Suzuki is fitting a turbo engine to the newest version of its hot hatch favourite
For years, the Suzuki Swift Sport has been a favourite of hot hatch buyers who really know their onions. It may not have been the most powerful or expensive car in its class, but for sheer driving thrills on a budget, it was unbeatable. Those seeking a bargain driver’s car really didn’t need to look anywhere else.
But now there’s an all-new Swift hatch on sale, Suzuki has rolled out the latest version of its sporty range-topper – which for the first time in three generations, gets a turbocharged engine. Previously, buyers adored the high-revving 1.6-litre motor, but now that’s gone, with a 1.4-litre turbo arriving in its place.
At 138bhp, it’s barely any more powerful than the old car, but it has a lot more pulling power and, crucially, the new car is a significant 80kg lighter than the old one. This means the 0-62mph time has been cut to a scant 6.2 seconds, almost sports car fast, with a snappy six-speed gearbox promising to help drivers keep it fully on the boil.
The reduction in kerbweight should help ensure the handling is as snappy and engaging as the old model too. How it drives in corners has long been one of the biggest draws of the Swift Sport and the firm will be keen not to dilute this with the all-new one. Here’s hoping the engineers have maybe even managed to enhance it further…
The new model certainly looks more distinctive than the outgoing car. There’s a more aggressive front end with bigger air intakes to feed the turbocharged engine, plus special grille and headlights to set it apart from regular Swifts. The 17-inch alloy wheels are wider and, at the rear, there’s a big roof spoiler and chrome-finished dual exhausts.
We like the look of the new interior too, which has more sporty accents, red detailing and what looks like an excellent set of all-new sports seats. The flat-bottom steering wheel is also racy-looking, and the red detailing for the rev counter is a Porsche-like detail that we think is a fantastic addition.
But what about prices? They’ve long been one of the biggest draws to the Swift Sport, as it’s traditionally sat in clear space below hot hatch stalwarts such as the Ford Fiesta ST. And it seems Suzuki won’t be changing that with this all-new one. It arrives in the UK in early 2018 and we’d expect it to cost from around £14,000, ensuring this fizzy little hot hatch should remain a bargain buy.
Will it be as big of a hit as its predecessor? Our fingers remain firmly crossed – particularly as Suzuki has already assured us that development of prototype cars has already been carried out on UK roads to tailor the model to our unique highways. We can’t wait to find out whether this enthusiast’s favourite can continue to be a bargain-priced star…