New Swift Sport to be light, fan­tas­tic

Rotorua Review - - MOTORING - DAVID LINKLATER

Suzuki is keep­ing it real with the new-gen­er­a­tion Swift Sport, re­vealed this month at the Frankfurt Mo­tor Show.

The new Sport has gained the 1.4-litre Boost­er­jet tur­bocharged en­gine from the Vi­tara Sport. Peak power of 103kW is only slightly up on the out­go­ing Sport, but torque has climbed by 70Nm to 230Nm. More im­por­tantly, the new car is 80kg lighter than the model it re­places, dip­ping un­der the one­tonne mark.

The new car re­tains a six-speed man­ual gear­box. There’s no men­tion yet of an au­to­matic op­tion, but it’s surely on the cards. The cur­rent model is avail­able with a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion, but the Boost­er­jet en­gine is more likely to be matched to a con­ven­tional au­to­matic (as in the Vi­tara and S-Cross).

As with pre­vi­ous Swift Sport mod­els, the mod­i­fied suspension is fit­ted with Monroe shock ab­sorbers. The sta­biliser bars have been thick­ened, with a Te­flon joint added to the mount.

At the rear, the car re­tains trail­ing-arm suspension; but the de­sign is spe­cific to the Sport and sub­stan­tially stiffer than stan­dard Swift mod­els.

The wheel hub and bear­ings have been into a sin­gle unit in the Sport, with a claimed 15 per cent in­crease in cam­ber rigid­ity dur­ing cor­ner­ing.

Road­hold­ing has been fur­ther im­proved,with 40mm-wider tyres on 17-inch pol­ished-al­loy wheels.

From the out­side, the Sport can be iden­ti­fied by its unique front end, side skirts and roof spoiler. In­side, there are sil­ver-and-black al­loy ped­als, sports seats, a flat­bot­tom steer­ing wheel and red trim high­lights.

The new Sport also picks the en­tire suite of driver-as­sis­tance/ safety tech­nol­ogy launched on the lat­est main­stream Swift back in June, in­clud­ing adap­tive cruise, lane de­par­ture alert and weav­ing alert func­tion.

Chief en­gi­neer Masao Ko­bori says the Swift’s new plat­form was the key to the de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme for the Sport.

‘‘We know that our cus­tomers value a dy­namic driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence above ev­ery­thing else, so for the third-gen­er­a­tion Swift Sport our de­vel­op­ment con­cept was ’ul­ti­mate driv­ing ex­cite­ment’.

‘‘We had a bril­liant foun­da­tion to work from, be­cause the new Swift Hear­t­ect plat­form is in­cred­i­bly light and rigid. Our team had hun­dreds of new de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing ideas, but these ideas only made it off the draw­ing board if they added per­for­mance and emo­tion. We’ve made the car lower and wider, and packed it with light­weight tech­nol­ogy. ‘‘It’s lighter, sharper, and quicker. It’s more ag­gres­sive and emo­tive, but we’ve also re­fined the ele­ments that make it prac­ti­cal to use ev­ery day—the clutch feel, the man­ual trans­mis­sion shift throw, the seats and steer­ing wheel. Ev­ery­thing that puts the driver at the heart of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘There’s a his­tory to the Swift Sport. Since 2005, it’s been the spe­cial model that com­bines the prac­ti­cal con­ve­nience of a hatch­back with true sports per­for­mance."

Boost­er­jet 1.4-litre turbo en­gine adds 70Nm to Swift Sport. But weight is down by 80kg.

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