The rear seats of the most recent Suzuki Jimny aren’t much use for anyone other than smaller children. Ideally, you won’t use them at all, laying the rear bench flat to make the microscopic 85-litre boot semi-useable. And even then, it’s not the most commodious load bay.
Happily, though, Suzuki is working on a long-wheelbase version of the Jimny. Despite the heavy camouflage this test mule wears, we can tell it’s still going to be flippin’ adorable despite its increase in size.
Interestingly, the prototype doesn’t seem to have acquired an extra set of doors (it might well be a long wheelbase Jimny van), but a five-door variant may well be in the works too. Such a thing has been rumoured for some time, and while Suzuki is going to the effort of elongating the Jimny, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a pick-up version too.
Any under-bonnet tweaks are unknown at this stage. Hopefully, the 1.5-litre inline-four has either cleaned up its act or (less likely) been replaced altogether. The 101bhp fares so badly in terms of CO2 emissions that Suzuki was forced to cull the passenger version in Europe to lower its fleet average, pledging to reintroduce it later as a two-seater commercial vehicle.
Sadly, it’s more likely that Suzuki is catering for demand in other markets with the creation of this new Jimny variant, but there’s no harm in hoping we might get a look-in here in a commercial form or otherwise. As it stands, you can’t order a Jimny in any form in the UK, with the commercial not due to arrive until Spring 2021.
Under the skin of this new LWB version, it should be much the same, albeit with the sturdy ladder chassis stretched as necessary. We’d expect the SWB’s rigid axles to be retained too, along with the selectable four-wheel drive system and brake-based torque vectoring setup. Here’s also hoping the delightfully beige ‘Chiffon Ivory’ hue of the smaller Jimny is kept on the colour palette.
In terms of pricing, with the SWB passenger version originally available for as little as £15,500, the stretched Jimny may well sneak under the £20,000 mark in its most basic form. Keep an eye out later in the year for the car’s full reveal.