GROSSE POINTE, MI – American Suzuki Motor Corp. reveals the production ’10 Kizashi midsize sedan here today, with a 2.4L 4-cyl. engine and optional all-wheel drive.

“Benchmarked against some of the leading cars in the world, the all-new ’10 Kizashi becomes an instant car-of-the-year contender in its own right,” Suzuki claims, adding the model delivers “a unique blend of dynamic performance attributes with premium design aesthetics and craftsmanship yet to be experienced in this category.”

The production Kizashi follows three Kizashi concept vehicles unveiled at auto shows in recent years. Suzuki describes the production model with the same adjectives as the concepts, namely “bold” and “aggressive.” The ’10 Kizashi also boasts “lean proportions and minimal overhang,” combining European style with Japanese craftsmanship, Suzuki says.

Styling cues include 18-in. alloy wheels and dual integrated sport exhaust. The vehicle’s interior features standard sport seats and optional leather seats with high-density foam.

Both cloth and leather seats get French seams, hard-cover backs and low-fatigue foam, the auto maker says.

Keyless push-button start is standard while tech features include iPod connectivity, optional Bluetooth streaming audio and 425-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo.

Suzuki says its J24B all-aluminum 2.4L DOHC inline 4-cyl. will power the Kizashi. Concepts featured a 3.6L V-6 that American Suzuki Marketing Vice President Gene Brown told Ward’s last year would not make it into production.

No word on the I-4’s horsepower or torque, but Suzuki promises “a more potent standard engine than many competitive best sellers.”

The standard transmission for the engine is a 6-speed manual. A continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters is optional. “Competitive fuel economy” with either transmission is promised.

Suzuki says it tested the Kizashi on Germany’s Autobahn and Nurburgring race track, the “Alpine twisties” of Switzerland and over England’s cobblestone roads.

The end result was a vehicle with “an exceptionally rigid steel unibody,” allowing for crisp handling but lessened chassis vibration.

Suzuki’s next-generation i-AWD system is driver-selectable via dash-mounted switch and provides “excellent cornering capabilities.”

The Kizashi will be built at Suzuki Motor Corp.’s new Sagara, Japan, plant.