Suzuki Australia will introduce a hybrid version of its S-Cross in early 2024 as part of a wider plan to offer hybrids across much of its range – and possibly some other form of electrification.
“We plan to introduce it to the model range, a hybrid [S-Cross]and it will also be available in its current form and potentially with two-wheel drive as well,” Suzuki Australia managing director Michael Paciotta said.
“It’s no longer a question of ‘if’, but a question of ‘when.’ It was always on the cards, it was just a matter of what date we were going to release it.
“It was originally planned to be in 2023, but at the moment, based on supply chain issues globally, it looks like it will happen in early 2024 — unless things change, of course.”
Suzuki has “concrete” plans to introduce further electrified models.
“By 2025, if you look at [voluntary] The CO2 standards put together by the FCAI… We can only achieve this by introducing electrified technologies,” said Mr Paciota.
“Potentially we’ll have a hybrid mostly across the range and maybe some form of electrification there, but we can’t confirm anything about that yet.”
The S-Cross full hybrid has been revealed in Europe, where it is manufactured, and joins the existing 48V mild hybrid models not sold here.
It’s available with either front-wheel drive or Suzuki’s AllGrip all-wheel drive system.
Sharing its transmission with Vitara Full Hybrid introduced earlier in 2022, it has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a lithium-ion battery and a 140V inverter, a motor-generator, and 12V lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
Suzuki lists 85kW of power and 138Nm of torque.
It’s mated to what Suzuki calls Auto Gear Shift, a six-speed automated manual transmission.
There’s no clutch pedal and the on-board computer selects the gears, but the system has to drop the clutch for you, engage a new gear and then carry on.
Suzuki claims WLTP fuel economy of 5.2L/100km and CO2 emissions of 118g/km for the front-wheel drive full hybrid, rising to 5.8L/100km and 132g/km with all-wheel drive.
The S-Cross Full Hybrid sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 12.7 seconds – more of a walk considering the mild hybrid models take between 9.5 and 10.2 seconds. The all-wheel drive hybrid is the slowest at 13.5 seconds.
In the UK, the S-Cross Full Hybrid costs £26,749 (AU$47,924) in front-wheel-drive Motion guise and £31,549 (AU$56,524) for the all-wheel-drive Ultra.
They cost £1,750 ($3,135) more than their mild-hybrid counterparts, which are only offered in the UK with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The The S-Cross range differs significantly in Australia. Although Suzuki Australia also sources a model from Hungary, all models here have a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine – without electrification and making 103kW and 220Nm.
The only transmission is a six-speed torque converter automatic.
The base model costs $40,490 before on-road costs, while the Prestige costs $44,490.
This year it gets a complete facelift, with fresh exterior styling, more technology, an overhauled interior with a better infotainment system and standard all-wheel drive.
However, the company said it hopes to offer more affordable front-wheel-drive models again.
Australia has so far missed out on a number of electrified Suzuki models.
Suzuki’s home market, Japan, also has a range of mild-hybrid kei cars and small trucks and crossovers, as well as the Landy hybrid, a rebadged Toyota Noah.
MORE: All Suzuki S-Cross