It is time for the enthusiasts to rejoice as Maruti Suzuki India Limited is evaluating currently on the launch of its next-gen Swift Sport in the Indian sub-continent.
Maruti Suzuki Swift has always been the first choice of hatchback cars across the country right from the time of its launch in 2005. The first generation of Swift managed to capture the imagination of the car lovers with it’s cheeky and compact styling which resembled a lot like the Mini Cooper. It had a lot of tuning potential too since the neutral handling was coupled to the initial powerhouse of 1.3-liter NA from the Maruti Esteem. That is one reason why there are so many modified Swifts that are found blitzing down on the streets. However, the enthusiasts have been waiting forever for the Swift Sport variant.
Swift Sport Variant in Europe and Japan
The Swift Sport model, which came with a highly stimulated, naturally aspirated DOHC 4-cylinder 1.6 liters capacity engine, was sold mostly in Europe and Japan. The powertrain also came with a variable valve timing that featured high lift cams, strengthened valve springs, and forged pistons. The Swift Sport was available in Europe as 3-door and 5-door variants that featured sports seats, sporty bumpers and spoilers, twin exhaust pipes, 16-inch wheels, and a stiffer suspension. The first generation Swift Sport generated a power of 123 bhp, whereas the second generation put out a 136 bhp power that came with larger wheels and stiffer spring.
Swift Sport to India
Maruti never brought this Sport model to India, which left many customers disappointed. However, things seem to be on the brighter side now with the introduction of other hot hatchbacks like the upcoming Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and the Fiat Punto Abarth. A recent report from the roadster savvy Autocar India, Maruti Suzuki India Limited is planning on launching the next generation Swift Sport in India, apart from the next-gen Swift that will be most probably launched sometime in the next year.
Under the Hood
Coming to the most important part of the Swift Sport – the Engine, according to a report by Autocar India, the new sporty version of the hot hatchback should arrive with a four-cylinder Boosterjet engine with a 1.6 liters capacity, which is currently used to power the Grand Vitara in the international automobile market. This comes quite as a surprise that Maruti has given a much larger engine to the Swift Sport and not to the more expensive Baleno RS which gets a smaller 3-cylinder Boosterjet engine of just 1.0-liter capacity. The 1.6-liter capacity Boosterjet engine of the Swift Sport produces a power of 140 bhp and a torque of 160 Nm, while the 1.0-liter capacity Boosterjet engine of the Baleno RS puts out just 110 bhp. The fuel-efficient engine comes with a six-speed manual transmission that allows sporty driving, combined with a variable intake system.
There is always a chance that Maruti Suzuki will plump down the Swift Sport model in the upcoming months to the smaller engine of the Baleno RS as the automaker has already started manufacturing it at the Manesar Plant in India. Another reason why the Swift Sport should have 1.0 liter engine rather than the 1.6 liters one is because, with the smaller engine, the hatchback will be able to excise benefits which are not possible with the bigger engine. Sporting a tinier engine will also enable the automobile maker to efficiently price it in the Rs. 7 – 10 lakh ranges, which can be put squarely against the new upcoming Tiago Sport Hatchback from Tata.
The Swift Sport stretches up to 1,695 mm in its width and 3,890 mm in its length. Apart from having a sporty design, the hatchback comes with a front grille that is flanked and fog-lamp bezels that graciously catch one’s eye in the front end. With a metallic gray coating, the Swift Sport comes with a High definition discharged headlamps, a low visual center of gravity, suppressed lifts, aero components that control airflow, and cylindrically designed combination lamps in the rear.
The Interiors of the Swift Sport have been redesigned when compared to the previous versions of the standard Swift to bring a sporty look along with a new age and modern styling. The key features include flat-bottomed steering wheels, a new dashboard, high-end safety technologies, and dual-tone interiors.
The Standard Features
Many renderings of the Swift Sport were leaked early this year, which was mistaken to be the new variant of the Swift. From what was evident in the pictures was that the Swift Sport will be given a much aggressive design than its previous standard Swift versions. The standard kit is expected to include most of the features like minimum CO2 emissions, big wheels, large air dam, twin exhaust pipes, and a blacked-out rear diffuser.
Swift Sport vs. Polo and Punto
With the Baleno being replaced as the new premium hatchback, Maruti is finally taking its bet with the new Swift Sport version. However, that does not mean that the Baleno RS will not be launched. The sportier variant of Baleno will also be released early next year, which is sure to compete with the upcoming Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and the Fiat Punto Abarth, both of which cost almost close to Rs.10 lakh. That definitely leaves some space for the new hatchback from Maruti in the price range of Rs. 7 – 10 lakh, where the Swift Sport should be slotted in perfectly. Apart from being the more affordable car when compared to the Polo GT TSI and Punto Abarth, the new Swift Sport will also have an enhanced appeal than its previous Swift and Baleno variants.
The Swift Sport is expected to make its debut in India after the launch of the new version of the standard 2017 Swift, sometime late in 2017 or in early 2018. With the customers warming up to the thought of owning pretty, efficient, and compact hatchbacks, it looks like this is the right time for Maruti Suzuki to launch the Swift Sport before the slot in the hatchback segment is claimed by some other competitor.