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Suzuki shows Swift's fiery side

2010-06-22 14:25
The fiery 92-kW Suzuki Swift Sport comes to South Africa in July.

The little hot hatch takes the dynamic genius of the regular little Swift, adds a few chassis enhancements and drops two doors, and is transformed into an even zestier performer.

It looks the part, too. A new front bumper with an integrated airdam sports round fog lamps, while extended sills complement the flared wheel arches. The rear bumper incorporates a rear apron and is offset by very cute twin tailpipes.

Other distinguishing characteristics include a roof spoiler, new tail lights and special 17-inch alloy wheels. Metallic paintwork is standard.

The three-door’s cabin adds to the exclusivity with its sport seats finished in dramatic red and black (the red theme is carried throughout the interior), a thicker, leather-trimmed steering wheel and stainless steel pedals.

The performance model’s list of comfort and convenience features doesn’t stray too far from that of the current Swift GLS range-topper, although it does gain new dials with metallic bezels and red needles. An audio system with a front-loading head unit with MP3 capability, speed-sensitive volume control with satellite controls, climate control and power windows and mirrors are all standard.

Of course, more athletic appearance is nothing without decent performance to back it up. This swift Swift is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol powerplant with VVT that generates 92 kW at 6 800 r/min and 148 Nm at 4 800 r/min.

This makes it good for a 0 – 100 km/h sprint of 8.9 seconds and a useful top end of 200 km/h.

Drive is to the beefy front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox while stopping duties are the work of an all-disc braking system with ABS, EBD and EBA on hand. ESP is standard on the hot little one.

While performance may be a key criterion for a potential hot hatch owner, Suzuki quotes fuel consumption of 7.0 l/100 km on the combined cycle and a CO2 emissions rating of 165 g/km.

To deal with the Suzuki Sport’s added oomph, the standard chassis has been given the once-over. Adjusted spring and damper settings are said to provide better rigidity, while the rack-and-pinion power steering unit has been recalibrated for improved feel and feedback.

The Suzuki Swift Sport will be available from July at a cost of R199 900 that includes a four-year/60 000 service plan and a three-year/100 000 km warranty.

The baby hot hatch is perhaps a fitting swansong to the current Swift range since it is hoped the all-new Swift – which looks remarkably similar to the existing car – will arrive in South Africa by the middle of 2011.

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