320 bhp Suzuki SX4



Following the successful testing in selected events of the 2007 World Rally Championship (WRC), the Suzuki WRC Team has begun an assault on the 2008 championship with the SX4 WRC which is derived from the SX4.

Developed as a driver-friendly World Rally Car by Suzuki Sport, Suzuki’s motorsports division, extensive testing on many different types of surfaces was carried out when the team entered two events during 2007. Using the valuable experience gained last year, the SX4 WRC has been improved for full-scale competition and among the major changes are a new differential and new suspension settings as well as other improvements under the skin.

The SX4 WRC has a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (developed from the J20 unit) with full-time 4WD and a 5-speed sequential gearbox. The 1997 cc engine delivers 320 bhp between 4000 and 4500 rpm while maximum torque of 590 Nm peaks at 3500 rpm.

The SX4 WRC’s powertrain features a carbon 3-disc clutch, electronically-controlled centre differential and mechanical front and rear differentials. Its well-balanced chassis and rigid structure allow the front and rear MacPherson struts with coil springs work to their full potential with Reiger shock absorbers fitted for dynamic, responsive handling.

For tarmac events, the car uses 20/65-18 tyres fitted on 8X18-inch wheels; when racing over gravel, 17/65-15 rubber is mounted to 7X15-inch wheels. The SX4 WRC sits on a wheelbase of 2500 mm, stands 1450 mm high and weighs 1230 kgs (the minimum permitted by FIA regulations).

The WRC effort builds on Suzuki’s success in the JWRC, where the Swift Super 1600 has enjoyed an excellent record. Commenting on the first full season of competition for the team, Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, principal of the Suzuki World Rally Team, said: "As we embark on our full first season, our goal is to make steady progress by taking one step at a time. Results are obviously important, but we cannot get ahead of ourselves either. In our debut year, it's only natural to expect a few minor problems and we're grateful to have a driver of the calibre of Toni Gardemeister to help us improve. P-G Andersson is at the very start of his career, so his job is to learn as well. We all share the common objective of performing to the best of our abilities, and increasing the profile of Suzuki's compact cars all over the world."

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