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Frankfurt LIVE: Suzuki iV-4 Concept

The iV-4 concept previews a Juke-fighting crossover.

The compact crossover segment is on fire in Europe despite the region's ongoing auto sales slump, and Suzuki is looking to get in on the action by adding a new trucklet positioned between the Jimny and Grand Vitara.

We'll have to wait until 2015 to see the crossover in production form, but for now Suzuki is previewing the model with a concept dubbed the iV-4 - that's "i" for individuality, "V” for vehicle and 4 for 4-wheel-drive.

Dimensionally similar to popular soft-roaders like the Opel Mokka and Nissan Juke, the iV-4 wears an aggressive front end and a rugged overall look. Elements like a roof-mounted laser sensor, illuminated grille and 20-inch wheels help the iV-4 stand out on Suzuki's Frankfurt stand but won't be ending up in showrooms.

The yet-unnamed production version of the iV-4 will ride on the same platform as the SX4 S-Cross that debuted in Geneva last March. The two cars will share a range of gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines, but the Juke-fighter will be positioned a little higher up and be highly customizable inside and out in order to appeal to a young and trendy target audience. Extra technology inside will help justify its slightly higher price.

Suzuki has a history of unveiling close-to-production concepts, so the iV-4 likely provides a very good idea of what to expect from the Japanese firm's upcoming small 'ute.

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