► New Suzuki Swift Sport makes its public debut in Frankfurt
► Powered by the 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine in 140bhp form
► Enters the warm hatch sector as an appealing back-to-basics supermini
The old Suzuki Swift was one of our very favourite warm hatches, so this one has a lot to live up to. It was always a simple, affordable, fun and modestly quick little car that doesn’t take itself too seriously – and we expect more of the same from this one given the excellence of the standard Swift.
In terms of styling, they’ve played it down. Suzuki’s designers have turned the current-gen Swift’s rounded face into an altogether more angular, angry looking snout on the Swift Sport with a re-moulded bumper, a new grille and a gently jutting front apron, but in the flesh, it’s still a subtle-looking effort.
What’s the 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport like inside?
Not much different to the existing car – so it’s light, airy and well equipped.
Making the most of the car’s old school charm, the head-up display features an additional turbo boost gauge, which should appeal to enthusiastic drivers.
What powers it?
The new Swift Sport to borrow the excellent 1.4 Boosterjet turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that has previously impressed us in the Suzuki Vitara S. In the Vitara it turns out 140bhp but has 7lb ft more torque.
The outgoing model was powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine, but the quest for lower emissions means installing a smaller, turbocharged engine is inevitable. At least it’s a good one, based on our experience of it previously in the visually challenged SX4 S-Cross - smooth, responsive, fast, and even relatively frugal. And there’ll be much more torque to enjoy than the old 1.6.
How will it drive?
According to a Suzuki spokesman, a large part of the car’s European development was undertaken in the UK. That means it will deal well with B-roads, which given the brilliance of the original, this is an encouraging sign. It’s lighter than before too, with a kerbweight of 970kg, down 70kg from the old model.
‘The UK is now Suzuki’s largest European market,’ he says. So getting this and the pricing right is vitally important. Affordability has always been a key part of the Swift Sport’s appeal, and as such a Suzuki spokesman said that this will remain the case. ‘Expect us to sell it for less than £17,000 – and that’s the absolute maximum.’
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