I do not know of anyone of my collegues that dislikes the Sporty Suzuki Swift. So to pop off down the highway to Redstar raceway and experience the Swift Sport with it’s new turbo engine, was a highlight. This engine won the IATIA Engine of the Year Award in 2018 and with 230 Nm of torque.
The Swift Sport becomes lighter as well, it now weighs in at 970 kg, a massive 90 kg lighter than its predecessor. With 103 kW from the BOOSTERJET engine and a sub one tonne weight, it means that the Swift Sport is part of the hallowed group of cars that can claim over 100 kilowatt/tonne.
The most prominent change to the Suzuki Swift Sport is perhaps the all-new front design. The entire nose has been redesigned and is unique to the Swift Sport. It includes a larger and reverse-slanted front grille with honeycomb pattern, straddled by two large cut-outs with integrated fog lights.
The front lights are LEDs with long light-bar type LED daytime running lights and there is a front splitter with carbon-fibre type patterning to round off the sporty look.
On the flanks, the Swift Sport is immediately distinguishable by its 16” diamondcut and polished alloy wheels, which are now shod with 195/50R16 low-profile tyres. New carbon fibre-patterned side underspoilers flow from the front splitter between the front and rear tyres for improved aerodynamics and a lower, groundhugging appearance.
At the rear, a completely redesigned rear bumper houses two chromed exhaust pipes, one on either side, that have been acoustically engineered for a deeper sound at low engine speeds. The twin-tailpipes pay direct homage to the new Swift Sport’s forebears.
All Swift Sport models also feature rear LED-taillamps and a larger, integrated roof spoiler. A rear splitter, in the same design and style as the underspoilers and front splitter, round off the stylish design.
So as with the Vitara, it’s all about the new 1.4 litre BOOSTERJET engine, and the Swift, being a lighter and smaller car, this engine really adds a lot of oomph.
The BOOSTERJET delivers 103 kW at 5 500 rpm (3 kW more than its predecessor) and a whopping 230 Nm in a linear fashion between 2 500 rpm and 3 500 rpm, which is a massive 70 Nm more than its predecessor.
The BOOSTERJET engine propels the new lower and lighter Swift Sport to 100km/h from a standing start in just 8 seconds and is rated for a top speed of 205 km/h. We did hot laps around the Redstar raceway, and mapped with times around the 1 min 02 area, which was plenty fast for me, and what a blast it was. The Swift handles great, and literally whizzes around the track, eating up corners.
Suspension and brakes
In a nod to its forebears, Suzuki has again partnered with Monroe for customdesigned shock absorbers that have been tuned for minimal body roll and progressive understeer in fast corners.
Other changes to the suspension, over both its predecessor and the standard Swift, include thicker anti-roll bars, an integrated single-unit solution for the wheel hub and bearings and increased spring and damper rates on the front axle.
The new Swift Sport will be available with the choice of an uprated six-speed manual gearbox and a brand-new six-speed automatic gearbox. I drove only the manual version around the track and hardly ventured out of fourth gear.
In the case of the automatic gearbox, the previous model’s continuously variable transmission – which was not available in South Africa – has been replaced with a rapid-shifting six speed automatic transmission with paddle shifting.
An interior fit for a Swift Sport
Suzuki has tasked its interior designers to make the cabin of the Swift Sport stand-out, both in comparison to other Swift models, but also when compared with the rest of the hot hatch genre.
As such, the designers have used red and chrome detailing, such as red stitching on the gear lever boot, steering wheel and seats and a special red-to-black gradation on the seat material, to convey its sporty intentions.
The Swift Sport’s sporty intentions are certainly most evident from behind the thick-rimmed D-shaped steering wheel. From here, a unique set of dials welcome the driver, with a red face on the sporty tachometer and a deep silver face on the speedometer. Suzuki’s designers have added minute scaling to the dials, to create the impression of high-end mechanical instrumentation.
Unique Swift Sport interior full house luxuries
The Suzuki Swift Sport will offer the full array of luxury equipment, including fully automatic climate control, speed-sensitive power steering, electrically foldable rear-view mirrors and all-round electric windows.
The model also features Suzuki’s new 7” touch screen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a reverse camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, steering mounted controls and cruise control.
The Sport model has no less than six airbags (two front, side and curtain airbags), electronic stability control (ESP) and ABS braking with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assistance (EBD). There are anchored ISOFIX mounting points for infant and child seats, side impact protection and child locks on the rear doors.
RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICE Incl. VAT SWIFT 1.2i GA MT 162 900, 1.2i GL MT 179 900 1.2i GL AMT 193 900
Price includes 5yr / 200 000km promotional warranty Retail price includes a 2 yr / 30 000km service plan.
SWIFT SPORT 1.4 TURBO MT 315 900, 1.4 TURBO AT 335 900
Price includes 5yr / 200 000km promotional warranty Retail price includes a 4 yr / 60 000km service plan
The Swift Sport will be sold with a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and a 5-year / 200 000 km vehicle warranty.
In summary, the Suzuki Swift Sport will gain a new army of fans, as it is now a more powerful package, and you need that, to be considered a true hot hatch. We played nicely with it at Redstar raceway, and I look forward to driving the Swift Sport in traffic around Jozi.