Suzuki has unveiled an all-new version of its Swift hatchback, ahead of its debut in the Japanese domestic market on 4 Jan 2017.
Although the nameplate dates back to the 1980s, the Swift in its current well-loved concept as a solidly-engineered, fun-to-drive, yet affordable compact hatchback came to being in 2004, after which 5.3 million units were sold worldwide.
A full model change took place in 2010, but owing to the success of the preceding model, Suzuki opted for an evolutionary path of growth – retaining much of the previous model’s styling cues despite heavily revising its underpinnings.
The new 2017 Swift gives the familiar styling a more radical make over. The frontal fascia is completely revamped sporting the large trapezoidal grille now popular across the industry.
The distinctive glass area from the past two generations is retained, but the rear doors now have their handles flushed into the window lines. The tail lights roughly follow the existing template, its upper edge pointing forward, but made wider overall – giving it a more squarish appearance.
Under its sheet metal, Suzuki has taken a clean slate approach, creating a light and rigid new-generation ‘Heartect’ platform as basis for the new vehicle. For the Japanese market, a new 1.2-litre mild hybrid petrol engine with 90hp and 118Nm forms the base powertrain available with either 5-speed manual or continuously variable transmissions. In manual transmission guise with front-wheel drive, the Swift 1.2 has a rated fuel consumption of just 3.6 litres/100km.
The more powerful RS variant, meanwhile, features a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol direct injection engine. Paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, this engine is rated with outputs of 101hp and 150Nm of torque available from 1,700 to 4,500rpm. Fuel consumption of this model is rated at 5.0 litres/100km.
Also for the Japanese market, an optional ‘Safety Package’ offers autonomous driving aids including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and high beam assist.
At present, info available on the all-new Swift concerns only the JDM versions. Export-oriented models designed for a global audience will be shown for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017.