Suzuki Jimny Lite is a blank canvas for off-road enthusiasts

One of the most desirable new cars currently for sale is the Suzuki Jimny. The compact 4x4 was developed with a "less is more" philosophy and gives off-roaders everything they need to traverse rough terrain, but at an affordable price and without the luxury that many modern trucks bring. Now Suzuki has announced an even simpler Jimny Lite that offers exactly what four-wheelers want in a no-frills, affordable package.
First and foremost, the Jimny Lite will still feature the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder 101 horsepower, 96 pound-feet of torque engine, along with the same low-range all-wheel drive and ladder frame construction that made the original such a great one small off-road machine. However, while regular Jimnys have a four-speed automatic option, the Jimny Lite is only offered with one gearbox selection, a five-speed manual.
Instead of alloys, the rig - called “Diet Jimny” in an image filename on the Suzuki Australia website - comes with 15-inch steel wheels, which are harder and cheaper than aluminum. Other exterior changes include halogen headlights in place of LED projectors, remote fog lights, and the subtle replacement of plastic textured side mirrors in place of the current glossy black units.
In the cabin, the infotainment touchscreen with standard satellite navigation is being replaced by an old-school in-dash radio and CD player. However, Bluetooth is still included so you can still stream navigation and digital music from your phone. In addition, the digital climate control is clamped in for a manually operated system.
This sounds like a dream come true for enthusiasts who enjoy using their own aftermarket wheels, auxiliary lighting, and stereo options. While the price has not yet been announced, the Suzuki Jimny Lite is likely to be even more affordable, giving wrenches a blank canvas to build their own rigs without paying upfront for things they don't need. It's like when Toyota offered the 86 RC, a version of the 86 with steel wheels and an unpainted bumper for racing cars.
Unfortunately, as with the 86 RC, Jimny's sales territory does not include the United States. The Jimny is available in its native Japan, south of our border, in Europe, Australia as well as in several other markets around the world. We're not seeing it anytime soon in the States, but that hasn't stopped us from longing for a Jimny from afar. With the Jimny Lite, our desire becomes even stronger.
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