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Frankfurt show: Hotter Suzuki Swift Sport breaks cover

Swift entry: The Swift Sport could gain higher performance variants further into the new model’s life cycle.

Lighter Suzuki Swift Sport bests Ford Fiesta ST torque-to-weight ratio

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Suzuki logo13 Sep 2017

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

SUZUKI’s third-generation Swift Sport has become a “genuine hot hatch” according to its maker, with a 1.4-litre turbo engine handing the new and lighter five-door model a higher torque-to-weight ratio than Volkswagen’s Mk6 Golf GTI.

Unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, the Swift Sport has wrought the benefits of Suzuki’s new Heartect platform that offers weight savings and greater rigidity.

In this case, it has reduced kerb mass to 970kg, down 80kg over the 2011 model.

The new Boosterjet direct injection four-cylinder petrol makes the same 103kW of power as seen in the S-Cross and Vitara, but torque rises by 10Nm to 230Nm.

Only a carryover six-speed manual has been detailed. The previous Swift Sport was available with a continuously-variable transmission (CVT), however the 1.4-litre turbo mates with a six-speed automatic in every other Suzuki model.

Torque-to-weight of 237Nm per tonne bests the 1360kg Mk6 Golf GTI’s 206Nm/tonne ratio and that of its current size-rival, the 1197kg Fiesta ST’s 201Nm/tonne.

While Suzuki has not detailed a 0-100km/h acceleration claim, the Ford model claims a 6.9-second time.

Suzuki has also said it focused on delivering greater driving stability, reduced bodyroll and improved agility compared with the previous-generation Swift Sport.

The car-maker continues to use Monroe dampers front and rear, however thicker stabiliser joint bars and wider bearings on the front suspension have been claimed to contribute to a 15 per cent increase in camber rigidity.

At the rear, Suzuki has claimed that camber rigidity has been upped by a factor of “nearly three” while toe rigidity has been improved by 1.4 times, and there is improved torsional rigidity of the back torsion beam suspension.

With 17-inch alloy wheels and Continental ContiSportContact 5 tyres on each corner, the Swift Sport’s wheelbase and tracks (both front and rear) have been extended by 20mm and 40mm respectively, compared with the previous model.

Long considered a warm hatch rather than a hot hatch, Swift Sport chief engineer Masao Kobori now believes the new model has moved into the next league.

“We know that our customers value a dynamic driving experience above everything else, so we’ve made the new Swift Sport lighter, faster and more stimulating in every way,” he said.

“The new Swift Heartect platform is incredibly light and rigid. We’ve made the car lower and wider, and packed it with lightweight technology. It’s lighter, sharper, quicker. It’s more aggressive and emotive. Everything that puts the driver at the heart of the experience.

“There’s a history to the Swift Sport (but) with the third generation we’ve moved the game on to the next level as a genuine hot hatch.”

Meanwhile the new body – which is signified from regular Swifts by a more aggressive hexagonal grille with wire-mesh inserts, angular foglight recesses, matte-grey side skirts and front/rear diffusers, plus twin-split exhausts – has been widened by 40mm and lowered by 15mm over the previous Sport model.

Red trim accents on the dashboard and doors, red-faced gauges, a gloss-black and perforated flat-bottomed steering wheel and cloth-trimmed sports seats differentiate the Swift Sport from its GL and GLX Turbo siblings inside.

The Sport gets the same 7.0-inch touchscreen as other Swift model grades, with forward collision alert, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control all borrowed from the GLX Turbo that retails for $22,990 driveaway nationwide.

A Suzuki Australia spokesperson said the local division of the Japanese brand was unable to confirm pricing or timing for the new Sport, except to confirm it has raised its hand for the new hot hatchback and is hoping for a 2018 release.

The outgoing Swift Sport costs $24,490 plus on-road costs.

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