New Suzuki Swift Sport to be lighter and torquier

The Sport version now has the turbocharged Boosterjet engine.

  • Image Credit: Suzuki
The Suzuki Swift Sport has been one of the most interesting hot hatches of the last decade, well at least outside the United States. Its first iteration was released in 2005, leaving behind its crummy Geo Metro guise in favor of something more in line dynamically with the segment best. Though it may have been an underdog from day one, the Swift Sport proved itself to be both fun and reliable

The new car promises to up the ante with a stiffer structure and a footprint increased courtesy a 20 mm-longer wheelbase and a stance that's 40 mm wider and 15 mm lower. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder Suzuki cheekily calls the Boosterjet, ditching the old 1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-4. The downsized, intercooled 138-horsepower turbo engine gives the Swift Sport only four more horsepower than the old unit, but there is a lot more torque available and at lower revs. Another major improvement is a weight loss of nearly 180 pounds -- definitely a big deal in a small car like this -- as the new model tips the scales at less than 2,140 lbs.

Suzuki says the feel of the six-speed manual shifter has been improved, too.

"It's lighter, sharper, quicker. It's more aggressive and emotive, but we've also refined the elements that make it practical to use every day," said Suzuki chief engineer Masao Kobori. "The clutch feel, the manual transmission shift throw, the seats and steering wheel -- everything that puts the driver at the heart of the experience."

Sounds neat, though with Suzuki gone from the U.S. market, it'll remain forbidden fruit for American customers. On the other hand, you can apparently rent these in Germany. Nurburgring rental anyone?

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