The rumours are true: a five-door Suzuki Jimny is in development, new spy photos captured in Europe have confirmed – and it could be a hybrid.
The long-rumoured 2023 Suzuki Jimny five-door is on the way, new spy photos confirm, and it could be equipped with hybrid technology.
While Suzuki engineers have been seen testing Jimny prototypes with longer wheelbases repeatedly over the last 12 months, all have been three-doors – making this test car snapped by Drive’s spy photo partners overnight the first with five.
Compared to a standard three-door Jimny, the five-door model rides on a longer wheelbase – rumoured to extend 300mm further, for a total of 2550mm – enabling the inclusion of two full-size rear openings.
While difficult to make out at first, the front door windows of the five-door prototype do not appear to be as long as those on today’s three-door – indicating the five-door has smaller front doors, in turn creating space for larger rear doors that improve ingress and egress.
Whether this will compromise front passenger space remains to be seen. Unsurprisingly, the fuel filler cap has been moved from behind the front right door, to behind the rear right door.
This five-door test car seems to ride on the same floorpan as the long-wheelbase three-door test car – suggesting it was a ‘mule’ for the more practical body style after all, disguising its intentions with the standard Jimny’s longer front doors, and longer rear-side window openings.
According to the spy photographer, the five-door Jimny test vehicle “[drove] away without any engine noise” – pointing to the fitment of a hybrid powertrain.
Overseas rumours suggest the five-door Jimny may feature a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, fitted to either the current Jimny’s 75kW/130Nm 1.5-litre non-turbo four-cylinder engine, or a turbocharged engine of some description.
However, most mild-hybrid systems – including those offered by Suzuki – cannot power the wheels on electricity alone, instead requiring the petrol engine to be switched on and, at minimum, sit at idle speed.
Instead, if the photographer’s report of no engine noise is accurate, the five-door Jimny could be equipped with the ‘closed-loop’ powertrain from Europe’s Suzuki Vitara Full Hybrid, based around the Jimny’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder.
Running at 140 volts – more than a mild-hybrid (48V), but less than an entry-level Toyota hybrid (200V) – the system combines an 85kW version of the 1.5-litre engine with a 25kW electric motor, for a system capable of fully-electric driving at low speeds.
Instead of the Jimny’s four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearboxes, the Vitara’s ‘Full Hybrid’ system uses a six-speed ‘automated manual’, effectively a manual gearbox with a computer-controlled clutch.
However, automated manual transmissions can often stutter and hesitate at low speeds, as the car engages the clutch – something that may not be suitable for precise off-road driving, per the Jimny’s intentions.
Adding weight to this theory is the five-door prototype’s tachometer, which reads the same circa-6200rpm redline marker as the current three-door – suggesting the same 1.5-litre engine sits under the bonnet.
Reports suggest the Suzuki Jimny five-door may debut as soon as this year – or as far away as 2024, to coincide with a rumoured mid-life facelift for the four-wheel-drive.
A glimpse inside the five-door Jimny’s front cabin reveals no changes compared to the car on sale today – suggesting it may arrive as a regular addition to the line-up, rather than coincide with any update for the broader range.
Suzuki Australia has previously expressed interest in a more practical Jimny – no surprise to fans of the model, given the three-door’s popularity locally, and the long wait times attached to it.
Stay tuned to Drive for all the latest news on the five-door Suzuki Jimny.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.