Rapallo (Italy) – Suzuki Swift Sport is the protagonist of our test drive today in Rapallo, a nice town near Genoa. If the eye-catching good looks and European-inspired driving dynamics of Suzuki’s Swift form the perfect basis for a higher performance derivative, that potential has now been realised with the launch of the new flagship model, the Swift Sport 3-door hatchback, which offers an exciting driving experience in a highly practical and stylish package.
Dynamic design The bodywork looks preatty aggressive and cutting edge, dynamic and sporty. Among the external features unique to the Swift Sport are a deeper front bumper incorporating a distinctive lower grille, redesigned rear bumper and lights and stylish 17 inch alloy wheels. They are complemented inside by a striking red and black trim colour combination, sports seats and stylish highlights such as brushed stainless steel pedals. The Swift Sport’s size and exceptional packaging makes the car good in the city, but its performance and dynamics will undoubtedly encourage driving on open roads, simply for the pleasure of it.At the rear, double exhausts, low bumper and spoiler. Inside the cab, all details aim to a sports and racing effect, with ergonomics seats, leather steering-wheel and steel finishes. Of course the baggage is little, 213 litres, which can become 495 when rear seats are down.
Engine The Sport’s newly developed twin-cam 1.6 litre VVT petrol engine has been fully tried and tested in the heat of top-level rallying competition, since it forms the basis of the JWRC Swift. The M16A 16-valve, 1586 cc unit delivers a maximum power output of 125 PS at 6800 rpm. The 148 Nm peak torque is reached at 4800 rpm. 62 mph from standstill is dispatched in 8.9 seconds, while top speed is 124 mph. Despite the new Swift’s sporting credentials, it still returns a creditable 37.7 mpg on the Combined cycle. The engine’s exciting performance comes courtesy of components tuned exclusively for the Swift Sport. Variable valve timing optimises efficiency for abundant torque and strong acceleration across the rev range, with high-lift intake and exhaust cams boosting engine performance at high revs. An electronic throttle provides close control and maximises responsiveness, while the intake manifold is specially widened and has polished internal surfaces that enhance the incoming airflow for higher power. Features such as pistons warm-forged for strength and oil jet cooled enhance durability and permit a high compression ratio of 11.1:1 for greater output. And a high capacity exhaust system plays its part in boosting efficiency, as well as sounding great thanks to a resonant, full-bodied note that never fails to heighten the exhilaration of driving the Swift Sport. The 1.6 litre engine is mated to a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission and uprated clutch. Suzuki has paid particular attention to tuning the quality of the gear selection mechanism and the result is an effortless and slick shifting action, allowing rapid and positive changes that enhance the driving experience. As part of the standard package, there’s also the added security of ESP® (Electronic Stability Control) for stable and exciting driving performance, but tuned so as not to be overly intrusive. ESP® identifies potentially dangerous driving situations and through the use of engine torque control and selective braking of individual wheels, works to bring the car back into line in the event of either oversteer or understeer before the onset of complete loss of control.
On the road We drove Suzuki Swift Sport on hard roads, as we went accross the mountains and we drove on bends, hairpin turns, bumps and bottlenecks. First of all, the car shows an outstanding steadiness: this allows maximum dynamics and a great driving pleasure, even if comfort is not maximum, of course. The car is amazing on bends, as it is precise and steady like a go-kart dressed up like a Suzuki Swift. When we are on highway, we miss a six speed gear, as engine really “yells” at 120 Km/h, and this reduces comfort inside the cab. Anyway, the engine is great, and the steering wheel is precise and sensitive. Goodyear Eagle F1 195/45 R17 tyres fill the wheel arches, while wide four discs brakes guarantee a good braking system, accompanied by electronical system with ABS, EBD and ESP. On its whole, Suzuki Swuift Soprt is funny to drive, sports and appelaing, for a racing driving with excellent safety.