The legendary Swift Sport is back in a new avatar. While it may look more mature than before, philosophically it is the same - or maybe better - than its predecessors.
The Swift Sport was never considered a hot-hatch. Its high-revving 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder petrol motor developed a modest 140PS/160Nm and was paired to a six-speed manual transmission with power sent to the front wheels. Contemporary hot hatches of the period, like the Volkswagen Golf GTI, develop over 200PS of maximum power, are often equipped with fast-shifting automatic transmission and, in some cases, even employ four-wheel drive.
The Swift Sport may not have been powerful, but it was always known to be fun, though we can't definitely say that because we have not been able to drive it in India as Maruti didn't launch it here. We can imagine how it may have felt, especially since the non-Sport Swift handles quite well too. Now imagine lowering the ride height, stiffening up the suspension, increasing the wheelbase, adding disc brakes on all four wheels. That should make the sweet handling car even better!
The new Swift Sport takes that formula and adds lightness and more torque to it. The new Heartec platform, the same one underneath the new Dzire, lowers the kerb weight of the new Swift Sport, by a whopping 80kg, to 970kg. Couple this with a new 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged (RIP naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre wonder), Boosterjet motor which develops a hefty 230Nm of torque and you have the recipe to induce a smile wider than the Joker.
Why has Suzuki added a turbocharged motor? "The direct fuel injection...seven-hole injector nozzles... resulting in higher engine output and a cleaner exhaust." "turbocharger system..wastegate valve control...opens to minimise fuel consumption when cruising.” In short, to reduce the guilt of still using a petrol-powered engine.
The shorter, stiffer suspension on the Swift Sport is what gives it its handling characteristic. Suzuki claims that the new car is more stable, rolls less and is generally more fun to drive. This is thanks to shock absorbers from Monroe, thicker stabiliser bar joints and new Teflon bushings.
At the front, the wider grille, aggressive bumper and black spoiler highlight the sporty credentials of the Swift Sport. 5-spoke 17-inch wheels, a black side skirt and a large roof-mounted spoiler add to the design at the side. As with all Swift Sport models from before, the new model also features a twin exhaust poking through the bumper. The Swift Sport is 15mm lower and 40mm wider than the standard hatchback, making for that hunkered-down look.
Inside, the sporty theme continues with an extensive use of red highlights, contrast coloured gauges, new boost-pressure and oil-temperature gauges, chrome-finished gear shift knob, alloy pedals and semi-bucket front seats. The 7-inch SmartPlay infotainment system from the standard car has been carried over.
Suzuki has not revealed any launch dates or pricing for the Swift Sport in Europe yet. And there is always a silver lining that Maruti Suzuki may launch this in India too.
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The estimated service cost for Maruti Swift:
Petrol for 6 years is Rs. 21,103
Diesel for 6 years is Rs. 28,312
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