Foresters, anglers, hunters and operators of snow-clearing winter services love it. Although the Suzuki Jimny has felt like rolling anachronism for an eternity. Just 3,70 meters long, all-wheel drive can be activated at the push of a button, rigid axles and largely dispense with all the electronics that can be found elsewhere. In addition, a weak engine by today's standards. The Jimny and its predecessors LJ and Samurai have been omnipresent worldwide as the smallest real off-road vehicle since 1980. Today the three-door car is available from 15.590 euros and is still a fixture in the Suzuki stable. Only the aged Russian Lada 4 × 4 (formerly called Niva) is even cheaper at 10.490 euros.
Test drive off the beaten track on muddy forest trails south of Dublin, here the current Jimny is supposed to show that a small child can achieve great things in rough terrain. At the push of a button, the front axle participates in plowing through deep water points and helps digging through thick mud. Thanks to the reduction gear, the oldie crawls through deep furrows, over small boulders and does not limp even on icy slopes. A real off-road vehicle, but which has to make do with an 1,3 liter four-cylinder with just 62 kW / 84 PS, does not run faster than 140 km / h on solid roads and where 14 seconds pass before the speedometer needle reaches the number 100. His fans still love him, even though they often illegally refer to him as the "Suzuki Jeep". Only the original from the USA may carry the name.
Now the Jimny community can rest easy, there will be a more modern successor to the original rock.Takanori Suzuki, head of the company of the same name for South America and Oceania, confirmed in Australia that the Jimny will live on and will probably be on the market in two years. The new one will also have a ladder frame and stand up to the civil SUV as a flawless off-road vehicle. "He remains a real off-roader," says the Japanese manager. In addition, it will keep its edgy retro design in a more modern form, will continue to rely on lightweight construction (today's model only weighs 1,2 tons), but adapted to modern times in terms of safety and comfort. Small turbo gasoline engines could also nest under the bonnet, ensuring more power than today. The antiquated all-wheel drive is also likely to be replaced by a contemporary system in which the electronics are in charge.
It is not yet certain whether the new Jimny will be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October this year. (Peter Maahn / SP-X)