Pumped-up Jimny has us at hello

Suzuki did a good job of making a small off-roader affordable. Here's one that isn't

By PH Staff / Tuesday, November 2, 2021 / Loading comments

It’s very hard not to like the current Jimny just a little bit. Obviously it is not quick and arguably flawed in more than one area – and no-one is going to fight you for the keys with a long motorway journey on the cards – but it exudes charm like a skateboard-riding Yorkshire terrier. Especially away from tarmac, where it merrily bobs and weaves its way up a Great British byway and straight into your affection. Add in its Light Commercial Vehicle status in this country, and ‘cult classic’ status is virtually assured.

Nevertheless, even its most ardent fans would concede that the Jimny has its limitations. For one thing, its small size and passive springs dictate a comparatively modest amount of ground clearance, which does restrict the size of the obstacle it will pluckily overcome out in the field. Thank goodness, then, for the depth and enthusiasm of the longstanding Jimny aftermarket scene, and specifically for the German tuner, delta4x4.

In partnership with a Swiss firm, Avus Auto, the established Jimny specialist has treated the current model to height-enhancing portal axles, which, in conjunction with larger wheels and new suspension, delivers 40cm of ground clearance beneath the differentials. Which is a lot for a car still said to not top 1.8m if you can do without a roof rack. No less significantly, the hardware transplant does provide a predictable shot in the arm for the Jimny’s physical presence. A wine bar special this clearly isn’t.

Admittedly the accompanying press release doesn’t specify how much weight all this underpart fettling has added to the Jimny – nor what the commensurate effect is on its already asthmatic performance – but it’s probably not worth getting bogged down in the on-road sacrifice; plainly, the limited series is meant for fording rivers in remote places, not racing Ford Fiestas around the one-way system.

To that end, delta4x4 will go further than fitting 18×8.5-inch rims and all-terrain tyres and remote-reservoir dampers if you ask it to: front and rear locking differentials and a three-tonne winch are among the cost options for a car that’s already been homologated for Germany and Switzerland. Over there the modified Jimny costs from 56,000 euros (around £48k). Tick all the boxes, and you’re looking at 65,000 euros – or slightly more than £55k.

That, admittedly, is a stupendous amount for a Suzuki Jimny – especially when you consider that the LCV variant is only £19,999, even with the VAT factored in. But, then again, the delta4x4 version is currently limited to just 12 cars, and is clearly built to appeal to the niche-within-a-niche that is the hardcore, deep-pocketed Jimny fan. A rare breed, perhaps – but we totally get the appeal.

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