Suzuki Kizashi Bonneville Special sets new speed mark at 203.720 mph
A specially modified 2010 Suzuki Kizashi streaked into the Speed Week record books during this week's annual gathering of go-fast guys at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. Running in the F-BGC (Blown Gas Coupe) category, the one-off Suzuki Kizashi Bonneville Special averaged 203.720 mph, sufficient to both eclipse the previous 202.301 mph class mark and earn its driver -- Road & Track's international editor, Sam Mitani -- a spot in the celebrated 200 mph club. While Suzuki is no stranger to setting records at the fabled Utah dry lake venue this one was of particular significance, as all of its previous world bests had been accomplished on just two rather than four wheels.
Although unmistakably still a Kizashi, this uniquely fleet example did have the benefit of some pretty serious modifications to prepare it for a shot at double-century status. Exterior modifications from a dramatically reshaped front spoiler and spun-aluminum wheel covers to losing its exterior mirrors enhanced aero sleekness while a bespoke coilover suspension and seam-welded steel wheels wrapped in special Goodyear Front Runner tires helped ensure the car remained well-planted at speed. On the decel side of things, the Suzuki Kizashi Bonneville Special bolstered the effectiveness of its conventional brakes with a supplemental real-mounted parachute. The cabin itself also got a comprehensive remake gaining a full roll cage, racing seat/harness/window net and an aluminum rear bulkhead along with the requisite fire-suppression system.
As for motivation, Suzuki's Advanced Product Engineering team led by engine ace Richard Holdener worked a suitable degree of magic on the 2.4-liter four-cylinder beneath the hood of the world's fastest Kizashi to bump output from 185 to a towering 515 horsepower. The transformation involved replacing a slew of internals with stouter alternatives, adding new intake/exhaust manifolds and fitting a Turbonetics turbocharger, air-to-water intercooler and a water-methanol injection package.