American Suzuki Motor Corp. announces a specially designed U.S. version of the all-new SX4 small cross/utility vehicle is slated to hit dealer showrooms in 2006.

Suzuki is known for its success with small vehicles in Asia and Europe,” says Koichi Suzuki, president-ASMC Automotive Operations. “The all-new 2007 Suzuki SX4 is designed to provide consumers in the United States a fun-to-drive vehicle that is also practical and economical.”

The SX4 features a rigid 5-door design, an available all-wheel-drive system, and for the U.S. market, a 2L DOHC engine.

The Three-Mode Switchable AWD system sends power to the rear wheels as needed with no additional input necessary from the driver. A switch on the center console allows the driver to select from three modes: 2-wheel drive, Auto (AWD High) and Lock (AWD Lock). Customers in the U.S. will have a choice of a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

The SX4’s measurements include an overall length of 162.8-ins. (413.5 cm), width of 69.1 ins. (175.5 cm) and overall height of 63.2 ins. (160.5 cm).

The world debut of the SX4 is scheduled for the Geneva Motor Show in March, with the North American introduction slated for April in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show. Deliveries in the U.S. are expected to begin in the U.S. in the late summer.

Suzuki Motor Corp. also confirms production of the European version of the SX4 will begin this year at the Magyar Suzuki Corp. assembly plant in Esztergom, Hungary.(See related story: Magyar Suzuki Nears Output of Fiat SUV)