A comprehensive engineering programme by Suzuki has given the new third generation Swift Sport a real edge in the performance hatchback sector and moves the car to the next level as a genuine hot hatch with class-leading features.
As well as a completely different engine and first time availability of a turbocharger, Suzuki focused on reducing body roll, improving the car’s agility and providing a great driving experience.
The Sport has long been a popular Swift model in New Zealand and the new, more aggressively styled version builds on the qualities of its predecessor.
Gary Collins, General Manager of Automobile Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand, said, “The Swift Sport has always been about fun but the new model delivers that fun in a more mature manner. A really worthwhile feature is the extra torque and reduced weight that elevates the driving experience and makes the car so enjoyable.”
He said the direct, precise steering with good weighting and high levels of safety had already received international acclaim.
Swift Sport chief engineer Masao Kobori said, “We know that our customers value a dynamic driving experience above everything else so we’ve made the new Swift Sport lighter, faster and more stimulating in every way.”
He said the engineers had a brilliant foundation to work from because the new HEARTECT platform is incredibly light and rigid.
“Our team had hundreds of new designs and engineering ideas, but these ideas only made it off the drawing board if they added performance and emotion,” said Kobori. “It’s lighter, sharper, quicker, more aggressive and emotive but we’ve also refined the elements that make it practical to use every day - the clutch feel, the manual transmission shift throw, the seats and the steering wheel.
“Everything that puts the driver at the heart of the experience. There’s history to the Swift Sport. Since 2005 it’s been a special model that combines the practical convenience of a hatchback with true sports performance,” he said.
The lively engine, engaging handling, impressive body control and subtle body kit are sure to prove highly popular. Gary Collins said international reviews confirmed the new Swift Sport drives brilliantly, has loads of composure and excels in its level of performance and technology while also being great value for money.
“Dynamically the car is being highly rated with its entertaining handling and exceptional performance, but these qualities have not impaired the upgraded refinement and superior efficiency,” he said.
Careful detail changes are expected to appeal to keen drivers, like the entire front bumper that has been redesigned with deeper air intakes and a noticeable chin spoiler while the larger grille admits more air into the engine compartment. The restyled front end helps make the car look wider and lower.
“The car harks back to classic hot hatches of old with its tenacity and clean dynamic interaction,” said Collins. “The Sport has always been received enthusiastically and its reputation will only be enhanced by the arrival of the new model with so many improvements.”
“The Hero Champion Yellow colour, for example, is a badge of honour acknowledging Suzuki’s successful Junior World Rally Championship campaigns. Among the six colour options are Burning Red Pearl metallic and Speedy Blue metallic paint choice that are appropriate given the Swift Sport’s driving appeal,” he said.
“We went back to the roots, and considerable time was spent tuning the car and engine. As a result we expect the new model to outsell earlier Sports,” said Collins.
When the last Swift Sport was launched more than 900 units were sold in New Zealand during the first 12 months of sales. “With the significant lift in performance, technology and safety we are confident that the new generation Swift Sport will exceed 1,000 units in 2018,” he said.