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AIMS: Suzuki set to unveil extreme Swift Sport

Wild thing: This is the exterior look of the Swift Sport that the man who engineered the hot hatch, Naoyuki Takeuchi, personally thinks fits the bill.

Wild ‘personal interpretation’ of Swift Sport from Suzuki engineer to hit Sydney

12 Oct 2012

THE chief engineer of the Swift Sport, Suzuki Motor Corporation’s Naoyuki Takeuchi, has created a stunning one-of-a-kind extreme version of the hot light-sized hatch that makes its Australasian debut at the Sydney motor show next week.

Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis told GoAuto that the vehicle was Takeuchi-san’s “own personal interpretation” of the Swift Sport, modified with a unique exterior and cabin treatment that has shades of the wilder S-Concept which previewed the production car.

In its second-ever outing following an appearance at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon, Takeuchi-san’s Swift Sport cuts the mustard with its custom paintwork, unique bodykit, striking use of chrome and high-gloss black detailing, aggressive front lip spoiler, massive rear wing, fully redesigned rear diffuser, and 18-inch black five-spoke light-alloy wheels wrapped in ultra-low-profile rubber.

Inside, the engineer clearly has an eye for interior design as he continues the contrasting light/dark theme, applying chrome trim and gloss black paint across the dash and doors, laying dark Alcantara (with light stitching) along the way, slotting in Recaro racing seats and wrapping them and other key ‘touch points’ in high-grade charcoal-grey and light-grey leather trim.

30 center imageThere are currently no plans for production of the Takeuchi Swift Sport, although it does highlight the customisation possibilities for the hot hatch.

And, alas, there are no mechanical changes to the Sport, which from $23,990 (plus on-road costs) remains one of the most affordable hot hatches on the Australian market and is powered by a high-revving 1.6-litre four-cylinder ‘M16’ engine that produces 100kW at 6900rpm and 160Nm of torque at 4400rpm.

It drives the front wheels through a specially developed six-speed manual gearbox (or optional continuously variable auto with rally-inspired shift paddles and ‘seven-gear’ manual mode), and enables the head-turning five-door hatch to hit 100km/h from standstill in around eight seconds.

There will be some other tricked-up cars on Suzuki’s stand at the show, although Mr Ellis said the closeness of last month’s Paris motor show to the Sydney event meant there was not enough time to bring the beaut S-Cross concept – the near-production precursor to an all-new city SUV due for release next year – to Darling Harbour.

The Takeuchi Swift Sport continues Suzuki’s form in using the Sydney show for a head-turning presentation, with the Japanese brand using the 2010 event to unveil a piping-hot turbocharged version of its Kizashi medium-sized sedan.

The Kizashi Turbo was developed in conjunction with Californian-based hot tuners Road Race Motorsports (RRM) in the US and was held aloft as a precursor to a high-performance model for Australia.

However, the Kizashi turbo program was shelved and remains that way for the time being.

Also making their Australian motor show debuts on the Suzuki stand will be the upgraded MY13 SX4 range and the Grand Vitara, both of which have hit showrooms in recent weeks.

Headlining the latest Grand Vitara line-up is Suzuki Australia’s inaugural 4x2 version, a five-door rear-drive petrol-powered model known as the ‘Urban’ that starts from $26,990 driveaway.

With a 122kW/225Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, the Urban maintains the 4WD version’s 1850kg maximum braked towing capacity but improves on fuel consumption, with the standard five-speed manual returning a combined-cycle figure of 8.7 litres per 100km – down from 8.9L/100km on the 4x4 petrol equivalent.

CO2 emissions also improve with the Urban from 212 grams per 100km to 207g/km, while the optional ($2000) four-speed automatic returns 9.5L/100km (down 0.2L/100km) and 224g/km (down 10g/km).

The Grand Vitara’s 4WD-only and manual-only 95kW/300Nm 1.9-litre turbo-diesel has also come in for an engine management system upgrade, which reduces DDiS model mileage to 6.8L/100km (down 0.2L/100km) and emissions to 179g/km (previously 185g/km).

The SX4, meanwhile, no longer has a sedan body style in the range, going instead with a full ‘crossover’ hatch line-up that benefits from a fresh exterior facelift, general cabin upgrade and a host of new features including Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control across the range and, for S variants, a new touchscreen satellite-navigation unit with voice command.

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