We were first introduced to the Suzuki Swift plug-in hybrid (PHEV) at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. There was little to go on at the time and virtually no information about the likelihood of production. Now there's an indication that Suzuki is starting to get serious since real-world testing will kick-off at dealerships in Japan this fall now that the Japanese government has given the Swift PHEV full certification for road use.
Powered by a 0.7-liter engine and an electric motor that combine to churn out 75 horsepower, the Swift PHEV will not win drag races, but its anticipated 61 miles per gallon rating makes up for its lack of grunt. The Japanese Ministry testing shows that the plug-in Swift can go for about 10 miles under battery power alone, courtesy of a lithium-ion pack supplied by Sanyo. Though none of the numbers here are remarkable, the Suzuki Swift and its derivatives have always drawn quite the following in Japan and this plug-in should carry on that tradition.