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First look: Suzuki's Melbourne debut

Power trip: The Ignis Sport will boast an excellent power-to-weight ratio Suzuki claims

Suzuki picks Melbourne for the world launch of its new Ignis Sport hot hatch

28 Feb 2003

SUZUKI Australia is staging the world reveal of the Ignis Sport hot hatch at the Melbourne motor show today (Friday).

The local unveil will beat the higher-profile showing at the Geneva motor show by close to a week.

The spiritual successor to the Suzuki Swift GTi is scheduled to go on sale here around June.

While specifications will not be confirmed until after the midday launch, power is expected to be provided by a 1.5-litre engine.

The car will be unveiled by Suzuki Australia's General Manager (Automobiles), David Le Mottee, who said one of the Sport's strongest claims would be its excellent power-to-weight ratio.

"That puts it on par or ahead of many hot hatches," Mr Le Mottee said. "Its power to weight is better than a Mini Cooper, Barina SRi or a BMW 318ti, just to name a few.

The Sport only arrived in Melbourne via air-freight last Monday.

* Daihatsu will announce the go-ahead for Australian sales of the Copen roadster at the Melbourne show today. Expected in spring, the Copen will be priced in the low $30,000 bracket.

* Melbourne show organisers are claiming no less than 38 new models from 23 manufacturers and importers will be launched at the show.

The new models range from budget-conscious cars from Hyundai, Daihatsu, Holden, Nissan, Renault and Peugeot to exotics from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.

Performance sedans and sports cars from VW, Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, BMW, Audi, Lexus and Ford will add spice to the line up while all-wheel-drive vehicles from Holden, Land Rover, Toyota, Mitsubishi, BMW, Volkswagen and Honda will cater for that ever-growing segment.

Size will be a feature of the show with new models ranging from the tiny new smart from Mercedes-Benz to the extended wheelbase luxury 760Li limousine from BMW.

The show opens to the public at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre today, February 28, at 5.00pm.

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