In a world where off-roading continues to grow in popularity, the Suzuki Jimny remains a forbidden curiosity among U.S. buyers. The mini-SUV has proved immensely popular in other regions, but here in the States, it's out of reach (unless you find one that's 25 years old or more and bring it over yourself).

Shifting emissions regulations in some key markets might shift a massive change for the Jimny lineup in the near future, however. Specifically, the automaker is reportedly expected to release both a hybrid and an all-electric variant of the SUV, as well as a potential pickup bodystyle by 2030.

The news comes by way of the Aussie publication CarSales, who recently spoke with Suzuki Australia’s Michael Pachota during the launch event for the latest Swift. The executive highlighted the popularity of the Jimny down under, where it is the second-most-popular small SUV behind the Mazda CX-3.

Pachota recognized the need for more efficient powertrains as we continue to march towards the EV future. The Jimny’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine has already been barred from entry into a number of markets due to its emissions levels, with tighter regulations coming in many regions. That’s particularly true in Australia, where the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) is set to ramp up for 2025.

“I'd like to see other variations of the Jimmy product – variations that could probably even help with NVES,” said Pachota.

A hybridized variant of the SUV would make for a logical stop-gap until a fully-electric model arrives, which is expected to take place before 2030 as one of five upcoming EV launches for the brand. Suzuki has already committed $1.5 billion to develop EVs for critical markets like Japan, India, and Europe, and the continued popularity of the Jimny all but secures its electrified future.

Suzuki is also reportedly mulling over the idea of a pickup variant of the Jimny, which was first teased back at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon. And while that design concept has yet to find its way to production, Suzuki New Zealand has already started converting Jimnys into utes with help from a local converter. Given the popularity of pickups in that part of the world, an officially sanctioned version is probably a safe investment from the automaker. It would also provide a perfect opportunity to revive the Mighty Boy nameplate.

Of course, we aren’t likely to get any of these machines over here in the United States. The Jimny was never designed with the U.S. market in mind, and would likely require some reconfiguration for federalization. Add in the fact that Suzuki's automotive dealer network is non-existent, and the challenges seem difficult to overcome. We’d still love to see it happen, however.

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2024-06-27T16:20:47Z dg43tfdfdgfd