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Suzuki swaps out engines for new Swift

Swift arrival: The all-new Suzuki Swift will arrive in Australian showrooms in June, replacing the ageing model that has been around since 2011.

New powertrains for all-new Suzuki Swift light car, due here in June

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Suzuki logo24 Apr 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

SUZUKI’S all-new Swift will be powered by the 1.2-litre petrol engine from the Ignis and the Baleno’s 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit when the fifth-generation hatchback rolls into showrooms in June.

The Japanese car-maker will drop the 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engines that power the current model, according to documents seen by GoAuto.

The confirmation of the powertrain line-up comes following Suzuki Australia’s announcement that the latest iteration of its best seller would lob mid year to replace the model that has been on sale here since 2011.

Under the bonnet of the new Swift, the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine will produce 66kW/120Nm – the same output as the Ignis – and will be mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Meanwhile, the more powerful 1.0-litre turbo triple generates 82kW/160Nm and comes paired exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission.

There is no word yet on what the model grades will be called, but the turbo engine could also feature in a more performance-focused variant to mirror the current Sport.

Despite the introduction of more modern engines, power output is still down across the board, with the less powerful 1.2-litre engine making 4kW/10Nm less than the 1.4, while the three-cylinder’s output is 18kW down on the old 1.6-litre, with torque figures remaining identical.

However less power is offset by a reduction in weight, with the 1.2-litre variants registering a tare weight of just 855kg for the manual and 905kg for the CVT, while the 1.0-litre tips the scales at 925kg.

For comparison, a current four-speed automatic Swift GL Navigator has a kerb weight of 1035kg, while a CVT-equipped Sport weighs 1075kg.

If the official European combined cycle figures are anything to go by, the new engines will provide superior fuel economy, with Suzuki claiming the 1.2-litre manual variant sips just 3.6 litres per 100km, while the 1.0-litre triple is rated at 3.8L/100km.

This is a dramatic drop from the Australian combined cycle figures of 5.5-6.0L/100km in the existing 1.4-litre Swift, or the 6.1-6.5L/100km for the 1.6-litre Sport.

When equipped with the same 1.2-litre engine and manual gearbox combination, the lighter Ignis uses 4.7L/100km.

In Europe, the new Swift will be offered with a four-wheel-drive option, but with Australia previously rejecting the all-paw version, it is likely the new range will again be a front-wheel-drive-only affair.

At 3840mm, the new Swift is 10mm longer than the old model, but with a 20mm longer wheelbase, and has 254 litres of luggage space – 54L more than the outgoing Swift.

Japanese market Swifts will be offered with safety features such as autonomous emergency braking, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree surround view cameras, lane departure warning and a reversing camera.

According to the documents seen by GoAuto, the Swift will feature air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, central locking, a suite of airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard.

Sales of the Swift have dropped in recent years, from 10,921 sales in 2015, to 8372 last year, to 1123 in the first three months of 2017 – a 58.1 per cent drop in year-on-year sales.

Suzuki’s rollout of a number of new models in the past 18 months – including the Vitara, Baleno and Ignis – have likely had an impact on Swift sales.

In announcing the June on-sale date, Suzuki Australia director Andrew Moore said that the company had worked hard to ensure the right package for the new Swift.

“Careful consideration needs to be taken when introducing changes to any product that is already so highly regarded and I am one hundred per cent certain that the revival of Swift is something we should all be very, very excited about,” he said.

“Being behind-the-scenes and seeing all of the hard work and market research that has gone in to this final product affirms that the new Swift is set to be a total game changer.” Exact pricing and specification will be revealed closer to the model’s release in June.

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