Suzuki's Brilliant X-HEAD Concept
By: Mike Levine Posted: 10-04-07 00:08 PT
© 2007 PickupTruck.com

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Since I first saw (nice catch Autoblog!) a picture of the Suzuki X-HEAD Concept over the weekend I've been having nightmares. My family is held captive on Dr. Evil's Island and Fat Bastard is going to eat them unless I can name at least one Suzuki car or truck sold in the U.S.. Arghhh! I can't! No matter how hard I try, I - just - can't - name - one - Suzuki - sold - here. I wake up with my heart pounding, thinking, "Why can't I buy an X-HEAD?"

The X-HEAD is brilliant.

Arigato gozaimasu to Suzuki's design team for totally rethinking the small 'pikku appu'. I don't know what's under the hood, other than it's a 1.3-liter mill (please, let it be a diesel), or if it's IFS or SFA, but I want one of these trucks in my driveway.

It's not that we haven't seen bits and pieces of the X-HEAD in other haulers. The profile is clearly inspired by the monstrous Mercedes Benz Unimog and a small footprint 4x4 regular cab pickup concept was explored a few years back in the Hummer H3T. 'Hide-n-Side' storage has been available on the aftermarket for over a decade. But we've never seen these ideas mashed up like this before.

The X-HEAD redefines the small truck, as much, I'd say, as the Dodge LRT (Li'l Red Truck) Concept did to reinvent full size pickups back in 1990. Back then full size truck styling had been in a coma for twenty years. They all had cornflake box front ends and virtually identical cab and bed profiles. When it debuted, the LRT was so revolutionary that right after its first (and only) appearance before the press, it was yanked and never shown at an auto show. Chrysler didn't want Ford and GM to get too many ideas. A few years later the 1994 Dodge Ram showed up and made good on the LRT's promise, setting off a new wave of styling and feature innovations still felt today.

The X-HEAD says small trucks no longer have to be toned down versions of their full size brothers. It's a four-wheeled manifesto with a cargo box demanding an urgent injection of style and utility into compacts and midsizers.

The front-end is my favorite part. It's smiling while it runs you over and unapologetically says 'Suzuki' in 200-point font! I'd be proud to drive this truck in West Hollywood on a Friday night as much as through downtown El Paso.

The proportionally tall vertical cab and slab sides shout this is a work truck, and you'll know it from 1000-yards away. And there can't be any coincidence about the driver and passenger windows - flip the cut 180-degrees and it's pure F-Series styling. The coat hangars behind the cab are distracting. I'd ditch those. And the rear needs to be restyled and painted so it doesn't look like the hindquarters of a plastic guinea pig.

The only downside I can see with the X-HEAD at this point is the virtual certainty that the upcoming Suzuki midsize pickup, based on the Nissan Frontier, is going to be a complete letdown in the styling department next to this truck. I'm keeping my fingers crossed very tightly that we're not going to get another Mitsubishi Raider.

I really hope this truck has a major impact on the next generation of small and midsize trucks being designed out there, because I think this little truck is the next big thing.

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