The new 'multi compact' supermini, described as a cross between a compact car, sports utility vehicle and sporty hatchback, will go on UK sale from next week's Birmingham motor show. Prices will be announced then, but are expected to match the Toyota Yaris.
Suzuki executive vice president Sokichi Nakano, unveiling the Ignis in Paris with the help of an Austin Powers lookalike, claimed it offered “many solutions” for customers.
“Small cars have a big future,” said Mr Nakano. “The Ignis satisfies the philosophy of small, sporty cars and has been designed to be a multi-compact car.”
The first full-year sales target is 3,500 units, with customers including existing Suzuki buyers and conquests from rival superminis including Yaris, Ford Ka and Peugeot 106.
A Suzuki spokesman said: “Ignis will appeal to a wide spectrum of people, including the young, single 25-30-plus age group. Because it is a five-seater, it will also be popular with families, especially with younger children. “But its class-leading economy will appeal to older people as well.”
Ignis, an incremental model to the Suzuki range, is available in two specifications: entry-level 3dr GA and the 3dr/5dr GL. The GL is expected to account for the majority of UK sales.
Both versions have an all-new 1.3-litre 16V engine. A road-going 4x4 Ignis, developed for colder climates, will go on sale in Scandinavia, but not the UK “unless there proves to be a demand”, said the spokesman.
Suzuki plans to enter the Ignis in next year's Super 1600 rally championship, a six-race European event which includes a round at the Network Q rally of Britain, to flaunt its sports capabilities.