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Suzuki Swift Sport – 138bhp, 970kg newcomer makes Frankfurt debut

Antony Ingram
12 Sep 2017

80kg lighter than its predecessor and using a new turbocharged engine, the new Swift Sport looks very promising

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‘Light, responsive, punchy and agile’ is how we described the standard Suzuki Swift when we reviewed it earlier this year. Four things that form the base for a great hot hatchback – and Suzuki has responded by revealing the new Swift Sport at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.

The Swift Sport has always been something of a hidden gem in Suzuki’s range, offering thrills on a par with a larger hot hatchback, but at a low price point with rock-bottom running costs to match. Will the latest model continue this legacy?

> 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show - latest news

Signs are promising. Mostly because of the weight - 80kg lighter than the previous-generation Swift Sport at 970kg. Not many hot hatchbacks come in at under a tonne these days so Suzuki's commitment to shedding weight is a welcome breath of fresh air.

The low weight is probably just as well, as the Sport will be one of the less potent hatches when it debuts. Power comes courtesy of Suzuki’s 1.4-litre BoosterJet engine – making this the first turbocharged Swift Sport.

The unit is derived from the engine in the Suzuki Vitara S, and Suzuki has made some mild revisions to the powertrain for its new, more entertaining application. There's a new intercooler, changes to the turbo boost pressure and a new wastegate valve. As a result, it develops a peak power output of 138bhp – the same as the Vitara – but adds 8lb ft to the peak torque figure, for a 170lb ft total from 2500-3000rpm.

> Suzuki Swift Sport review - an affordable evo favourite

The addition of a turbocharged engine will change the Swift Sport’s character when compared to the previous model, but the increased torque should improve performance and boost acceleration while a six-speed manual transmission – compared to other Swifts' five-speed version – should ensure lively acceleration. Full performance figures should be known soon.

The basic suspension layout is relatively unsophisticated, with MacPherson struts up front and a torsion bar arrangement at the rear, but Suzuki has tweaked the chassis for the Sport model fitting Monroe dampers, heavier-duty wheel bearings and thicker joints for the otherwise unchanged anti-roll bars.

That should enhance handling without sacrificing ride quality, and given the low weight there's not a lot of mass to control which bodes well for reduced body movements.

Visually, the new Swift Sport gets a new, more aggressive styling treatment for the front of the car. The grille is a different shape, and has been lowered and thrust forward, while it features a wavy mesh rather than the standard car’s simple bars. The headlight units are the same, but a new feature line gives them a somewhat angry look.

New 17-inch alloy wheels and a rather arresting yellow paint scheme known as Champion Yellow complete the Swift’s visual changes. Inside, the car gets red detailing on the dials and dash, while a sportier flat-bottomed steering wheel features. Bolstered sports seats should provide rather more support than the standard car's particularly flat items.

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