Swift start for motor show
Suzuki promises more power in its new Swift Sport, writes Paul Gover
THE first starter for the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne in July is already in the blocks.
It’s the Suzuki Swift Sport, which is about to be previewed in Europe and should be in Australian showrooms in early next year.
The Sport is not a huge change from the regular all-new Swift that has just been launched, but promises more punch from an upgraded engine. Full details will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in just over a week.
The only difference for Australia sales is that the Swift Sport will continue as a five-door hatch, where Europe gets a three-door body.
‘‘We’ll have it as a five-door,’’ says Tony Devers, general manager of Suzuki Australia.
‘‘We would like the three-door, but it’s still only made in Hungary at the moment. It’s very aggressive and pretty nice.
‘‘It will be more powerful than the current Swift Sport and, with the more rigid new chassis, should be a ripper handler.’’
Devers says the Swift is crucial for Suzuki and that explains its early confirmation for the motor show.
‘‘We definitely intend to have it on our stand,’’ he says. ‘‘And we’ll get it in showrooms early next year.’’
The new Swift is the last in a run of all-new models from Suzuki that began with the first Euro-focused Swift more than five years ago and continued with the Grand Vitara and Kizashi.
Suzuki faces a new-model drought for at least 18 months, and until it can cement the details of a new technical tie-up with Volkswagen Group.
Devers says work is under way in Japan on potential engine-sharing programs, but he has no details.
‘‘There is work under way between Volkswagen and Suzuki,’’ he says. ‘‘What it is, it’s too early to say.’’
Instead, Devers is focused on a successful launch for the new Swift.
‘‘We’ll sell 2000 more Swifts a year with the new one, and the first few weeks are on track,’’ he says.
‘‘We did 1200 of the old model in January, and we’re about 250 cars ahead of that with more than a week to go to the end of February.’’
Different: Unlike Europe, where the Suzuki Swift Sport is available as a three-door model, the version released in Australia will be a five-door hatch.