The upcoming prototype of the 5-door Jimny developed by NATS in Japan will be a more hardcore off-road capable SUV
Launch of the 5-door Maruti Jimny in India has been hugely anticipated for over a year now. However, there are no official details regarding the mini SUV’s exact launch timeline. Now, out of the blue, latest reports have revealed that the 5-door Jimny is expected to make its debut next month.
However, readers should hold their horses as it isn’t the model which the entire nation’s auto fraternity has been waiting for with bated breath. Apparently, this 5-door Jimny will preview a concept of the compact off-roader and has been conceptualised and designed by students at Japan’s Nihon Automotive Technology School (NATS).
Design modifications made in prototype
While this prototype will be no way near the stock production model, the basic body design could feature many similarities to the upcoming 5-door Maruti Jimny. However, this one-off creation will only borrow parts of the bodyshell of the current Jimny. The prototype sits on a customized chassis which is said to increase the SUV’s overall length by 400mm.
The modified top hat has been welded on top of the customised chassis. Meanwhile, the body shell has been sliced into half with custom fabricated rear doors. Further, roof panelling fills out the void, and the stock Jimny’s rear windows have been re-fabricated into smaller quarter windows.
Seats have been placed on the original mounting points, therefore, rear legroom should increase over the 3-door model but boot space would remain negligible. Upfront, the grille and headlamp assembly have been kept intact but the bumper has been reprofiled with custom moulds.
The stock wheels and suspension setup have been replaced with a more hardcore off-road centric set-up. In order to add more muscle to the SUV, fender extensions have been incorporated to match the modified SUV’s wider track.
Alteration to powertrain
Not just its design, this aftermarket 5-door Jimny will also undergo performance enhancement. The stock petrol motor has been fitted with a turbocharger in order to boost performance although exact figures are not available. The production-spec 5-door Jimny is expected to be powered by a 1.5-litre K15B naturally aspirated petrol motor which kicks out 104 bhp and 138 Nm of peak torque.
On completion, the project by students at NATS will be showcased at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January 2022. The official production model of the 5-door Jimny is still some time away from launch but Maruti Suzuki could well borrow some inspiration from the upcoming prototype. Upon launch in India, the 5-door Jimny will rival similar iterations of Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha which are currently under development.