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New Suzuki Swift Sport shapes up

Left: The Swift S-Concept first seen at Geneva earlier this year gives a glimpse at the next-gen Suzuki hot-hatch.

Hotter version of Suzuki’s new Swift on the launch pad for Oz in early 2012

5 Apr 2011

SUZUKI will start production of a hotter version of its all-new Swift in November, meaning that a replacement for its previous-generation Swift Sport should go on sale here early next year.

GoAuto has also learned that a three-door version of the fourth-generation Swift five-door that went on sale in Australia in February will also be produced in right-hand drive guise this time round.

However, we understand that while a five-door Swift hot-hatch – which could even carry a GTi badge – is certain to be released here in early 2012, there is no guarantee Suzuki Australia will develop a successful business case for its first three-door Swift.

If it does, a three-door body derivative will likely only be available in range-topping Swift Sport guise, as previewed by the aggressive Swift S-Concept that debuted at the last month’s Geneva motor show.

Either way, the new AZ-series Swift Sport will come with a larger 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 100kW – 8kW up on the previous 92kW 1.6-litre Swift Sport and 30kW up on the standard 70kW 1.4-litre Swift – matched for the first time with both manual and automatic transmissions.

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“We want the three-door and we continue to have consistent dialogue with the Japan about it,” said a Suzuki executive.

“To take full advantage of the small but important (sales) volume in that segment we will need to have both the two and three-pedal versions.”

Expect the new Swift range-topper, which will continue with a front-wheel drive layout, to be priced above the new three-variant Swift line-up, which opens at $15,990 and closes at $20,690.

However, it is unclear how faithful the production version will be to the 60mm-wider S concept, which appeared in Switzerland with heavily flared front and rear wheel-arches and 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.

The first three-door version of the AZ Swift also featured bi-Xenon headlights, a huge black mesh grille, three chromed spears behind each oversized foglight on a deeper front bumper, sportier side skirts, four side air scoops, an oversized tailgate spoiler and a large lower diffuser featuring twin chromed exhaust outlets.

Inside, the yellow S-Concept’s cabin 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 said at Geneva last month that the Swift S-Concept was 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,” he said. “I hope it gives you a sense of the new Swift’s great possibilities.”

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