Suzuki Jimny on Portal Axles Has a Crazy 15.7 Inches of Ground Clearance

Between its tiny size, minimal weight, and excellent ground clearance, the Suzuki Jimny by default makes for one of the world’s most agile off-roaders. It’s hard to imagine many ways it could be improved, but a Swiss-German team has, with the holy grail of ground-clearance-boosting gizmos: Portal axles.

Jimnys will soon be running around Europe with special Tibus portal axles, fitted by Swiss specialist Avus Auto. These devices use hubs with special gearsets to offset drive axles upwards, boosting ground clearance in these Jimnys’ cases along with a set of 30.5-inch Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S tires supplied by Germany’s Delta4x4. Combined with a 1.5-inch lift to fit them, ground clearance grows to a massive 15.7 inches—that’s two tenths short of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV in Extract Mode, and in a vehicle with a nearly four-foot shorter wheelbase. I can’t even begin to guess what that breakover angle is, man.

That’s only the half of the mods Delta4x4 made to its demo vehicle, too. The shocks are all remote-reservoir, both the front and rear differentials lock, and there’s an available stainless steel front with a three-ton Horntools winch. It’s everything you need to get in over your head, and then back out again, and it’s priced accordingly.

Portal axle conversion alone will run Jimny owners the equivalent of more than $23,000, which is absolutely used Jeep Wrangler money here in the States. A pre-converted example runs nearly $65,000, while a fully spec’d version can run above $75,000—that’s a Rubicon 392 right there, folks. It’s a ton of money for something so small, but it is apparently TÜV-approved, which is perhaps why the first few of this super-Jimny’s limited production run have already been snapped up. And if I were in the extreme off-road recovery biz, you can bet one of these Jimnys would be the first thing I’d look at, never mind the new mil-spec G-Wagen.

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