Swift gets overhaul
Suzuki’s new hatch will keep the same basic look, writes PAUL GOVER
THE car that changed everything for Suzuki is due for a change of its own. The Swift drove Suzuki in a more European direction and put style and driving enjoyment ahead of a boring basic bottom line.
Now the Japanese baby that was the carsGuide Car of the Year in 2005 is being completely revamped.
The new version has been seen during private proving-ground tests and, despite a giant burqa disguising the details, it will clearly feature a continuation of the same basic look.
The Swift still has a rounded front end, a short rear overhang and a sexy tail.
The Carparazzi team says the next Swift will go public at the Paris Motor Show next year, which means it’s little more than a year from a final production sign-off.
‘‘We won’t get it until the end of next year,’’ Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers says.
He cannot and will not go into detail on the car, but admits Suzuki is close to a ground-up revamp.
‘‘The current Swift has been so successful they won’t deviate from the basic style. We’ll wait and see, but it’s likely to be a little bigger and a bit more roomy inside.’’
Carparazzi forecasts several changes for the Swift, including an all-wheel drive and a diesel option.
There also are rumours of a hybrid version, but not until 2011 or 2012.
The Swift has been a huge success for Suzuki in Australia, but Devers says the company is planning a major model expansion.
‘‘In Australia we’ve sold almost 60,000 Swifts. In the early days it was about 60 per cent of sales and it’s still close to half,’’ Devers says.
‘‘Our biggest issue is still our limited model range.
‘‘The Alto will start to change that, and then we get the Kizashi (midsized sedan) next year. We should see the production Kizashi towards the end of this year.’’
No shocks: the new Suzuki Swift will be a little bigger.