New Swift lines up to fol­low hard act

The Advertiser - Motoring - - News - PAUL GOVER

THE count­down to the new Suzuki Swift is into the crit­i­cal fi­nal months. The Ja­panese baby will be re­newed at the Paris Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber, with Aus­tralian sales ex­pected in the first quar­ter of 2011.

The Swift fol­lows the break­through new Kiza­shi – which comes in a full size larger – into a hot­bed of global ac­tion that in­cludes the pace­set­ter Volk­swa­gen Golf. And it has a job that is just as tough.

It must build on the suc­cess of the cur­rent Swift, which was the first Euro-fo­cused de­sign from Suzuki and won the Cars­guide Car of the Year a wa r d wh e n it landed in Aus­tralia.

Carparazzi sources in Europe say the look of the new Swift is sim­i­lar to the cur­rent car, with a rounded nose and a very short rear over­hang, but with a slightly larger body and more space in­side.

It is caught dur­ing test­ing at the Nur­bur­gring race­track – which could be par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant, with the like­li­hood of an all-wheel-drive chas­sis for the first time.

The ba­sic Swift will con­tinue with front-wheel drive – as well as small-ca­pac­ity petrol and diesel en­gine – but there is also a strong like­li­hood of an all­wheel-drive per­for­mance model pick­ing up parts al­ready used in the SX4 sedan and hatch.

There is even a chance that Suzuki could re­turn to the World Rally Cham­pi­onship with the new Swift, us­ing a tur­bocharged en­gine to cre­ate a ri­val to the Subaru WRX and Lancer Evo.

Not sur­pris­ingly, Suzuki is also work­ing on a Swift hy­brid, which could join the range as early as 2011 but more likely in 2012.

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