I was casually surfing my usual slate of automotive websites to look for some nugget that hasn't been repeated ad nauseum on every other site, when I came across a blog post on Car and Driver where staffer Steve Siler recounts a conversation he had with Suzuki representatives at the recent introduction of the Kizashi sedan.
But the main subject of the post wasn't the sedan, but rather the possibility of a revived Samurai. While I personally don't agree with the author's proposal for a crossover-ish revival, I think the idea has merit. I've actually blogged about this before.
Surprisingly, Suzuki representatives seemed attentive to his suggestion, although the expressed caution on the original Sammy's tippy reputation. But many of today's drivers were still in diapers when that negative publicity was in the news. And those that are still aware of the Samurai are likely off-road enthusiasts that appreciate the vehicle's nimbleness and ease of modification.
In this day and age of vehicle metrosexuality, the LAST thing I want is another segment-bending "crossover." My vote was, and remains for any Samurai revival to be unabashedly, unapologetically an off-road vehicle. I'm not saying it has to have Soviet-era refinement and engineering. But as the JK Wrangler has aptly demonstrated, you can have a modernized off-road vehicle that builds on the strengths of the past with an eye toward the future.
If Suzuki needs a template, I'd suggest they get an FJ Cruiser, a JK Wrangler, combine the best elements of both, and scale it down just a smidge. I think people would clamor for a back-to-basics, rugged, affordable 4x4. What are your thoughts?