Road Test

Road Test: 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport

April 9, 2012

Suzuki Swift Sport 2012_01Even the basic version of the Suzuki Swift is pretty fun to drive. With the 1.2-litre engine, it is not very powerful, but small and agile. Now there is a new Sport-version available, that should provide more of everything. It looks a bit sportier and has an updated chassis. And most importantly, instead of the 1.2-litre, there is a 1.6-litre engine under the hood.

Suzuki Swift Sport’s M16A engine is based strongly on the previous Swift Sport. With the addition of a variable intake system, optimization of the intake VVT, and with increased valve lift, this new engine is a bit more powerful. Instead of 125 hp and 148 Nm, this latest version develops 136 horsepower and 160 Newton metres of torque. That doesn’t sound too much, but on the other hand, the small car doesn’t weight too much either. The kerb weight of the Swift Sport is just little over a tonne, 1045 kg to be exact.

The upgraded engine is paired with a a completely new gearbox, which adds an extra gear over the previous model. The new six-speed manual gearbox was developed especially for this Sport-model. The new gearbox improves performance and reduces fuel consumption. The gear ratios are quite short and the sixth gear comes in quickly. Short gear ratios are a bit must as this naturally aspirated engine doesn’t provide too much torque at the low end of the rev band. Swift Sport drives easily on low revs on steady speeds, but accelerating requires a lot more throttle. The best torque of 160 Nm is available at 4400rpm and the engine’s maximum power output of 136 horsepower come to play at 6900rpm. Above 3000rpm the engine sounds are starting to get quite loud. Engine sounds are accompanied by the sporty exhaust note from the revised muffler structure.

When this audible performance is put into use, the new Suzuki Swift Sport can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds. The top speed is 195 km/h. There are some faster hatchbacks, but luckily, Swift Sport isn’t just about the straight line performance. It is surprisingly good around corners too. To make sure that the new Swift Sport drives better than the standard model, Suzuki has updated the chassis. Greater toe and camber rigidity in the torsion beam, greater lateral rigidity in the torsion-beam bushings, and larger rear wheel bearings pursue stability at the rear at the high speed range. Increased spring constants for the front and rear coil springs and added rebound springs in the front struts significantly contribute to stability by realizing greater roll stiffness.

As the last moments of the winter are still upon as in Finland, the car was equipped with studless winter tyres. The temperature is well above zero celsius, and the warm weather makes the studless tyres to feel a bit soft under the car. Still the steering of this small car feels quick and accurate. A good steering feel and well working chassis make the Swift Sport a very enjoyable to drive. The only problem with the good driving dynamics is that you start to hope that it would be a bit more powerful.

Suzuki Swift Sport comes with aero parts that are exclusive to the new Swift Sport. The Sport model has a bigger grille, new front and rear bumbers, side sills, tailgate mounted roof spoiler and dual exhaust pipes. The aero parts not only make the Swift look sportier, but they also help to control airflow and suppress lift. Inside the car the equipment list includes sport front seats, leather covered steering wheel, stainless steel sports pedals, cruise control, MP3 / WMA compatible CD tuner with USB socket and steering wheel mounted audio controls.

Specification

Engine

  • Petrol
  • 4-cylinder
  • 1586cc

Power

  • 100 kW (136 hp) / 6900rpm

Torque

  • 160 Nm / 4400rpm

Transmission

  • 6-speed manual
  • FWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 8.7 seconds

Top speed

  • 195 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 6.4 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 147 g/km

Suzuki Swift Sport 2012_11