WATCH | Suzuki Jimny fanatic bolts a GReddy turbo kit onto engine for a massive power hike

• The Suzuki Jimny is a very popular vehicle in South Africa, and abroad.

• To counter the lack of power, this local owner installed a turbocharger on his Jimny’s engine.

• Power increased from 75kW/130Nm to 124kW/218Nm.

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Suzuki has hit the nail on the head with its current Jimny. Since day one, it has been a hit in South Africa (and abroad). The exterior design has obviously been one of the main attractions for buyers, but then there is the off-road capability to back it up – which has been the case since the launch of the original Jimny. Also, keep in mind its price and that it offers low-range.

This 4×4 is not perfect, though, and it could be rather slow on the road, especially if you want to overtake traffic on the highway. While this doesn’t bother most owners, some wouldn’t mind some additional performance.

The owner of this Jimny visited Wulfchiptegnik in Cape Town, who provided him with some minor upgrades. This included a software update and a new exhaust system. However, being a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre engine, the gains were limited.

Suzuki Jimny

2022 Suzuki Jimny kitted with GReddy turbocharger

Taking the next step

It might not come as a surprise, but following these updates, the owner returned and said he wanted to take the next step. He imported a GReddy bolt-on turbocharger kit for the Jimny from Japan. The kit was supplied to Wulfchiptegnik, who fitted it to the Jimny.

Keep in mind that software upgrades at this company are usually done on anything from turbocharged Volkswagen Polo to Audi RS6s, resulting in the Jimny being quite a different type of project. Neville Le Roux, who is the technical director at Wulfchiptegnik, explained the process.

“When the owner approached us with this idea, we said yes, let’s do it – it will be a fun project,” says Le Roux. “We’ve done a number of suspension upgrades and lift kit on Jimnys, but this is the first turbocharged Jimny we’ve done. It is supposed to be a straight bolt-on kit, but that was not quite the case. We had to do a number of small modifications.”

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Suzuki Jimny

2022 Suzuki Jimny kitted with GReddy turbocharger

Le Roux continues: “The main challenge is that the kit comes with Japanese instructions, without any instructions in English. The result that we learned as we went along. The other significant challenge was to tune the car that the turbo boost, fuelling, timing and everything else work in harmony. We opt for an external Unichip which can control these elements. Obviously, the standard ECU doesn’t support a turbocharger. It took some old-school live tuning with one of our partners to get it right. It included some time on the dyno to ensure the car is running well and safely.

“The result is 124kW and 218Nm, which are significant gains from the standard 75kW and 130Nm from the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder engine. This Jimny’s suspension has also been upgraded, and it is fitted with bigger all-terrain tyres and a roof rack.”

Excluding the kit, it costs up to R50 000 for all the labour, modifications, parts and tuning to make this system work.

The owner drives the Jimny on the road regularly, but is also an off-road enthusiast that goes to the dunes and mountains. And following the power upgrade, the owner will now be able to easily keep up with traffic and tackle off-road excursions with a new level of zest following this significant upgrade.

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