Swift and Steady Seduction!
By Keegan Gan
June 1, 2012
We test drive the all-new Suzuki Swift Sport!
When the second generation Suzuki Swift Sport was introduced in 2005, it wowed the hot hatch enthusiasts with its nimble handling and naturally aspirated high-revving 1.6-litre engine. The hatch back upon introduction in Singapore and coupled with a softer COE climate swiftly gained a cult following.
Into the year 2012, Suzuki builds on the success of the earlier Swift Sport and introduces to us what seems to be the new darling in the eyes of the hot hatch enthusiasts.
With the flaws of the previous Swift Sport addressed and with new features added, it is evidently clear that the new Swift Sport is set to win the hearts and minds, especially of those who are in the market for their very first car and has a penchant for something sporty.
So what are the changes to the Swift Sport then, you ask. To most people, the new Swift Sport might look the same as the previous one, indeed the changes are subtle, but at the same time the car is built on a totally new platform.
Beginning with the exterior, although the new Swift Sport retains the overall shape, it now sports a refreshed front look, with a deeper front grille with honeycomb inserts as well as more aggressive looking headlamps that stretch deeper backwards. The side of the car features deeper side skirts while the rear comes with a roof spoiler for added sportiness and a bumper featuring a diffuser and dual exhaust tips.
Size wise, the new Swift Sport is now bigger than before, having an all-new platform that is longer and slightly wider, its wheelbase now measuring 2,430 mm, an increase 50 mm. However growing in size doesn't mean the Swift Sport is now a pudgy vehicle; instead the car had its weight shaved off quite significantly. Coupling a decrease of almost 30kg in weight to an increase in the car's output (134bhp/160Nm), you have a lean mean machine that is raring to go off the blocks in a heartbeat, especially so with its very responsive seven speed CVT transmission that aids with the low-end torque.
On the roads, you can instantly feel that the new Swift Sport is no slouch, in fact, this hot hatch takes to the roads with aplomb, its steering sharp and its handling stable as it negotiates bends with litheness. Entering round a bend, the new Swift Sport hangs on unless you are pushing it too hard and causing it to lose traction.
As for the interior, gone are the bucket seats but Suzuki has replaced them with equally racy looking seats with red stitching as trims all round the cabin for that added sporty touch reminiscent of a certain German brand's flagship hatchback. The cabin materials are though still consist of the ubiquitous hard plastic found in most Japanese cars, the usage of the colour tones and textured surfaces make the difference, giving the new dashboard an almost classy feel.
In terms of build and quality, the new Swift Sport has shown exceptional improvement as compared to the Suzukis of yore, boot space is still inconsequential but the overall car design and performance ably compensates for that minute detail. If not for the current COE prices, this new Swift Sport will definitely sell like hot cakes.
Car: Suzuki Swift Sport
Engine: 1,586 cc
Transmisson: 7-step CVT/ 6-speed manual
Max power: 134 bhp
Max torque: 160 Nm
0-100km/h: 8.7 seconds
Distributor: Champion Motors
Photos by Champion Motors