The head of Suzuki Auto in the United Kingdom has suggested "staggering" demand for the new Jimny in Japan will see the automaker struggling to build enough units for certain export markets.

Speaking to Autocar, Suzuki UK’s managing direct, Dale Wyatt, said demand for the new small off-roader in its domestic market was exceptionally high. This would, he suggested, have an impact on exports to other right-hand-drive countries.

Wyatt said he had been able to secure only 1 100 units for the UK market for the first year, with a plan to increase that number to 2 000 per annum thereafter. However, the UK arm of the Japanese brand has already had some 4 500 potential buyers formally register their interest.

Whether the South African market will experience supply issues remains to be seen. Regardless, the new Jimny is scheduled to launch locally in November 2018, with indicative pricing already having been released.

The new three-door, four-seater Jimny measures 3 480 mm long (or 3 645 mm if you include the spare wheel cover), with an unchanged wheelbase of 2 250 mm. Ground clearance comes in at 210 mm, while the latest-generation model boasts an approach angle of 37 degrees, a breakover angle of 28 degrees and a departure angle of 49 degrees.

Power comes from a naturally aspirated 1,5-litre four-cylinder K15B engine, delivering 75 kW and 130 N.m (up from the 63 kW and 110 N.m offered by the outgoing 1,3-litre) to all four wheels via either a five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic transmission.

Three dual-colour combinations will be available, along with five basic hues.