As a brand Suzuki has had limited success in North America, selling rebadged GM crossovers when it probably should have been pushing the types of cars it knows best – small cars. While the Swift used to be offered here, its days passed long ago (apart from the rebadged old Daewoo offered in Canada).
The Swift soldiered on in other markets, however, and has evolved into a solid machine. And now Suzuki is adding more style and performance by introducing a new Swift Sport model for 2012 at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt. This new model, which is just an update to the current Swift model sold in Europe and Asia, gets a larger grille in the front, and ground effects and spoilers which according to Suzuki “suppress lift and give the car a lower visual center of gravity.” You also get new 17-inch alloy wheels wearing 195/45R17 tires. HID headlamps and new tail lights complete the fresh new look.
Sporty seats and a five-dial instrument cluster add to this cars sporty character on the inside. However, the changes under the hood are what enthusiasts will be lusting after. The Swift Sport gets Suzuki’s new M16A motor, which produces 8% more power while also improving fuel consumption by 11%. This 1.6-liter, four-cylinder unit produces 134 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque.
Power goes to only the front wheels via a new six-speed manual gearbox which features a triple-cone synchromesh for a more sportier feel.
To keep you safe, electronic stability control is standard along with 7-airbags.
So if you’re moving to Europe and are looking for a fun new hatchback to drive around in, the new Swift Sport will be on sale very shortly. Just don’t look for it at your local dealer… pity.
Look for more details tomorrow at AutoGuide’s official Frankfurt Auto Show page here.