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Suzuki reveals JDM Swift

Swift squad: While Japan will get access to the new Swift in various guises, including all-wheel-drive and hybrid versions, expect to see the Australian line-up with more traditional drivetrains.

Japanese-spec Swift revealed by Suzuki ahead of a global model unveiling at Geneva


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30 Dec 2016

SUZUKI has revealed the appearance of its crucial next-generation Swift for its home market in Japan, and set an international model debut for the 2017 Geneva motor show in March.

While Australian delivered versions will differ slightly on specification, appearances are not expected to deviate greatly from the Japanese domestic market (JDM) version's leek new look.

The next-generation Swift has eschewed its predecessor’s ‘bubbly’ looks with a sharper front end with changes including LED headlights, a sculpted lower chin and red-stripe detailing in the grille.

Second-row door handles have also been repositioned into the C-pillar, giving the profile a clean, almost coupe-like appearance.

Rear bumper tweaks, a moulded rear hatch and new look tail-lights complete the Swift’s exterior transformation.

While physical dimensions remain almost identical – the outgoing Swift is 10mm longer in length and height – Suzuki’s new small car grows 20mm in wheelbase length and features a lower hip point to maximise interior headspace and room in the cabin.

Inside, the new Swift borrows the same layout as its Vitara and Baleno siblings, with a prominent Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-compatible centre touchscreen, a new sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, and sporty red and white themed instrumentation.

Suzuki has also upped the safety technology in its new small car, with features including autonomous emergency braking, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree surround view cameras, lane departure warning and a reversing camera.

According to Suzuki, the new Swift “features distinctive and sporty styling, and both superb driving performance and low-fuel consumption achieved through an excellent handling inherited and further enhanced from its predecessor”.

Built on Suzuki’s Heartect platform – the same as its Baleno small car – the Swift will be made available in Japan in six variants, including hybrid and all-wheel-drive options.

However, if the local launch of the Baleno (which is also offered overseas with a hybrid engine) is anything to go by, Australian-spec models will likely drop the all-paw and electrified options in favour of the more traditional powertrain combinations.

Speaking to GoAuto before the launch of the Baleno in July, Suzuki Australia general manager Andrew Moore said the Japanese car-maker chose not to bring the hybrid powertrain to market due to lack of interest.

“Obviously you’ve seen hybrid sales in Australia have struggled due to the dollar premium,” he said.

“This hybrid system doesn’t have the same dollar premium as other hybrids do ... But we’re still not sure about Australia’s appetite for hybrid at the moment.” A more likely starter for the local market will be the 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the same unit found in its Baleno sibling, which produces 75kW of power at 5500rpm and 150Nm of torque from 1700 to 4500rpm in the Swift.

Although power is down on the Baleno’s 82kW/160Nm, performance is up on the current entry-level Swift’s 70kW/130Nm 1.4-litre atmo engine.

In Japan, the turbocharged donk is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission.

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