NEW YORK -- Suzuki has scrapped plans to offer hybrid and V-6 engine versions of its new Kizashi sedan.
That's because those versions were meant to use technology borrowed from General Motors, which sold its 20 percent stake in Suzuki in 2008. In December, Volkswagen AG became Suzuki's biggest shareholder by taking a 19.9 percent stake.
Canceling the Kizashi Hybrid and Kizashi V-6, which had been in the pipeline for 2011 and 2012, comes as a major blow to Suzuki. Most mid-sized sedans are offered with a V-6 or hybrid option, or both.
Using VW's alternative-fuel engine technology is one option, but would be costly.
"We are looking at VW's cost structure and their offerings," said Steve Younan, director of product planning at American Suzuki Motor Corp. "We want to keep our cars reachable to mere mortals."
Still, Suzuki has dispatched a team of engineers, including Kizashi chief engineer Hide Kumashiro, to VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to see what can be done.
"We would be happy with a small V-6 or a turbo-four," Younan said. "The Kizashi suspension is not at its limit. We are trying to be an affordable performance brand."