New 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport – sub-tonne hatch gets turbo power, but high price

Lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, the new Swift Sport

The Suzuki Swift Sport looks to continue the model’s success in the junior hot hatch segment with a compelling lightweight formula. The Swift Sport has landed in the UK with a compelling asking price of £16,495, although that will rise at the end of June to £18,995, after the promotion price has ended. 

Why the disparate pricing? After heavy criticism from journalists of the car being too expensive was hit harder with the new Fiesta ST’s aggressive sub - £19k starting price, placing it barely £1000 higher despite its more substantial package and 197bhp power output.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

> Best superminis 2018

The Swift Sport has long been an evo favourite, and the forthcoming model holds much promise. The headline figure is weight. At 970kg, the new Sport is 80kg lighter than the previous Sport, making it one of lightest hatches around, hopefully allowing it to recapture the thrilling driving experience of the outgoing model.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The hot Swift has switched to turbocharged power – a first – using a slightly-modified version of the 1.4-litre four-cylinder Booster Jet engine from the Suzuki Vitara S. Peak power is up by 4bhp over the old car, arriving earlier in the rev range at 5500rpm. However peak torque has increased substantially – by 44 per cent – to 170lb ft, coming on stream between 2500rpm-3000rpm.

A new intercooler and wastegate valve have forced a recalibration of turbo boost pressures, liberating 8lb ft of torque more from the Vitara-based unit. The changes deliver a more exciting engine that’s appropriate for the Swift Sport, according to Suzuki, although performance figures for the car have yet to be released. The front wheels are driven through a six-speed manual gearbox, compared to the standard Swift’s five-speeder, which should help to make the most of the modest performance.  

> Suzuki Swift Sport review - an affordable evo favourite

The suspension arrangement is fairly basic, with MacPherson struts up front and a torsion bar arrangement at the rear, but Suzuki has equipped Monroe dampers (fitted to the previous Sport), heavier-duty wheel bearings and thicker joints for the otherwise unchanged anti-roll bars.

That should enhance handling without sacrificing ride quality, and given the low weight there's not a lot of mass to control which bodes well for reduced body movements.

Visually, the new Swift Sport gets a new, more aggressive styling treatment for the front of the car. The grille is a different shape, and has been lowered and thrust forward, while it features a wavy mesh rather than the standard car’s simple bars. The headlight units are the same, but a new feature line gives them a somewhat angry look.

Advertisement - Article continues below

New 17-inch alloy wheels and a rather arresting yellow paint scheme known as Champion Yellow complete the Swift’s visual changes. Inside, the car gets red detailing on the dials and dash, while a sportier flat-bottomed steering wheel features. Bolstered sports seats should provide rather more support than the standard car's particularly flat items.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/porsche/porsche-taycan/17091/2020-porsche-taycan-revealed-750bhp-ev-ready-to-go
Porsche Taycan

2020 Porsche Taycan revealed – 750bhp EV ready to go

11 Sep 2019
Visit/bmw/4-series/201722/bmw-4-series-coupe-concept-previews-new-4-series-and-m3m4
BMW 4 Series

BMW 4-series Coupe concept previews new 4-series and M3/M4

11 Sep 2019
Visit/land-rover/defender/22607/new-land-rover-defender-2020-4x4-arrives-with-big-muddy-boots-to-fill
Land Rover Defender

New Land Rover Defender – 2020 4x4 arrives with big, muddy boots to fill

11 Sep 2019
Visit/lamborghini/201686/new-lamborghini-sian-most-powerful-lambo-yet-makes-frankfurt-debut
Lamborghini

New Lamborghini Sian – most powerful Lambo yet makes Frankfurt debut

11 Sep 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/911/201958/porsche-911-gt3-vs-gt3-rs-vs-gt2-rs-track-battle
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT3 vs GT3 RS vs GT2 RS - track battle

Porsche’s GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS are the most hardcore of the 911 breed, but pitched head‑to‑head which will we crown champion?
15 Nov 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
15 Nov 2019
Visit/ford/mustang/201952/ford-mustang-mach-e-uncovered-as-all-electric-suv
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E uncovered as all-electric SUV

The Mustang has been hit with the all-electric, SUV treatment
18 Nov 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019