Suzuki ALLGRIP: What is it and why is it so important?
We have already established that Suzuki has a history of making competent off-road vehicles, and the base of any such offering is of course its four-wheel-drive or AWD system. The first time that Suzuki introduced a vehicle with four-wheel-drive was over 50 years ago. With constant development and improvements however, the traditional four-wheel-drive system from Suzuki has evolved into what we know as Suzuki ALLGRIP.
How does Suzuki ALLGRIP work?
The ALLGRIP system by Suzuki is offered in three iterations – ALLGRIP Auto, ALLGRIP Select, and ALLGRIP Pro.
Let us talk about ALLGRIP Auto works. This is essentially an all-wheel-drive system that is offered with hatchbacks such as the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Ignis sold globally and it consists of a viscous coupling positioned ahead of the rear differential, which uses high-viscosity silicone oil to transfer torque automatically to the rear wheels in low-traction situations. The ALLGRIP Auto system even includes a grip control function (only on the Ignis) which applies the brakes to a wheel which is slipping and the power is sent to the opposite wheel to improve traction in snow or mud conditions.
What is of greater relevance to India is the ALLGRIP Select and ALLGRIP Pro system that is offered with the Grand Vitara and Jimny sold in India, respectively. The Grand Vitara’s Select system can be operated via a knob selector and rather than waiting for wheel slippage to occur before sending torque to the rear wheel, the Grand Vitara’s ALLGRIP system is designed to anticipate slippage and prevent grip to be lost in the first place. This is done by monitoring the throttle opening position, steering angle and other factors, and the Grand Vitara’s ESP is also optimally controlled for each drive mode – optimising traction in each condition accordingly.
Being a true-blue off-roader, the Jimny’s ALLGRIP Pro system takes things up a notch. This is a part-time four-wheel drive system with a low-ratio transfer case, which allows you to effectively double the amount of torque going to the wheels in hardcore off-road situations. The switch from 2WD to 4WD is possible with a secondary lever placed next to the Jimny’s drive selector.
The importance of ALLGRIP in an SUV
While we tend to use the term SUV a bit too freely when referring to the cars on sale in India today, the presence of four-wheel-drive or AWD strengthens the legitimacy of an SUV. The go-anywhere capability is why enthusiasts are a fan of such vehicles, and with the growing lifestyle vehicle segment in India, SUVs with these capabilities are only getting more popular. Maruti Suzuki first laid seeds of this trend with the launch of the Gypsy in the early 1980s, and it has continued to offer go-anywhere SUVs with awesome off-roading capability in the form of the first Grand Vitara which saw massive success in motorsport. The revival of the nameplate also means that the carmaker is returning to its enthusiastic-centric roots, and that is a trend we welcome with open arms. We recently took this 4x4 endowed Grand Vitara up the snow-clad Shinku La – a true test of its 4x4 ability. Read the story in the latest issue of the magazine, and on the evo India website!