A trawl through the convoluted history of Suzuki's product planning unearths a name that we can hang the X-90 project on. Gary Anderson, who in the mid-nineties was vice-president of sales and marketing for American Suzuki Motor Corporation champions the X-90's cause. "We designed the X-90 with America in mind," he proudly boasted. "Americans, more than any other culture, view automobiles as a form of personal expression. The X-90 appeals to young and 'young at heart' consumers alike who are shopping for vehicles that offer today's safety and comfort features yet stand apart from the pack." The X-90 certainly stands out. Even today it still has the capacity to turn heads with its unlikely lines.
To be fair to Mr Anderson, it was a bunch of designers at Suzuki's automotive product planning division in Japan who hatched the idea for the X-90. Realising that Suzuki's expertise lay in small 4x4s just as the US market was going crazy for big trucks, they attempted to offer something completely different in the hope it would fly. It didn't. When it was first offered for sale in the UK in May 1996, the X-90 generated universal confusion. What was the point of this vehicle?
Three models were available, a two-wheel drive version which had a sticker price of £10,375, a four-wheel drive version pitched at £11,375 and an automatic version of the 4wd, topping the range at £12,325. Given that these prices were in excess of Suzuki's own four-seat soft-top Vitara, sales were difficult to come by. After two years of sluggish sales, the X-90 was withdrawn.