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Future models - Suzuki - Swift

Sub-Sport Suzuki Swift waiting in the wings

Reputation: Although a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder Swift with a manual gearbox would be a fan favourite, Suzuki Australia is still studying the business case.

Suzuki Swift range could get 1.0-litre turbo manual and broader safety tech

15 Jan 2018

A SUB-SPORT level Swift with “warm” hatch pretensions is believed to be under investigation for Suzuki in Australia that will slip below the automatic-only GLX Turbo.

Featuring the first application of a manual transmission with the lauded 82kW/160Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo Boosterjet engine, the new variant is also expected to come in beneath the GLX Turbo pricetag of $22,990 before on-roads.

Such a model could take on warm light hatchbacks including the departing Fiesta Sport, as well as the Skoda Fabia 70TSI and soon-to-be-released Volkswagen Polo 70TSI that all feature 1.0litre three-cylinder turbo engines and a manual gearbox.

According to one company insider, Suzuki Motor Corporation is now open to the idea of supplying the Asiatic region with the 1.0-litre turbo manual combination, whereas previously it had not.

It is also believed that Suzuki in Australia will be watching the take-up rate of the newly-released manual Sport before making that decision.

While, Suzuki Australia general manager Michael Pachota believes a 1.0-litre turbo manual is unlikely to hit our shores anytime soon due to the low take-up rate of manual gearboxes in the light car class, he can see the appeal of such a model.

“Unfortunately, within the marketplace, the demand for manual transmission – especially in that particular segment – has been fairly low for us,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the Swift Sport outside of Melbourne last week.

“As much as (many people) would love to jump into the 1.0-litre turbo manual in a lightweight car like that, I think the offering of the Swift Sport with manual transmission, customers will look up to that vehicle and aspire to that car rather than a GLX Turbo with manual transmission.

“Moving up to $25,490 plus on-roads is not a big gap, particularly when you look at all the features you get in that car.” Mr Pachota also added that he is unwilling to over-complicate the Swift range with too many variants, though this may change if there is sufficient demand from customers.

That said, the company is looking at offering autonomous emergency braking (AEB) in the base GL manual as a result of consumer feedback and resistance to the unavailability of the safety technology, though when this is likely to happen is unknown.

Currently AEB is only available in the automatic-only GL Navigator with Safety Pack, which also brings in Lane Departure Warning and adaptive cruise control for an additional $1000 above the standard $17,990 GL Navigator.

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