpm.

Suzuki experienced a rapid rise in production of mini vehicles thanks to the TL. In December 1959, just three months after its launch it had already reached the monthly production goal of 200 units which climbed very sharply in FY 1960 to a total of 5,824 units.

65 years since delivery of its first car, Suzuki remains globally renowned as the ‘small car experts’, Michio Suzuki’s original strategy of the design and production of lightweight vehicles lives on with platforms introduced for Ignis and Swift. The latest Swift Sport Hybrid weighs in at just 1,025kg.

2020 was also another very important milestone for Suzuki as it celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its 4×4 models since the launch of its lightweight and ‘go anywhere’ LJ10 Jimny and the first Vitara model was introduced in 1988. Today, six models in the range have 4×4 capability optionally available which is unique in the industry.

On water, the first Outboard motor was launched in 1965 with a one cylinder, 5.5hp engine. Today, more than 30 different types are offered, ranging from the DF2.5 right up to DF350 with its 3.4-litre V6 engine offering 350hp. In 2020 Suzuki launched a ground-breaking micro plastic collecting device for its engines which finely filters and cleans sea water as it travels along whilst cooling the engine at the same time, essentially reducing damage to the environment and helping protect sea life.

The first Suzuki ATV or Quad Bike was launched in 1982 before any of its competitors and today with a product range of three models available in the UK it proves an invaluable working tool to Farmers and Businesses working in rural and remote communities.

Suzuki Motor Corporation Today

In this section we take a more in-depth look at one example from each of the product ranges that Suzuki offers in the UK.

Swift 1.2-litre Hybrid, Suzuki’s Third Generation Compact Supermini

Following on from its launch in the Japanese domestic market, Suzuki Motor Corporation unveiled the Swift for Europe at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show as its all-new global compact supermini. It was facelifted for 2021 with a new 1.2-litre enhanced Hybrid engine as well as further standard specification upgrades. The latest Swift represents an automotive advancement aimed at uplifting the driver through succession, evolution and innovation.

In addition to its stylish exterior design in a compact size of just 3,845mm long, the Swift features excellent visibility, a spacious cabin and ample luggage space. The initial development goal was to create an all-new hatchback style that is undoubtedly Suzuki and further develop Swift’s dynamics and fun to drive factor from its new lightweight platform.

Aspects of Styling Innovation

Initial development of the Swift’s exterior design was based on the concept of a “bold evolution of Swift’s DNA”. While resolute efforts were made so that Swift would inherit the model’s characteristic styling, elements that needed refreshing were also boldly transformed for 2021 to innovatively evolve the car including a new grille and headlamp design.

The look of a low centre of gravity is further established by blacked-out pillars that create the appearance of a floating roof. Pillar-mounted door handles add both style and a sporty flair, while a high-tech look comes in the form of LED signature illumination used in the headlamps and all models have LED headlamps and rear combination lamps as standard equipment – previously for SZ5 models only.

‘Heartect’ Lightweight Platform

Under the ‘SUZUKI NEXT 100’ plan, Suzuki developed a new platform strategy for its future models and the Swift was the third model (following Baleno and Ignis) to adopt this platform and be introduced in Europe.

The Swift rests on a platform known as “HEARTECT” that delivers enhanced fundamental vehicle performance due to being light and highly rigid. A comprehensive overhaul of the underbody’s structure and component layout at initial development resulted in the adoption of a highly rigid frame that enhances collision safety and has a continuous smooth and curving form to help disperse energy quicker.

This led to a reduction in reinforcements, making the body much lighter than before and greatly contributing to lower fuel consumption. This lightweight platform or underbody of Swift registers a kerb weight of just 911kg for the SZ-L, SZ-T & SZ5 2WD Manual models.

Specification Highlights

Standard equipment for all models in the range is very comprehensive and the new SZ-L model includes air conditioning, rear view camera, Radar Brake Support with Adaptive Cruise Control, Smartphone link display audio with DAB radio and Apple Carplay/Android Auto connectivity, leather steering wheel, privacy glass, LED Headlamps, LED rear combination lamps, polished 16-inch alloy wheels and front electric windows.

SZ-T adds grey painted 16-inch alloy wheels, Dual Sensor Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning/ Prevention and Weaving Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition and rear parking sensors.

SZ5 adds Navigation, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and start, telescopic steering wheel adjustment, rear electric windows and door mirror side turn indicators.

Swift is available in one solid colour and six optional metallic colours with three dual tone colours incorporating a Black Pearl roof also available optionally.

Capacity

Adopting Suzuki’s latest generation platform strategy minimised the size of the engine compartment which has enabled maximising the space available for cabin occupants and luggage. Within its compact body size, Swift features a roomy and comfortable cabin with ample space between occupants, ample headroom and legroom contributing to its relaxing environment. The luggage capacity with rear seats raised is 265L.

K12D Engine technology 

Suzuki first introduced its 1.2-litre Dualjet technology (K12C) in 2014, initially in the Swift, and then utilised in the Baleno and Ignis models. This engine was replaced by the new K12D Dualjet unit which offers greater fuel economy and even lower CO2 emissions. The maximum power output is 83PS with a torque figure of 107Nm at just 2,800rpm. Acceleration time to 62mph is 13.1 seconds for the 2WD manual model.

The updated K12D 1.2-litre engine powering the Swift features a dual injection system and offers both powerful response and high fuel efficiency. This high-level balance is made possible through advances that include an electric intake VVT (variable valve timing), a variable displacement oil pump and electric piston cooling jets.

Hybrid technology across the range – Enhanced hybrid system

Fuel efficiency is further enhanced when paired with the self-charging hybrid system powered by a new lithium-ion battery with capacity upgraded from 3Ah to 10Ah for 2021 models to improve energy recovery efficiency.

Available as standard equipment for all Swift models, the upgraded 12V Hybrid system is a compact and lightweight unit that incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor, the ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking. The ISG unit has a power output of 2.3kW with a torque figure of 50Nm and the components of the system add just 6.2kg to the overall weight of the car.

In situations that require higher fuel use, such as when starting from a standstill or accelerating, the hybrid system helps suppress fuel consumption by providing electric motor assist using electricity generated through regenerative braking. Because the ISG uses a belt drive rather than a conventional starter motor to restart the engine after an automatic engine stop it allows for a quiet and smooth start.

Furthermore, the light and long-life lithium-ion battery has excellent regenerative efficiency, which increases the frequency of engine assists. The battery also supplies power to electrical components for the engine, instruments and audio system.

For the Swift with 2WD and manual transmission the Hybrid system helps Suzuki reach a CO2 emissions figure of just 106g/km (WLTP regulation) plus achieve a fuel consumption figure of 59.7mpg (WLTP) on the combined cycle which is the best amongst its competitor set.

Swift Sport Hybrid with 48V system and new K14D Boosterjet engine was introduced earlier in 2020 and is currently the only self-charging hybrid warm hatch model amongst its competitors.

CVT Gearbox

Suzuki’s CVT powertrain is available as an option on Swift SZ-T and SZ5 models with 2WD, and is combined with the 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid powertrain. The CVT system can vary the actual gear ratio continuously and stepless from low speed to high-speed range depending on the driving conditions. The CVT allows improved driveability with reduced shift-shock in comparison with a conventional automatic transmission.

This fully automatic electrically controlled transaxle consists of a continuously speed variable transmission design with a two-stage planetary gear unit and 1-speed reverse gear. By employing a planetary gear unit, this enables the gear ratio ranges to be expanded to offer both good response during acceleration and quieter running at high speeds.

Gear programmes can also be selected manually up or down via steering column mounted paddles.

Further Safety Enhancements

The Swift SZ-L active safety equipment includes a Radar Brake Support (RBS) system.  When travelling above approximately 3mph and the system detects a risk of collision with the vehicle in front, it warns the driver to apply the brakes. At higher speeds and if it senses the possibility of a collision, it warns the driver with a buzzer and via a notification on the multi-information display.

If the probability of a collision has increased, the system activates brake assist which increases the braking force during emergency braking. If the system determines that a collision is unavoidable, it applies the brakes automatically. The system thus helps prevent collisions when the vehicle is driving at low speeds and helps reduce damage in the event of an unavoidable collision.

The RBS system monitors the road ahead by means of milli-wave radar. The radar technology enables it to work even at high speeds, in darkness, and in rain or other bad weather. The system prevents or mitigates a collision by means of three functions which are Warning, Brake Assist and Automatic Braking.

As an additional safety feature, stereo cameras mounted on each side of the drivers interior rear view mirror, function in a similar way to the human eye, detecting lane markings as well as objects ahead (including pedestrians) and also their distance away. Based on the size and shape of the object, the cameras can determine whether it is a pedestrian or another vehicle.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system

The ACC system fitted as standard on all facelift Swift models combines cruise control technology with the system’s milli-wave radar to make driving easier and more relaxing. The system uses radar to measure the distance to the vehicle in front and automatically adjusts road speed to maintain any of three driver selected headway distances.

If there is a sufficient distance from the vehicle ahead, the car travels at the set input speed. If the vehicle in front is travelling slower the set speed will automatically reduce to allow sufficient distance to be maintained. Once the sensor detects that the vehicle in front has departed from the lane in front the vehicle will automatically reaccelerate to the input set speed.

SZ-T and SZ5 Models

  • Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS) fitted as standard equipment: As mentioned for the RBS system, when travelling above approximately 3mph and the system detects a risk of collision with the vehicle in front, it warns the driver to apply the brakes. At higher speeds if it senses the possibility of a collision, it warns the driver with a buzzer and also via a notification on the multi-information display. The dual sensors are fitted in the front grille and interior rear-view mirror.

If the probability of a collision has increased, the system activates brake assist which increases the braking force during emergency braking. If the system determines that a collision is unavoidable, it applies the brakes automatically. The system thus helps prevent collisions when the vehicle is driving at low speeds and helps reduce damage in the event of an unavoidable collision.

  • Lane departure warning function: When the vehicle is travelling at vehicle speeds of approximately 37mph or above and is departing the lane without the driver using a turn signal, the system vibrates the steering wheel and lights a warning indicator in the instrument cluster to draw attention to lane departures caused by factors such as inattention to the road.
  • Weaving alert function: When the vehicle is traveling at vehicle speeds of approximately 37mph or above and is weaving from side to side within a lane, the system sounds a warning buzzer and lights an indicator on the instrument panel. This quickly draws the driver’s attention to weaving caused by drowsiness or other factors.

Blind Spot Monitor (SZ-T and SZ5 models)

Lane changing at speeds above 10mph is made safer with the addition of the Blind Spot Monitor function. The system has two rear mounted side radar sensors capable of detecting vehicles located in or approaching the rear blind spots on either side of the vehicle. Once detected, a warning LED icon is illuminated in the relevant exterior mirror. If the driver ignores it and indicates to change lanes, a flashing LED icon is accompanied by a warning sound alert.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert

At speeds of up to 5mph whilst in reverse, two rear mounted radar sensors are utilised to alert the driver of approaching vehicles on either side when reversing out of car parking spaces. If a vehicle is detected, the driver is given both a visual alert and a warning sound alert. This enables the driver to manoeuvre more safely out of parking spaces where vision may be obscured.

Traffic Sign Recognition

For the latest Swift, traffic sign recognition monitors the road ahead for traffic signs. When it detects road signs such as speed limits or no passing zones, it displays the sign on the instrument display to help the driver remember which road signs the car has passed. For additional traffic signs showing supplementary information, a blank box is displayed under the main traffic sign to inform the driver.

4WD (ALLGRIP AUTO)

The Swift Facelift adopts Suzuki’s ALLGRIP ‘AUTO’ four-wheel drive system which is available optionally on the SZ5 model with manual transmission only. This is a well proven and simple fully automatic and permanent four-wheel drive layout which transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling. It is also an ideal choice for customers living in rural areas who may need additional mobility across rougher terrain or for crossing slippery surfaces during winter months without owning a more conventional SUV sized vehicle.

The viscous coupling essentially takes on the role of a centre differential to connect the front and rear axles and is made up of two sets of annular metal plates which rotate in a casing containing a silicon type fluid. In normal operating conditions the plates will turn at the same rate but when wheel slippage occurs the silicon fluid will quickly become highly viscous when heated by increased friction and shear caused by differences between the movements of the plates.

In summary, one part of the viscous coupling is connected to the driving axle and one part to the driven axle. When the front wheels spin the centre viscous coupling locks due to friction and shear caused by the differences in motion of the plates which will then rapidly transfer more torque to the rear axle.

Display audio system with navigation and smartphone connectivity

The audio system for all facelift Swift models has Smartphone link with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with a large seven-inch touch panel display that enables intuitive operation. As a dealer option, an SD card adds a three-dimensional navigation map system for the SZ-L and SZ-T models.

Apple CarPlay is the smarter and safer way to use iPhone in the Swift. Apart from making calls it also facilitates receiving directions for optimised traffic conditions, listening to music, email, text messages and more.

On Two Wheels

History of an Icon – The Hayabusa Story

There aren’t many more iconic and immediately recognisable silhouettes in motorcycling, and the GSX1300R Hayabusa wowed the two-wheeled world when it was launched in 1999. We look at its origin, the revamps and the launch of the third generation in 2021.

‘Suzuki Sets New Standards’ read the media review headline following the launch of the first Hayabusa at the Circuit de Catalunya in 1999. The design brief was simple; wade into the hyper sport motorcycle market and come out on top. The new Hayabusa (which translates to peregrine falcon, a bird of prey which has a top speed dive of 200mph and preys on blackbirds), did just that.

Styled and designed to a purpose, the Hayabusa made an impression the moment you saw it, with its flowing lines aimed at making it as aerodynamic as possible, allowing it to cut through the air with ease. And at the launch in Spain, every superlative imaginable was thrown in its direction, with the assembled press running out of ways to describe just how jaw-dropping it was.

Head of design on the original project was Yoshiura san, who described the idea he set out to achieve, saying, “The concept of the first Hayabusa was to create an original and dominating impact with superior aerodynamics, as well as being the most powerful sports motorcycle. I designed it with the intention of getting attention, using a unique motorcycle design. It needed to be the ultimate road-legal motorcycle with the highest performance from mass-produced bikes.”

It was immediately heralded as the fastest production bike on the market. At the launch, top speeds were clocked at the same point on the track as they were for the 500cc GP race the year before, with the Hayabusa just five miles an hour slower than the quickest prototype racer of the day, bike at the same point of the straight, and it wasn’t flat out. To cope with the power, Bridgestone developed a set of brand-new tyres, the BT56J, which gave the Hayabusa a greater contact patch when leant over and greater stability at high speed.

Suzuki test rider, Yuichi Nakashima, said of the first Hayabusa, “I can say the Hayabusa’s engine feels so overwhelmingly powerful and finely tuned that there is nothing like it. After riding it you won’t want to ride another motorcycle. Just once experience the Hayabusa’s powerful acceleration from low to high speeds and its nimble handling and you too will be hooked.”

It wasn’t just the phenomenal power that the bike was praised for. The smooth, 1299cc inline-four-cylinder engine provided a very high level of torque, making the Hayabusa more than just a road-legal missile, but a user friendly, real-world motorcycle, capable of shrinking continents. It was happy cruising at motorway speeds on long-distance trips, or on the casual Sunday ride out. And it handled too, with the chassis and agility the other key areas where the Hayabusa scored highly.

It became an immediate hit and cult status followed, with the Hayabusa becoming an icon. It was, and indeed, still is, the weapon of choice for top speed chasers, while drag racing strips became its second home. It also lent itself readily to customisation, with numerous people choosing to personalise their Hayabusa.

Also testament to the strength and power of the Hayabusa power plant is the long standing relationship that Suzuki GB has formed with sports and racing car manufacturer, Radical. Since 2000, Radical have been using Hayabusa engines in a wide range of their sports and racing cars, including building a Hayabusa-based V8 engine, which features in the SR8 RX race car.

As for the customised scene, that took off nowhere more so than the United States, where the Hayabusa elevated itself to the top of the fashionable motorcycle list, also proving popular with music artists and sport stars. The instantly recognisable bodywork, extensive list of aftermarket parts and interchangeable Suzuki components, plus the silky smooth, powerful and easily tuneable engine meant it was the motorcycle of choice for custom shops up and down the USA, serving as a rolling advertising board for the potential of the custom builder.

Apart from an upgraded ECU, revised fuel injection settings and front suspension, it went relatively unchanged in the early years, until a radical overhaul on the 2008 model.

Launched in September 2007 at the Salzburgring in Austria, the Hayabusa was back with a bang, eight years after the original made its debut in Spain. Updates included a stronger and more powerful engine, which increased the displacement to 1340cc, with new lighter and stronger engine internals and a redesigned gearbox and a broader torque throughout the rpm range. With a lot of extra power available, a new design curved radiator helped keep the engine cool.

The newest 4-into-2-into-1-into-2 exhaust system featured a new oxygen sensor used by the engine management system to increase combustion efficiency by adjusting the amount of fuel injected into the cylinders, and wind tunnel testing for the 2008 model centred around design refinements aimed at redesigning wind protection for the rider, while remaining true to the original design and iconic styling. Wind flow over and around the rider, both when in a normal seating position as well as when completely tucked in was improved. There were also changes to the front and rear suspension, brakes, frame, and wheels.

Chief engineer Hiroshi Iio worked on the engine of the original Hayabusa, before being made chief engineer for the overall project. “When we were refining the design for the second generation, the team placed top priority on improving its already legendary aerodynamic efficiency. The Hayabusa really stands above and apart from other ultimate sport bikes, and its consummate form follows the function of the bike’s aerodynamic characteristics. Plus, its optimal balance and motion control translate into the ease of handling that you experience when actually riding the bike.”

The Salzburgring was the perfect track for the relaunch of the Hayabusa, with two long straights, flat out kinks and fast corners. And nearly 10 years after the original model wowed the assembled motorcycle press. After first introduction in 1999, it was back to reaffirm itself at the top.

Fast forward another five years and Brembo Monobloc front callipers graced the front end, which are lighter and more rigid than conventional bolt-together callipers, delivering better feedback to the rider. And to further aid stopping power, lightweight, high-performance ABS featured to match stopping power to available traction. It also came with new Bridgestone BT-015s, again, specially developed for the Hayabusa.

As GSX-R1000s and GSX-R1000Rs moved the super sport game on, with faster engines and superior handling, the Hayabusa’s place moved further into higher speed comfort. Already a string in its bow, the Hayabusa was the ideal tool for swallowing huge miles in speed and comfort, with assured handling and performance.

But with tighter emissions regulations coming into force, the Hayabusa disappeared from European model ranges after 2018 and until February 2021 when a new version was announced. The third generation Hayabusa was here, retaining everything that made it so good, and getting updates to make it even better.

Over 550 new parts were developed for the Hayabusa, the new hyperbike using a similarly iconic and uniquely individual Hayabusa aerodynamic silhouette and styling, a heavily redesigned engine – including new pistons, conrods, crankshaft, and camshaft – specifically aimed at producing enhanced performance in the lower to mid rev ranges making it the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet, a comprehensive suite of electronics that includes IMU-governed ABS and traction control, cruise control, launch control, bi-directional quick shifter, engine brake control, three power modes, plus three pre-set rider modes and three user-defined modes, and a revised chassis with a new subframe, new brakes, and new suspension settings.

Since the Hayabusa ceased to exist in Europe, the motorcycling landscape has changed, not just from the standpoint of stricter emissions regulations, but also the market. The Hayabusa’s need to keep chasing peak power figures was no longer there. Instead, the focus was on thrust.

The third generation Hayabusa now has an even fatter torque curve, providing a wider spread of power in the lower rev ranges, which makes building speed effortless.

The biggest change, however, comes in the electronics department. A sophisticated suite of electronics means the new Hayabusa has everything you could want or need to cover ground quickly and in comfort. But it also stops short of technology for technologies sake, meaning that it could be launched with an RRP of £16,499, too, ensuring it remained exceptional value for money.

Suzuki – King of Quads

Back in 1982, the QuadRunner 125 was the ATV that started an industry. It was the first ever production 4-wheel ATV and became a top-seller. This ATV boasted a friendly design that was easy to use and an outstanding cost-performance ratio. It was to be the catalyst that started a future of 4-wheel ATV technology and today Suzuki produces around 15,000 units per annum globally.

Today Suzuki’s range currently comprises of three versatile models; the KingQuad 500 and 500XP as well as the KingQuad 750XP (XP denotes power steering). These robust utility ATVs are the culmination of years of refinement and their high levels of technical specification and ease of handling make them suitable for a variety of applications including hill and lowland farming, estate management and use on equestrian properties.

Once Suzuki ATVs leave the factory, they are also fully Pre-Delivery inspected and track tested by authorised Suzuki Dealers across the UK. All Suzuki ATVs come with a full two-year unlimited mileage warranty, subject to owner registration and scheduled service records.

Not only is the product class-leading, but Suzuki GB’s Nationwide network of expert Dealers is equally as impressive. Many of these Dealers are long-standing Suzuki representatives and with excellent coverage across the UK, customers can be reassured that however remote they are, they will always find a Suzuki ATV Dealership within reach.

All Suzuki Dealers are specialists in their field and have received extensive product training from Suzuki so that they are well positioned to be able to offer friendly, expert advice, servicing and aftersales support to help customers get the most from their machine.

Safety is paramount, and Suzuki offers free EASI training with its ATVs. As well as the product briefing and handover from the Dealer, Suzuki also strongly recommends the free, five-hour certificate course with the European ATV Safety Institute (EASI). Covering pre-ride checks, riding in different conditions, and negotiating obstacles and will help keep you and your ATV safe and productive long-term.

Understanding its customers and the environment in which they work is part of Suzuki’s ethos.  Suzuki understands that ATVs are important and valuable which is why it provides a theft deterrent system as standard.

The CESAR Security System powered by Datatag is the official security initiative of both the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) and the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) and comes FREE on all new Suzuki utility ATVs. This Suzuki Datatag kit will give each ATV a unique ‘fingerprint’ with an identity that cannot be erased, however hard a criminal may try.

This acts as a strong theft deterrent and a tool for recovery should the worst happen, as well as reducing insurance premiums.

Suzuki also works with participating Dealers to help provide the ability for prospective customers to try before they buy and for existing customers a ‘Courtesy ATV Scheme’. This is because Suzuki understands that many farmers rely on their ATVs and cannot afford to be without it, so a loan ATV will help keep them and their business moving.

For more information on Suzuki’s King Quads, visit: https://atv.suzuki.co.uk

Suzuki Marine

On water, the DF350A is Suzuki’s flagship outboard model – it is also the most powerful and most technically advanced product that Suzuki produces. The DF350A utilises a 4.4-litre V6 engine with an output of 350hp and incorporates a unique dual propeller system for better power delivery, low end torque and higher stability when turning at speed. A Direct air intake and special design louvre system assists with higher power output and improved combustion efficiency.

The engine uses Suzuki’s renowned and world-leading Lean Burn Fuel Control System for significant improvements in fuel efficiency across the entire rev range and not just within a particular power band. The engine also incorporates Drive-By-Wire throttle for smooth and precise control as well as Dual injectors for a higher output and better fuel efficiency.

Suzuki Motor Corporation is continually seeking to develop innovative solutions to environmental issues associated with the manufacturing of automotive and marine products and has developed the world’s first* Micro-Plastic Collecting Device for installation on outboard motors.

Marine plastic waste is a growing environmental issue with a huge amount of mismanaged waste flowing into the oceans each year. The waste then breaks down into micro-plastics in the ocean’s ecosystem, significantly impacting marine life.

To help tackle this issue, Suzuki has focused on the structure of the outboard motor, which pumps up tons of seawater to cool the engine and then returns the water to the ocean. Suzuki has developed a device which collects micro-plastic waste from the returning water. Through this device, micro-plastic waste can be collected just by running the engine.

The device can be easily installed to the return hose and does not affect the engine performance since it only utilises the returning water that has already been used to cool the engine.

During monitoring research conducted in Japan, a substantial amount of micro-plastic waste was found within the substances collected in the filter. Research is also currently being conducted internationally with further improvements scheduled for the device going forward.

Suzuki plans to introduce the device optionally during 2021 and incorporate it as a standard feature in the future.

Mark Beeley, Head of Marine & ATV for Suzuki GB, said, “This ground-breaking development is part of Suzuki’s continuing determination to devise innovative solutions that mitigate the serious impact of plastic waste on our natural environment. It marks the first time in marine industry history that an outboard motor cooling system has been utilized to extract micro-plastics from the seawater.”

Editor’s Notes:

Suzuki Clean Ocean Project

2020 was the 10th year of Suzuki’s continuing activities to clean oceans. As marine plastic waste becomes an increasingly serious and pressing problem, Suzuki has taken the opportunity to review how it has been contributing to the environment and society and research what it can do to change direction. As well as collecting micro-plastic waste through developing the Micro-Plastic Collecting Device, the project includes the following commitments.

Clean-Up the World Campaign

Suzuki has been voluntarily conducting clean-up activities around seas, rivers, lakes, and ponds where its outboard motors are used. This activity was initiated in 2010 in Hamamatsu, and subsequently carried out globally from 2011. So far, a total of over 8,000 people from 26 countries have participated. 2020 was the 10th anniversary, and Suzuki has committed to continue with this campaign.

For further information on Suzuki Marine visit:

https://marine.suzuki.co.uk/

https://marine.suzuki.co.uk/owners/environment/

*Suzuki research: 1 October 2020

The Future

Suzuki Motor Corporation

Suzuki announced its Mid-Term Management Plan in April 2021 which will run through to March 2026 and follows the philosophy of ‘Sho-Sho-Kei-Tan-Bi’ which translates to ‘smaller, fewer, lighter, shorter and neater’ and represents the basis of Suzuki’s manufacturing since its foundation.

Over the past 100 years, we have taken on many challenges, including looms, motorcycles, automobiles, and outboard motors. Suzuki will continue to take on the challenge to realize carbon neutral and in such a course, the philosophy of “Sho-Sho-Kei-Tan-Bi” is truly worthy of this challenge.

Based on the unwavering commitment to “Focusing on the customer” inherited from our founder, we will make even greater efforts to provide customers with the value of “Sho-Sho-Kei-Tan-Bi”.

Basic Philosophy

Suzuki’s commitments are “Assure people’s means of mobility” and “Emerging economies will continue to be a pillar of growth”. Suzuki will stay focused upon the customer throughout the next 100 years and strive to create value-packed products and services. We would like to convey our thought together with the slogan of “Small cars for a big future.”

New Mid-Term Management Plan Initiatives

Amid the global trend toward carbon neutrality, it is necessary to clarify Suzuki’s efforts and to place even greater emphasis on quality with the shift to electrification and software development.

Suzuki Motor Corporation will give priority to three issues: CO2 emissions in use, CO2 emissions from production and quality assurance. With regards to CO2 emissions in use, we will develop electrification technologies and fully implement these technologies in products to ensure that we meet legislative requirements.

In terms of quality, we will focus on the customer to create products of high quality and value-packed products at an affordable price. In addition, we will strive to prevent the occurrence with early detection of quality problems by promptly investigating the causes and taking countermeasures, producing products with reduced variants, and expanded traceability management.

In the automobile business, the target for Japan is to maintain 30% or more share in the mini-car market, as well as 50% increase in compact car sales (vs FY2020). In India, Suzuki will take the initiative in promoting electrification required by society in response to environmental issues there and maintain its market share of more than 50% in the passenger car segment.

With regards to the alliance with Toyota, we will deepen this by cooperating in electrified vehicles, sales in the African market as well as supplementing product and components.

In the motorcycle business, we will build an attractive and diverse line-up using a common platform to secure sales of 2 million units in 2025 and an operating margin of 5% or more.

For the Marine business, a net sales target of ¥100 billion is forecast. 

Global Performance and Future Investment

 FY2019
Result
FY2020
Forecast
FY2025
Target
PerformanceNet Sales3.4884 trillion yen3 trillion yen4.8 trillion yen
Operating income margin6.2%5.3%5.5%
Shareholder returnROE9.3%8%
Payout ratio29.7%TBD30%
InvestmentR&D148.1 billion yen150.0 billion yen1.0 trillion yen/5 years
(200.0 billion/year)
Capital Investment236.4 billion yen220.0 billion yen1.2 trillion yen/5 years
(240.0 billion/year)
Global
sales
Automobiles2.85 million units2.38 million units3.7 million units
Motorcycles1.71 million units1.48 million units2.0 million units

Note. Exchange rate assumptions … US $1 = 104 yen, 1 Euro = 124 yen, 1 INR = 1.42 yen

*Forecasts for the consolidated operating results are based on currently available information and assumptions, contain risks and uncertainty and do not constitute guarantees of future achievement. Please note that the actual results may greatly vary by the changes of various factors. Those factors, which may influence the future results, include economic conditions and the trend of demand in major markets and the fluctuations of foreign exchange rates (mainly U.S. dollar/Yen rate, Euro/Yen rate, Indian Rupee/Yen rate).

NC

Ka-Chow!