SWIFT BY NAME AND SWIFT BY NATURE: SUZUKI’S HOT HATCH UPDATED FOR 2018
Suzuki’s new-look Swift Sport is an all-new update on a hot hatch favourite that’s being thrilling drivers for nearly 15 years. We check it out
WHAT’S NEW? The Suzuki Swift Sport has long been a favourite with the hot hatch crowd, who will doubtless be overjoyed that a new generation model has landed.
They’ll be even happier that the Japanese manufacturer has slashed money off the price to celebrate the launch of its new sibling.
The car, the third generation of the popular sporty supermini, is quicker and lighter than the outgoing model.
It’s the sporty take on the fourth generation Suzuki Swift, which was unveiled last year and is a significant advance on the third generation Swift. LOOKS AND DESIGN The all-new Swift Sport is a hot hatchback that takes the fourth-generation regular model and adds speed, tech and a certain wow factor.
It has a distinctive style, with a striking front grille and bumper, im- pressively funky 17-inch alloy wheels and carbon effect aerodynamic under the spoilers.
Those 17-inch polished alloys are to the Sport, and are now even lighter in their composition that those used previously.
During manufacture and after the wheel has been cast, the rim is compressed and stretched using high pressure rollers in a process known as ‘flow forming’.
The rear end features a sporty black diffuser and Continued on Page 2 >>
two large exhaust exits – features that will be familiar to anyone who has owned or admired the previous generation Swift Sport.
The car is available in one solid and five metallic colours at no extra cost.
INSIDE THE CABIN As you’d expect, the cabin gets an update as well. This includes the latest technology, of which more below, plus some nice sporty interior touches like unique sport interior trim with semi bucket seats and red accents to the dashboard and console areas, six airbags, auto air con and sat nav.
There’s also a leather steering wheel, privacy glass, six speakers, LED daytime running lights, body coloured door mirrors and four electric windows.
Among the kit you get is adap- tive cruise control, keyless entry and start, rear parking camera, engine auto stop start, smartphone linkage display audio, Bluetooth integrated into the audio unit, a navigation system and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
There’s a 7-inch touchscreen packed with the latest infotainment display, along with Android Auto and Apple Car Play systems.
UNDER THE BONNET Based on its very low kerb weight of 975kg and a torque figure of 230Nm, the new Swift Sport has a torque-to-weight ratio of 4.2 kg/ Nm placing it at a similar level to its hot hatch competitors.
Suzuki’s 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbocharged engine, seen in the Vitara and S- Cross models, now appears in the Swift Sport for the first time.
This unit has an output of 140PS and is Direct Injection turbocharged (DITC). It offers 44 per cent more torque than the previous model which is available from 2,500rpm.
It offers the same level of power and torque of a larger capacity normally aspirated engine (2.0-litre).
In addition, the new Sport has an improved maximum torque figure of 230Nm which is available from just 2,500rpm up to 3,500rpm. The previous Sport model developed 160Nm of torque at 4,400rpm.
The 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine offers other performance enhancements: 0-62mph acceleration time of 8.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 130mph.
An enhanced braking system is also offered.
SAFETY AND TECHNOLOGY The Swift Sport also comes with an advanced forward detection system that supports more safety technologies, including collision-mitigating Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS).
Suzuki says that, with DSBS, at vehicle speeds from approximately 3mph to 62mph, if the system determines a risk of collision with a forward obstacle, it issues both an audio and visual warning.
If there is a high risk of collision with a forward obstacle and the driver panic brakes, the system deploys brake assist, increasing braking force.
Lane departure warning /lane departure prevention function is also offered. When the vehicle is travelling at vehicle speeds of approximately 37mph and up to 100mph (where permitted) and is departing the lane without the driver using a turn signal, the sys- tem vibrates the steering wheel and lights a warning indicator in the instrument cluster to draw attention to lane departures caused by factors such as inattention to the road.
As an additional feature on the new Swift Sport model the driver will also notice an automatic input from the steering wheel at this time to ensure the car remains in its correct direction of travel. WHO WOULD BUY ONE? Space inside is relatively good for a car this size, and the seats fold 60-40 flat, to help with loading.
The range starts at £16,999, which includes a current £1,000 customer saving that may not be around forever.
The Suzuki Swift will appeal to anyone in the supermini segment who wants a fast, classy hot hatch at a good price which is not expensive to run.