Suzuki Kizashi EcoCharge image

Suzuki unveiled a gas-electric concept variant of its Kizashi sedan at the company’s 2011 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) press conference this evening.

The prototype sedan is motivated by a 144HP 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine, working in tandem with an electric propulsion system comprising of a liquid-cooled 15-kW motor/generator unit tied to a 115-volt air-cooled lithium-ion battery.

That would take it from the 30 mpg of the current CVT Kizashi—with its 2.4-liter—to somewhere around 36 mpg. Since hybrids tend to offer greater benefits in the city than on the highway, its overall combined rating also could end up over 30 mpg.
The Kizashi EcoCharge concept’s powertrain also uses other fuel-saving technologies. Regenerative braking systems recharge the car’s battery during braking. An automatic engine shut-down feature turns off the car’s motor when stopped and another system cuts off the flow of gasoline to the engine during deceleration.

The EcoCharge gets ambient blue lighting at the brake calipers and on the dashboard clusters, as well as a coat of white satin paint, but by all other appearances it’s a stock Kizashi.