Suzuki is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the launch of the original rugged compact 4x4 – the Jimny Sierra
The Jimny (originally named the LJ10 in some markets) was launched in 1970 as the world’s first affordable, but fully capable, compact 4x4. It can now be found in 188 countries around the world.
“Few vehicles can lay claim to creating history, but the rugged little Jimny Sierra has earned its place in the history books,” said Suzuki Australia General Manager Tony Devers.
“It has carved out a unique market position thanks to versatility that enables it to handle everything from the urban jungle to working in the toughest 4x4 arena,” said Devers.
Over the years, the Jimny has evolved to meet the needs of customers, while remaining true to the concept of "compactness, lightness, user-friendliness, and full-fledged 4x4 capabilities".
Suzuki began engineering its new breed of vehicle – a compact 4x4 – in 1968. It was powered by a 360cc two-stroke engine developing just 24 horsepower.
Built on a ladder frame that promoted off-road performance, the first Jimny featured robust leaf sprung suspension front and rear and a dual range transmission driving 16-inch wheels.
The engine produced just 19 kW and 36 Nm, but in the combination of a lightweight body, compact dimensions and full-time 4x4 gearing made the LJ10 a great performer in tough, off-road conditions.
In 1975, the more powerful three-cylinder LJ50 arrived, as did a pick-up version – the LJ51, sold as the Suzuki Stockman.
It was upgraded in 1978 by the LJ80, now boasting an 800 cc four-cylinder engine, followed by a second pick-up version designated LJ81.
May, 1981 signaled the second generation Suzuki Jimny, codenamed SJ410.
It had grown somewhat, with a wheelbase of 203 cm and a length of 319.5 cm, but the suspension and chassis characteristics remained the same.
The engine also increased in capacity, now out to 1.0 litre, lifting power to 34 kW and torque to 74 Nm.
In 1984 it was replaced by the SJ413, with engine capacity increased to 1.3 litres and boasting a five-speed transmission, 47 kW and 104 Nm.
This vehicle stayed in production, with various versions including pick-ups and soft-tops, until October 1998 when the third – and current – generation Jimny arrived.
The completely redesigned Jimny came with a new, rounded look. Creature comforts inside included a CD player and air-conditioning, but it retained its rugged performance via a ladder frame chassis and selectable 4x4.
Engine capacity stayed at 1.3 litres, but now featured an all aluminium construction and power of 62.5 kW and torque of 110 Nm. An automatic transmission was also offered for the first time.
See the Suzuki Jimny for sale.