Suzuki Motor Corp. said Tuesday its new Hustler minivehicle, which combines the characteristics of a car and a sport utility vehicle, will go on sale Jan. 8.
The name Hustler was chosen to conjure the image of agility, as well as invite nostalgia from customers who remembered an off-road motorbike released in 1969 called the Hustler 250, said a Suzuki public relations officer.
The gasoline-powered minicar gets up to 29.2 km per liter, Suzuki said. The sticker price will range from1.05 million to1.58 million.
The new model shares a common platform with Suzuki's mainstay Wagon R car but has more interior space and is equipped with safety systems to control its brakes on hills and snowy roads, the automaker said.
"We want customers to use the vehicle for having fun and adventures," Chairman Osamu Suzuki said at a news conference in Tokyo, adding he hopes to boost sales of minicars with the new lineup despite the sales tax hike in April.
Regarding overall domestic car sales next year, however, the president said the sales tax hike will inevitably hit manufacturers. The company set a monthly sales target of 5,000 Hustlers.