American Suzuki is not yet sure what to name its new compact sport-utility.
When it arrives next year as a 1999 model, the vehicle will be longer, rounder and more powerful than the Sidekick, which it will replace in Suzuki's lineup, said Gary Anderson, sales and marketing vice president.
But Suzuki officials carefully avoid calling the vehicle the new Sidekick. Why? Because they are not sure that nameplate gives the vehicle the 'rugged' image they want for it.
The new vehicle retains the Sidekick's body-on-frame construction and high ground clearance, 'so it will still be a true off-road vehicle,' Anderson said.
The Suzuki version will have an optional V-6 engine that will not be shared with Chevrolet, which markets the current Sidekick as the Tracker. U.S. sales begin next summer.