The Tokyo Auto Salon is like the SEMA Show here in Las Vegas, except it’s in Japan and features modified native makes. Some wild stuff shows up each year, and the halls are jam-packed with enthusiasts, but also the curious. One of the unexpected highlights from last weekend’s show was the extreme-lifted “Mountain God” five-door Suzuki Jimny.
Put together by Nihon Automobile College students and instructors, they spent weeks converting the Jimny. They christened it “Kimun Kamy,” which is a twist on indigenous Ainu people’s Kimung Kamui, which roughly translates to Mountain God. It incorporates many of the aftermarket components and designs we see on SEMA Show off-road trucks. But smaller.
Does Suzuki make a five-door Jimny?
First off, Suzuki doesn’t make a five-door Jimny. Not yet anyway, though this newest Jimny version should be available sometime this year. So the students made a second set of doors, added about 16 inches to the wheelbase, and then lifted it another six inches.
The 17-inch black bead lockers are wrapped with 35-inch off-road tires. Fender extensions hardly cover the massive tires. A custom body kit is protected by an exterior roll cage made by the students. Other off-road essentials include a light bar, rooftop tent, front bumper winch, and some other overland goodies.
But it’s not only about looks. The stock 80 hp banger has been modified with a turbo kit and custom exhaust. This upped the numbers to 123 hp with 132 lb-ft of torque. Then the computer was remapped for the engine to work in harmony with the turbo kit. Inside, a custom speaker system was fashioned and enhanced with an Alpine head unit.
The Jimny isn’t know for stellar stability
Even with the lengthened wheelbase, we doubt all of these mods would actually help the Jimny much off-road. But it started as a cute little SUV and ended up looking pretty tough. You’ve still got to take it easy in a Jimny, though, as they’re notorious for tipping over.
MotorBiscuit has done quite a few posts over the years around Suzuki’s Jimny, and there is always a good amount of interest. So there are plenty of US enthusiasts that have a lot of interest in a little 4×4 you can’t buy here. It’s somewhat of a cult following. Suzuki once sold vehicles in the US, but that ended in 2014.
Here’s why Suzuki stopped selling vehicles in the US
Actually, it was the beginning of the end in 2010, when sales plummeted from over 100,000 sold in 2006 to under 24,000 in 2010. Suzuki was known in the US for its off-road chops, selling the Samurai, Vitara, and Grand Vitara. But nothing could insulate it from the financial crisis and Great Recession that was hitting its stride in 2010.
But Suzuki still sells millions of vehicles a year globally. In 2020, it cranked out over 2.5 million cars and SUVs. And while you might think that Japan was its largest market, it is actually India, buying up over 1,350,000 Suzukis in 2020 alone. In its home market, it sold under one million units.
With tighter restrictions and safety regulations in the US and the electrification zeitgeist, we won’t ever be seeing the likes of Suzuki four-wheel vehicles here.