After a wait of almost 2 years – the Suzuki Swift Sport finally breaks cover in Malaysia. The previous generation was a massive hit amongst the car community, as it was a great performer on the road, which was paired with the dynamic exterior features that appealed to many youngsters.
It was a wonder to many as to why Suzuki Malaysia Automobile (SMA) took time to release the new facelifted Swift and when the 1.4 was released last January, the bookings has been overwhelming, with an average of 500-600 units per month. To date, they have delivered more than 1500 units in a short period of 6 months and the Swift GL and GLX model is now assembled locally – and sold as a CKD.
Since the new Swift Sport is the performance flagship of the Swift family, naturally the chassis has been set-up to be performance biased as compared to the base-line model. The power is derived from a 1.6 VVT engine – dubbed the M16A which is good for 136 horsepower and 160nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which was specifically developed for the M16A. A 7-speed CVT with paddle shift option is also available for an extra RM5k.
To test out the capabilities of the new Swift Sport – SMA gave the members of media some track-time to take the car around the Sepang Circuit and experience the dynamic and sporty design.
It was literally – a short blast around SIC as we were given only 15 minutes of track-time. Nevertheless, it was an opportunity to test the chassis and handling of the Sport. Having driven the base model, you could immediately notice that the body roll has been reduced significantly. The suspension rate has been stiffened (15% front & 30% rear), which plays a large role in the handling improvement.
Although the FWD set-up will naturally understeer – the chassis is lively enough to allow for some fun with lift-off oversteer. Take it too hard though, and the understeer will kick in. On the track, the car feels underpowered but we reckon on the road – it’ll feel a lot more at home. The car was design for sporty and fun drive, which will appeal to more everyday drivers.
We found the CVT gearbox to be a little disengaging – with the fact that it changes by itself after 6,000RPM on Manual Mode. Although we didn’t get an opportunity to drive the manual version, no doubt that the 6-speed manual box will be the weapon of choice for avid drivers.
The short drive will not enable us to tell you more about the car – but we found the new Swift Sports to be a rather interesting catch. Superminis are designed to deliver pure – unadulterated fun and the Swift is set to achieve these goals with its fun chassis set-up. Although the ‘Go-Kart’ feel seems to be missing, perhaps spending more time with it will unlock certain characteristics that was not discovered in the short track-time.
The new Swift Sport is equipped with safety features such as Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution. Also equipped in the safety feature of the car are six airbags.
Price starting from RM97,888 for the 6-speed manual transmission and RM102,88 for the CVT automatic – it belongs in the same price bracket as the previous Swift Sport. Closest competitors will be the Ford Fiesta S and the Honda CRZ. The all new Swift Sport is available in two choices of colours, Snow White Pearl and Champion Yellow. Suzuki Malaysia and their participating dealers are now taking orders with expected delivery at the soonest date.