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Local car scene: Why the Suzuki Swift is yet to make a splash

2019-02-26 12:41

Warren Wilson

Suzuki Swift

Image: Warren Wilson

The car culture in South Africa is quite extensive these days as we have many organised events.

The local motoring scene is booming and there are events that are filling up my calendar almost every fortnight. If it’s not a motor show, it’s a meet/hook-up, or breakfast run, and I can comfortably say the car community is filled with brilliant vehicles and clubs driving excitement for motorists from all walks of life.

READ: Cape Town's Suzuki car club says goodbye to 2018 with an epic photoshoot

Regardless of the show, I'm bound to find awesome-looking Volkswagen Polo's and Golfs/Jettas, a range of BMWs, Subarus and our beloved 1990s heroes such as Nissan 200STis/GXis, Honda Vtecs, and the Toyota RXI’s/RSI’s. Frankly, there are  too many to mention.

Suzuki swift

                                                                          Image: Warren Wilson

One car that is yet to make heads spin in the car club culture is the new Suzuki Swift. There are a handful of good-looking, modified Swifts in South Africa, but not to the extent of the previously-mentioned models. 

'Suzuki Projects'

In 2018, Suzuki South Africa added air suspension to its new Swift as part of its "Suzuki Projects". This conversion adds an OEM body kit, aftermarket rims and branded livery, that screams "look at me", to its funky hatch.

WATCH: New SA-bound Suzuki Swift Sport means business

This special converted car made its way to both the 2018 World Rally Cross championships in Cape Town and the Festival of Motoring, held at Kyalami International in Johannesburg.

Given how alive the local car scene is, this special car was a prime example of how radically different a Swift can be. And to be honest, it really does make sense to stand out from the VW Polo, Golf, and Honda models we find at every car show.

Suzuki swift blue and green

                                                                            Image: @Suzuki_Projects_ZA

I must point out the limitations though. The Swift, being quite new to the South African market (just over ten years), suffers from the availability of aftermarket parts in SA.

The only accessories you can find without too much trouble are from Suzuki agents.

These include body kits, side skirts, wheel and rim garnish, etc. A little something to let your Swift stand out from the rest. Anything else will have to be imported from online shops in Japan, UK or Australia.

Suzuki Swift white

                                                                             Image: Chelsy Pinto

However, I believe the new Swift, in its stock form, already looks good and with a suspension drop with coil-overs or if bags (air suspension) is your thing, and some good-looking rims is sometimes all it takes - as proven by Suzuki SA Projects.

Swift Sport coming

With the good sales the Swift is currently enjoying in SA, the likelihood that we'll see many modified (aesthetically, at least) Swifts on our roads is promising. I am also quite excited to see how the new Swift Sport (to be introduced in mid-2019) will be received by our local automotive community.

With its 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, producing 103kW and 230Nm, adding a downpipe and a custom exhaust (to start off with) just makes sense to any petrolhead. We all love the sound of forced induction engines, yes. 

Back to the Swift we can currently purchase…

Suzuki Swift

                                                                           Image: Warren Wilson

A few weeks back, SwiftSpeed Cape Town (A car club of Swift owners) had its first breakfast run in 2019 and two new Swifts joined in. There is momentum and car enthusiast are taking a liking to the new Swift - whether they're Suzuki lovers or new to the brand - its clear that there is an uprising.

SEE: Cape Town's Suzuki car club says goodbye to 2018 with an epic photoshoot

With its huge wheel archers, sleek lines and curves, that wide-stance body, it does not take a lot to make the Suzuki Swift look even better. 

I believe the growth of the Swift in the car community is heavily driven by being different.

With its #AllTheRightFeels tag, the Swift definitely would inspire the right feels when you see a lowered Swift with 17" alloys and a distinctive body colour cruising along Sea point promenade on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

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