By Khulekani Dumisa
Suzki have introduced an all new Swift Sport and they chose Redstar Raceway as the launch venue. This was fitting considering the legendary status the outgoing model has built for its drivability over the years. The new model not only picks up where the previous model left off but vastly improves the winning formula of the Swift Sport. Yes, most of it has to do with the new 1.4 litre turbocharged engine but more of that later.
The Suzuki Swift Sport is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor. It also has an all-new front design which 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.
Looking at it from the side, the Swift Sport is immediately distinguishable by its 16” diamond cut and polished alloy wheels, which are now shod with 195/50R16 low-profile tyres. New carbon fibre-patterned side under-spoilers flow from the front splitter between the front and rear tyres for improved aerodynamics and a lower, ground hugging appearance.
Suzuki has also added darkened privacy glass to the rear windows for visual differentiation and to emphasise the model’s tapered roof. At the rear, a completely redesigned rear bumper houses two chrome exhaust pipes, one on either side, that have been acoustically engineered for a deeper sound at low engine speeds.
At the back, 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 under-spoilers and front splitter, round off the stylish design. Needless to say that all new design features are not just for looks but help improve the new Swift Sport’s aerodynamic efficiency by 10% over its predecessor.
Swift Sport buyers will be able to choose from seven exterior colours, namely Burning Red, Speedy Blue, Pure White, Super Black, Premium Silver, Mineral Grey and Champion Yellow.
Suzuki has 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.
Open the door and you are greeted by a thick-rimmed D-shaped steering wheel, a unique set of dials, a red face on the sporty tachometer and a deep silver face on the speedometer. The choice of graphics creates an impression of high-end mechanical instrumentation.
In between the speedometer dials is a special multi-information LCD colour display that can be programmed to show boost temperature and oil pressure, among many other pieces of information. The driver will also be treated to stainless steel sport pedals and special semi-bucket seats, which have been completely redesigned to offer improved side bolstering on the seat and seatback.
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.
Whilst the interior has vastly improved compared to the outgoing model, it still lacks the pedigree of some competitors but you will not feel let down by the Suzuki Swift Sport. In fact, its interior may be one of the best Suzuki interiors that we have ever seen.
The Swift Sport model may be pitched at a performance focused audience but Suzuki hasn’t skimped on safety. The car 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.
One of the main talking points of the new Suzuki Swift Sport is certainly the 1.4 litre Boosterjet engine. It replaces the previous generation’s 1.6 litre naturally aspirated engine. The new turbocharged engine delivers 103 kW at 5,500 rpm (3 kW more than its predecessor) and a whopping 230 Nm between 2,500 rpm and 3,500 rpm, which is a massive 70 Nm more than its predecessor. This means the Swift Sport achieves 100km/h from a standing start in just 8 seconds and has a top speed of 205 km/h. The engine is paired with either an uprated six-speed manual gearbox or a brand-new six-speed automatic gearbox.
We drove the Swift at the Redstar Raceway. The power of the new motor is almost immediately noticeable as it comes much quicker. Unlike its predecessor, not a lot of effort is required to get power out of it. This means you have the ability to focus more on the driving experience. The car is also lighter so that just makes it feel eager and much quicker than it actually is.
The activities at the launch included a gymkhana competition to put our as well as the car’s skills on test. The car fared much better displaying good grip and agility around the obstacles. We also got to do hot laps on the tight Redstar Raceway track. The cornering abilities of the car stood out although some understeer was detected. All in all, the Swift Sport proved to be fun and enjoyable, and importantly, much improved compared to the outgoing model.
The Swift Sport is priced as follows:
Suzuki Swift Sport Manual – R315,900
Suzuki Swift Sport Auto – R335,900
The Swift Sport is be sold with a 4-year/60,000 km service plan and a 5-year/200,000 km vehicle warranty.
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