Suzuki Swift Sport makes an official, affordable return to Singapore



Third-generation Suzuki Swift Sport debuts here with mild hybrid system JDM cars lack, a Cat A COE and six-speed manual only – priced at S$109,900 with COE


Photos: Suzuki/Champion Motors

SINGAPORE

The third-generation Suzuki Swift Sport has made its long-awaited debut in Singapore, with local Suzuki dealer Champion Motors launching the car at KF1 Karting Circuit today to mark the return of the venerable enthusiast favourite. The new Swift Sport retails at S$109,900 with COE, and comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.

The latest version of Suzuki’s hot hatch features a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine mated to a 48V mild hybrid drivetrain, producing a total output of 127hp and 235Nm of torque.

This car also has an advantage over the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) version, which has been parallel imported here in small numbers – it’s a mild hybrid and based on the European specification, unlike the JDM version which has a non-hybrid turbocharged 1.4-litre engine with 138hp and 230Nm of torque.

The reasoning for the differing specs between markets is to enable the Swift Sport to meet the latest Euro 6d emissions standards, but the net result for Singapore is that the car is able to fall into the A2 banding of our Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES), netting it a S$15,000 rebate in the process. Not to mention the fact that Cat B COE prices are now significantly higher than Cat A ones, so the official Swift Sport scores twice here.



As such, the Swift Sport also boasts remarkable efficiency, with Suzuki claiming that it is able to return an average fuel consumption figure of 4.7L/100km. The car also weighs slightly over a tonne (1,020kg), and as such is able to sprint from 0-100km/h in 9.1 seconds despite its modest power output.

Champion Motors have decided to offer the new Swift Sport solely with a six-speed manual transmission, although overseas markets also have a six-speed automatic option. The decision to do so is decidedly to target enthusiasts who prefer the engagement of a self-shifter, with Champion admitting that it doesn’t foresee large sales numbers for the new Swift Sport as a result.

More impressively, Suzuki has opted to equip the Swift Sport with safety features such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, making it the first manual-equipped car officially sold in Singapore to be offered with such features. The latter system is operable only in third gear and above, and at speeds above 40km/h, with driver intervention required if speeds fall below that threshold.

Champion Motors revealed that they have only a limited number of units arriving in its first shipment, and have received an enthusiastic response from its customers so far, with ‘a couple’ of units sold already. The dealer has also teamed up with lubricant brand Motul, and new Swift Sport buyers will enjoy a complimentary upgrade to Motul’s H-Tech 100plus OW-20 motor oil for the first year of servicing.

While rising COE premiums might put the new Swift Sport out of reach for the budget enthusiast, the car currently has no direct competitor in the market, so those seeking a small but fun hot hatchback for slightly over 100 grand have only one direction to look to.

Driving Impressions

We got the opportunity to take the new Swift Sport for a quick blast around the KF1 circuit, which, given that it is meant for go-karts, underlines Suzuki’s confidence in the car’s ability to take on the tight and twisty track.

The car’s plentiful torque output, available rather low down the engine’s rev range, meant that we could complete the entire circuit in just second gear. Its peppy nature made light work of the straights, and the Swift Sport was never found wanting for puff, although granted there wasn’t really any real opportunity to fully stretch its legs given the short distance covered.

In the corners, the car’s compact footprint made it easy to place on the track, and the Swift Sport’s nifty and nimble nature was evident here. Its agile nature, paired with its light steering and small turning circle, allowed it to tackle the tighter hairpins without a hitch.

We’ll offer our proper verdicts once we get our hands on the car for a full on-road test drive, but based on our short time with the Swift Sport on the track, its prospects does look promising.


about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben