Some things are better left the way it is made while there are some that need require a bit of ‘divine intervention’.
You see, Japanese manufacturers in general love their rev-happy NA engines and have amassed great joy in extracting power from them. Honda had the most success until they had to visit the dark arts of forced induction with the Type R.
NA tuning can only take you so far before you run out of displacement. With turbo’s you can get away with virtually anything.
Turbo is the way to go
The Suzuki Swift Sport falls in the latter category simply because its method of attaining power wasn’t the most effective around. Each of Suzuki’s previous Swift Sport models employed naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engines, which is all good and well, but if you want to be in the conversation with the big boys, there was little comparison to be had. It was missing a key ingredient and that was a turbocharger.
Whether it was following what everyone was doing or the boardroom wanted something to compete with the rest, the new Swift Sport would boast (or boost) turbo goodness. Out went the 1.6l and in went a BoosterJet 1.4l, a downgrade of sorts but improvements to the suspension and a chassis weighing 970kg, you had one potent performance car.
Boost, boost and more boost
Once you’re behind the wheel you just want to hit boost each and everytime – its such an enjoyable experience when it kicks in from as low as 2300rpm. Gearshifts from the 6-speed manual gearbox is slick and you can easily find yourself at the 120km/h mark in 3rd. It’s worth noting that the Swift Sport only pushes out 103kW and 230Nm but damn it feels faster and that is in large part down to the turbo.
It makes considerably less kilowatts than a Polo GTI for instance but this car was put together in such a way that you can give it horns around a track and still hold its own in a straight line. Not bad for a little 1.4.
Yes it makes 3kW more than the previous generation but the difference is in how it performs. If you’re not careful, you could very well be a few car lengths behind from the launch because this thing goes like it has something to lose.
It doesn’t look bad either with mean-looking headlight LED’s offered as stock. The 15-inch polished wheels could have been better designed but it serves a purpose in how the car performs. Inside is pretty much Plain Jane with the only difference being the ‘Tombstone’ sport seats, infotainment touchscreen and red touches in and around the centre console.
Suzuki have concocted a formula that works. Its bread and butter is its smaller cars, but they now have a strong performance hero to look up to.