Suzuki Australia will introduce a hybrid version of its S-Cross in early 2024 as part of a broader plan to offer hybrids across most of its range – and potentially some other form of electrification.
“We plan to introduce that into the model range, the hybrid [S-Cross], and it will be available in the current guise as well and potentially in two-wheel drive as well,” said Suzuki Australia managing director Michael Pachota.
“It’s not a matter of ‘if’ anymore, it’s a matter of ‘when’. It was always on the cards, it was just a matter of what date we were going to roll it out.
“The plan was originally to do it in 2023 but at the moment based on supply chain issues on a global perspective it’s looking like it’s going to be early 2024 – unless things change, of course.”
Suzuki has “definite” plans to introduce further electrified models.
“By 2025, if you look at the [voluntary] CO2 standards that the FCAI have put together… The way we can meet it is only by introducing electrified technology,” Mr Pachota said.
“We’ll potentially have hybrid mostly across the range, and maybe some form of electrification down there but we can’t confirm anything on that just yet.”
The S-Cross Full Hybrid has been revealed in Europe, where it’s built, 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 powertrain with the Vitara Full Hybrid introduced earlier in 2022, it features a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, a 140V lithium-ion battery and inverter, a motor generator unit, and 12V lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
Suzuki lists outputs of 85kW of power and 138Nm of torque.
It’s mated with what Suzuki calls an Auto Gear Shift, a six-speed automated manual transmission.
There’s no clutch pedal and the onboard computer picks the gears, but the system has to dip the clutch for you, engage the new gear and then carry on.
Suzuki claims WLTP fuel economy of 5.2L/100km and CO2 emissions of 118g/km in the front-wheel drive Full Hybrid, rising to 5.8L/100km and 132g/km with all-wheel drive.
The S-Cross Full Hybrid does the 0-100km/h sprint in 12.7 seconds – more of a saunter, considering the mild-hybrid models take 9.5 to 10.2 seconds. The all-wheel drive Full Hybrid is slowest at 13.5 seconds.
In the UK, the S-Cross Full Hybrid is priced at £26,749 (A$47,924) in front-wheel drive Motion guise and £31,549 (A$56,524) for the all-wheel drive Ultra.
They’re priced £1750 ($3135) higher than their mild-hybrid counterparts, which are offered in the UK only with a six-speed manual.
The S-Cross range is considerably different in Australia. Though Suzuki Australia also sources the model from Hungary, all models here feature a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine – sans electrification, and with outputs of 103kW and 220Nm.
The only transmission is a six-speed torque-converter automatic.
The base model is priced at $40,490 before on-road costs, while the Prestige is $44,490 list.
It received a comprehensive update this year, with fresh exterior styling, more technology, an overhauled interior with better infotainment, and standard all-wheel drive.
The company has said it hopes to once again offer more affordable front-wheel drive models, however.
Australia has thus far missed out on a range of electrified Suzuki models.
In Suzuki’s home market of Japan, there’s also a range of mild-hybrid kei cars and small people movers and crossovers, as well as the hybrid Landy, a rebadged Toyota Noah.