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Suzuki pulls the wraps off the new 2017 Swift

S Muralidhar | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 29, 2016

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Revamped cabin The new Swift gets more kneeroom and increased head clearance

All the juicy details about the model; will be here by mid-2017

The Swift is the most significant model in the portfolios of both Suzuki and Maruti. It was Suzuki's first global strategic model. Internationally, Suzuki was better known to be a motorcycle maker and it was the Swift which enabled it to break out of this mould. In India, the Swift helped Maruti Suzuki break out of a different mould - that of being only a manufacturer of entry-level, affordable small cars. The Swift was the hot hatch which started the transformation of the company’s image.

The model, which the Japanese company calls its flagship compact car, has already sold over 5.3 million units globally since its launch in 2004. Suzuki has now announced that the new 2017 Swift will go on sale in Japan next month. Maruti has already been testing the new Swift on Indian roads. The new generation Swift should be here too before the middle of next year. The European-spec Swift is likely to be showcased at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017.

Design

The new-gen Swift’s design carries forward a lot of the predecessor's lines. The steeply raked windscreen, the floating roof concept, the broad haunches and the nearly parallel to the road shoulder line. The design has taken on a distinctly sharper style especially in the lower half of the body. The front features a new pair of headlamps with LED eyelet design and LED position lamps (top-end variants). The new bonnet grille takes on a more modern hexagonal shape with a multi-slat grille. The photos here are of the Japan-spec Swift and so some of the features and design elements may be different when the model makes it here.

The door frames cut into the blacked out A-pillar just like in the current model. The door mirror design has only been marginalised altered and the roofline slopes towards the rear again just like in the current generation Swift. The design difference in the new Swift is the rear door handles which have now moved to the C-pillar kink just below the roof. From a distance, the new Swift will look like a two-door. The wheel arches are more pronounced and the bonnet slab will feature creases on either side making it look more aerodynamic and less bulbous. The rear design is very similar overall to the current model, with the tailgate and rear glass nearly sharing the same dimensions. There are lines which have become sharper and the new tail-lamps seem like a mix of the new Baleno and the old Swift’s units.

Interior

The cabin of the new Swift will get a fairly big round of changes. The current gen Swift has seen very little change since its launch. The new 2017 model will see a completely new layout and more space being liberated for increased kneeroom for front seat occupants and rear passengers. The dashboard is fresh with a narrower lower half. The hip points have been lowered to also increase the head clearance. With a more compact engine bay – in the new ‘Heartect’ platform – Suzuki engineers also seem to have secured a bit more room in the cabin. The dimensions of the car remain pretty close to the current model, so the amount of space in the cabin won’t be dramatically higher.

The new 2017 Swift’s wheelbase is 2,450mm compared to the current model’s 2,430mm, but its overall length is marginally lesser at 3,840mm (3,850mm in current Swift). The height is however lower at 1,500mm in the new Swift (25mm lesser than current model). The luggage space in the boot is 265litres, and with the rear bench seats folded, this can be expanded to 579litres. The shoulder line is still set high and the greenhouse is fairly narrow with the thick C-pillar even more so in the new model. So, you can expect the rear seat to be fairly dark compared to the front of the car. A new touchscreen infotainment system will be offered depending on the trim level, and it will also be compatible with multiple smartphones thanks to integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The cutaway bottom steering wheel is a sporty touch. The driver’s seat also features adjustments for fore-aft (240mm) and backrest incline (60mm). Steering wheel will offer adjustments for rake and reach. Instrument cluster and multi-info display gets some of the features from the current Baleno.

Engines

The new Swift has been launched in Japan with two powertrain options, including a new one-litre Boosterjet, direct-injection turbo petrol engine which is offered in the RS variant. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and is said to be capable of offering quick acceleration and high fuel efficiency. As part of the optional safety package, the new Swift is also going to feature (for the first time in a Suzuki model) the Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS). The collision mitigating system features a monocular camera, laser sensor and high-beam assist, which together enable much higher safety levels in city and on the highway. The Japan-spec model is also being offered with adaptive cruise control as part of safety package. It is not clear yet if any of these features will be offered in the India-spec models.

It is also highly likely that the India-spec models of the new Swift will be offered with the same two engines that are currently on offer. The 1.2-litre K12 petrol engine may be slightly tuned up to offer 90+PS of power and the peak torque may also be a bit more elevated than the current 115Nm. The diesel engine will continue to be the 1.3 DDiS mill. Again the performance numbers may vary slightly in the new model. But the good bit is likely to be the introduction of automatic transmission options for both the engines. It could be the continuously variable transmission (CVT) which Suzuki offers in other markets. The new Swift could also get the smart hybrid system that is currently offered in other Maruti models.

Published on December 29, 2016
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