Suzuki, known for its lightweight and efficient platforms, wants to keep this philosophy alive as it moves towards electric vehicles (EVs) that are laden with technology.
Speaking to CarsGuide at this year’s Japan Mobility Show, a senior designer from Suzuki who wished to remain unnamed, said a different approach will be applied to electric cars to keep the brand’s trademark ultra-efficiency.
“First I think aerodynamics becomes a big part of it when we are playing with EV platforms, so we’re working really hard on aerodynamics,” he said.
“Of course, we have a concept model today, but we also have to think about tyre sizes and tyre widths. Also think about aerodynamics of the wheels and the sizes of the lamps – for example, lamps are very heavy, so we have to decrease the size of lamps.
“And if you talk about the interior, we had like excessive instrument parts that is not quite useful that can be thrown out.
“If you look at the interior of this car, you can see less old-fashioned, analogue buttons – that’s all thrown out, everything can be replaced by digital touchscreen multimedia.”
Exact details for Suzuki’s first electric car are still unknown, but the design is previewed by the eVX concept that was revealed earlier this year and shown off again in Tokyo last month.
The model is targeting a 500km driving range when it makes it to production (the concept features a 60kWh battery), while a two-speed automatic transmission could also be used to boost efficiency thanks to Suzuki’s partnership with Inmotive Inc.
Power and torque output targets are currently unknown.
And another big question mark is how much the production eVX will weigh.
For reference, the kerb weights of the Swift, Jimny three-door and S-Cross (Suzuki’s current largest model) are a minute 900kg, 1095kg and 1185kg respectively – making them, in some cases, hundreds of kilograms lighter than rivals.
“The way we think about how to build a car is how lightweight we can make it,” the designer said.
“It means how many things we can remove without making the car looking disappointing.
“So that’s the hard part and that’s the dilemma.
“I think when we start designing cars for the future, we cannot think as [we] used to think in the past – we have this preconception that things have to be there [but that will change].”
The production version of Suzuki’s eVX is expected to launch in international markets in 2025, followed by a release in Australia.
And future EVs are likely not coming to market until after the eVX’s 2025 debut.