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 the early months of 2012.
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. We would like the three-door, but it’s still only made in Hungary at the moment,’’ says Tony Devers, general manager of Suzuki Australia.
‘‘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 a crucial car for Suzuki, which explains its early confirmation for the motor show.
‘‘We definitely intend to have it on our stand. And we’ll get it in showrooms early next year,’’ he says. 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, until it can cement the details of a new technical tie-up with Volkswagen Group.
Devers says work is under way on potential engine-sharing programs but he has no details.
Instead, he 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 (to do that already),’’ he says.
The Suzuki Swift Sport should be in our showrooms early next year