A Swiss company is building a short run of Jimnys with portal axles that give a huge increase in ride height
The Suzuki Jimny is already more than capable enough for most in its standard guise. It’s off-road focus is so strong that its on-road manners are left somewhat…compromised. But if it still won’t cut it on the rough stuff, a couple of companies have collaborated to level up Suzuki‘s pint-sized mud-plugger significantly.
The headline change comes from Swiss firm Avus Auto – a portal axle conversion. This setup involves mounting the axles above the middle of the hubs, with the torque transfered to the wheels via a set of gears. This gives a much higher ground clearance, which in the case of the Jimny is a whopping 400mm. That’s over double what you get in the standard car, and 100mm more than a Land Rover Defender with its air suspension pumped right up.
It’s important to make the most of all that extra room underneath, which is where an outfit called Delta4x4 comes in. The most obvious addition from the German company is a set of 18-inch beadlock wheels shod in BF Goodrich T/A all-terrain tyres that look great with the new flared arches. Underneath, you’ll find new front and rear locking differentials and remote reservoir dampers.
Along with the chassis upgrades, you can spec all sorts of adventure-spec goodies. A three-tonne winch, a stainless steel bash guard, a roof rack and spot lamps are among the parts on offer.
Sadly, none of this comes cheap. A Jimny with portal axles is €56,000 (£47,650), so as well as having over twice the ground clearance as the standard car, it’s also more than double the price. Chuck all of Delta4x4’s Jimny catalogue at the thing, and that figure goes up to €65,000 (£55,300).
For that kind of money, you could get a very nicely specced Jeep Wrangler Rubicon that’ll be a damn sight quicker than a naturally-aspirated, 1.5-litre four-pot powered Jimny that’s put on a load of weight. Then again, the beefed up Suzuki will be more capable, not to mention a whole lot cooler. Plus, only 12 of these are being made, so Avus/Delta4x4 shouldn’t have too much trouble shifting them all.