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Official: Suzuki S-Concept is next Swift Sport

Left: The Swift S-Concept first seen at Geneva earlier this year gives a glimpse at the next-gen Suzuki hot-hatch.

Suzuki confirms S-Concept will morph into 100kW Swift Sport three-door


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13 Jul 2011

SUZUKI has finally come clean on its intention to release an all-new Swift Sport hot hatch based on the strapping three-door S-Concept most recently seen at last week’s Melbourne motor show.

Until now the Japanese small car specialist has not confirmed the brawny S-Concept, which made its global debut at the Geneva show in March, previews next year’s long-awaited successor for the popular Swift Sport.

However, the formal veil of secrecy has now been lifted not by Suzuki’s global headquarters in Hamamatsu but its Ukrainian* subsidiary, which this week confirmed the S-Concept will form the basis of a Swift Sport three-door powered by a 100kW 1.6-litre petrol four by early 2012.

“In Europe the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta ST will be rivals for the Swift Sport, which at present is undergoing testing at the Nurburgring,” said European Suzuki spokesman Peter Bondarchuk in a loosely translated press release issued to the Ukrainian* media on July 12.

The release went on to say: “Suzuki plans at the beginning (of) next year to develop the series modification of the Swift S-Concept.”

Significantly, it said the production version of the S-Concept will come to market as the Swift Sport (not GTI) and will share the chunky show car’s new three-door body.

The S-Concept was the first three-door version of the fourth-generation AZ-series Swift five-door released in Australia in February – a fact most press reports overlooked – but Suzuki has not confirmed if it will produce another five-door Swift Sport or mainstream variants of the three-door Swift.

30 center imageEither way, Suzuki’s new Swift performance flagship will be the first three-door Swift sold in Australia and Suzuki Europe has indicated the production Sport will be faithful to the pumped-up concept by featuring a more aerodynamic body with an aggressive front bumper, “massive” rear wing, rear diffuser and “lateral ‘skirts’ with the vent openings”.

It is unclear whether the latter refers to the twin rear cooling ducts that flank the S-Concept’s pair of outboard exhaust outlets, the air scoops at the rear of its racy side skirts or the large vertical vents on the oversized front quarter guards – or all three edgy styling cues.

Suzuki has confirmed the Swift Sport, which as we’ve reported is expected to enter Japanese production in November before hitting Australian showrooms early next year, will come with large-diameter light-alloy wheels, low-profile rubber and a high-performance Brembo brake package.

Thanks to heavily flared wheel-arches on its bespoke three-door bodyshell, the daring S-Concept is said to be about 60mm wider than the regular Swift and rides on lower, firmer springs and 18-inch multi-spoke alloys.

The canary-yellow Swift-S show car also featured bi-Xenon headlights, hip-hugging black leather Recaro sports bucket seats with yellow side bolstering, a carbon-fibre-look centre stack, three-spoke yellow-stitched leather and chrome-clad multi-function steering wheel.

As expected, under the bonnet will be a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 136hp (100kW).

Suzuki has now also formally confirmed the next Swift Sport will be available with either a six-speed manual transmission (replacing its predecessor's five-speed) or – for the first time – an automatic with steering wheel gearshift paddles.

Combined with a lighter three-door body, that should make the front-wheel drive Sport quicker than both garden-variety Swift models, which offer a 70kW 1.4-litre engine, and the previous-generation Swift Sport, which was powered by a 92kW 1.6-litre four.

Expect the new Swift range-topper to be priced in line with its predecessor’s $23,990 pricetag, at the top of the redesigned three-variant Swift line-up that opens at $15,990 and closes at $20,690.

* Our original story said that the information came from Suzuki in Russia. Suzuki Russia has advised it did not release the fresh Swift Sport details, which it says were announced without official Suzuki approval by a Ukrainian affiliate. GoAuto has changed the copy above to reflect that advice.

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