Ed speak

Evo India - - CONTENTS - SIRISH CHANDRAN @SirishChan­dran sirish@gtop­ub­lish­ing.com

I DROVE THE SWIFT THIS MONTH AND I CAN tell you I like it very much. Some of my peers com­plained about too much un­der­steer, some cried out for 20 more horse­power and all moaned about the au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion, but you have to be prac­ti­cal. At this price what more can you ex­pect? In this seg­ment, fuel ef­fi­ciency is A Very Big Deal and that equals to un­der­steer, though it’s hardly of the ex­trav­a­gant slide-off-the-moun­tain va­ri­ety. In­stead we should all be grate­ful for the fact that the Swift is still fun to drive. And start clam­our­ing for a Swift RS. A proper Swift RS.

No, I’ve not for­got­ten about the Swift Sport but let us be re­al­is­tic – that is about as likely as For­mula 1 com­ing back to In­dia. A Swift RS, de­spite the Baleno RS not set­ting any sales charts on fire, is on the draw­ing board. But this time round let’s do the RS badge jus­tice.

Start with the 1-litre turbo petrol but don’t go over­board ask­ing for more horse­power. That we can leave to the tuners and their lap­tops. In any case, with the Swift now weigh­ing well un­der a tonne, 101bhp is good enough to put a big smile on your face. But what we def­i­nitely want are proper boots. An up­size to 16-inch rub­ber is enough, too much grip and not only will fuel ef­fi­ciency get mur­dered (not that I care about that) but it’ll kill the play­ful, slidey, na­ture of the Swift, a key fac­tor that makes it fun to drive. Stiffer and slightly low­ered sus­pen­sion is a must to tie down the body and bet­ter ex­ploit that ea­ger-beaver of a front end. A ma­jor side ef­fect is that the low­ered sus­pen­sion will dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the stance of the Swift. Add a neat lit­tle body kit and you’ve got a hot look­ing car.

Make it sound hot too – an ex­haust that growls and farts adds 20bhp in the driver’s head, if not 30. You can’t do any­thing about the elec­tric power steer­ing so for­get about it (though some­how it has be­come bet­ter than the Baleno’s de­spite shar­ing the same plat­form), just throw in a sporty steer­ing wheel and snug­ger seats and you’re done. And most im­por­tantly don’t of­fer it in just one fully-loaded (and con­se­quently ex­pen­sive) vari­ant. How about an RSlite that petrol­heads can use as a (semi) blank can­vas to which they add the wheels, sus­pen­sion, ex­haust, stereo and as­sorted lux­u­ries of their choice? Or strip it even fur­ther to go rac­ing or ral­ly­ing with?

Where do we sign up Maruti? l

‘We should be grate­ful for the fact that the Swift is still fun to drive. And start clam­our­ing for a Swift RS’

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