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Geneva show: Suzuki slams down super-Swift

Swifter Swift: S-Concept could herald a hot new three-door version of Suzuki's new Swift.

Sizzling new Swift Sport emerges in Geneva as Suzuki unveils hot three-door

Suzuki logo2 Mar 2011

By MARTON PETTENDY

SUZUKI’S all-new Swift Sport has emerged at this week’s Geneva motor show, in the form of the thinly disguised three-door Swift S-Concept.

The pumped-up, pimped out S-badged hot-hatch concept represents the first three-door version of the new fourth-generation Swift five-door hatchback released in Australia in February.

Although previous generations of Suzuki’s popular light car have been available in three-door guise in Europe, if the Swift Sport reaches production as it appeared in Switzerland it would be Australia’s first Swift three-door.

GoAuto understands a replacement for the superseded Swift Sport is due to follow the mainstream AZ-series range by six to nine months and could even reintroduce the Swift GTi nameplate, meaning the S-Concept should become reality by the end of this year.

As we’ve reported, the Swift Sport successor is expected to be powered by either a 1.6-litre petrol four like the outgoing Swift Sport or a force-fed four-cylinder engine from new technology partner Volkswagen, and should be available for the first time with both automatic and six-speed manual transmissions.

While the discontinued Swift Sport was powered by a 92kW/148Nm 1.6, the new and expanded three-grade Swift range is motivated exclusively by a more economical but less powerful 70kW/130Nm 1.4-litre engine to replace the outgoing model’s 74kW/133Nm 1.5-litre engine.

Australians will not have access to the 1.2-litre petrol, 1.3-litre diesel or all-wheel drive Swift models available abroad, and the Swift Sport replacement is likely to continue to be front-wheel drive.

30 center imageThe new Swift line-up, which scores a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating and comes with a class-leading seven airbags and electronic stability control as standard, ranges in price between $15,990 and $20,690, while the previous cosmetically enhanced Swift S was last priced at $17,590 and the former Swift Sport at $23,990.

Apart from two fewer doors, compared to the garden-variety AZ Swift five-door the S-Concept carries a significantly lower ride height thanks to lower, firmer springs and low-profile rubber on 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels (hiding red brake callipers), and is about 60mm wider courtesy of heavily flared front and rear wheel-arches.

A far more aggressive front-end is dominated by a huge black mesh grille and three chromed spears behind each oversized foglight on a deeper front bumper, plus bi-Xenon headlights.

At the side, there are sportier rocker panels book-ended by air scoops behind the front wheels and ahead of the rear wheels, while the aggression continues at the rear where a huge tailgate spoiler resides above a meaty bumper with twin outboard air ‘outlets’ and a large lower diffuser featuring twin chromed exhaust outlets.

Inside, the yellow S-Concept’s cabin is based on the top-spec AZ Swift but adds hip-hugging black leather Recaro sports bucket seats with yellow side bolstering, a carbon-fibre-look centre stack, three-spoke leather and chrome-clad multi-function steering wheel with yellow stitching and a range of chromed interior highlights, including instrument dials and pedal covers.

Suzuki Motor Corporation’s global marketing director Toshihiro Suzuki left nobody at Geneva in any doubt of his company’s intent with the S-Concept, a dimly-lit full-frontal teaser image of which was issued in February, concealing its three-door profile.

“During development of the new Swift, our goal was to combine sporty performance with eco-friendliness,” said Mr Suzuki when he presented the S-Concept.

“Sportiness is a very important factor to Suzuki. The Swift GTi was a hit with people who wanted a sporty compact car in Europe back in the 1990s. And with the Swift that we launched in 2004, we added the Swift Sport for people who wanted to get even more enjoyment out of their daily driving experience. The Swift Sport has also performed very well in motorsport with fans all over Europe.

“Over the years, the Swift has symbolized the fact that sportiness is a big part of everything we do at Suzuki. And today, I’m excited about showing you a great new symbol of that fact. It’s based on the new Swift. It’s even sportier, and it’s a clear expression of the straightforwardness and spirit that are core values of all Suzuki products. I’m proud to present the Swift S-Concept.

“The body is based on the powerful-looking shape of the Swift, but it’s wider, lower, and has big 18-inch wheels so it has such a strong presence that visually it doesn’t seem as compact as the Swift actually is. The impression of power is made even stronger by the dynamic shapes of the front and rear bumpers and the large rear spoiler. The cabin has yellow accents that match the body for an added touch of sportiness.

“So the Swift S-Concept is a great combination of sportiness and practicality. It’s a great example of the attention Suzuki pays to making cars that look and feel superb. I hope it gives you a sense of the new Swift’s great possibilities.

“Suzuki wants to add excitement to our customers’ daily lives. So we’re going to keep drawing on our expertise in compact cars to create models, that are not just economical and eco-friendly ways to get around, but also make people go ‘Wow’,” he said.

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