2011 Suzuki Swift breaks cover

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Suzuki revealed today the first images with its brand news 2011 Swift, the third generation of its popular city car. Comparing it to the current model, the new Swift has grown slightly in length (+90mm) with a 50mm increase in wheelbase. Regarding the design, this was improved but don´t expect a radical change.

According to Suzuki, the latest body design has also helped improve impact safety for pedestrians as well as occupants. The interior has now a more dynamic feel and features black as its keynote colour with accents of silver throughout the car.

Under the hood we find a new 1.2-litre petrol engine incorporating Dual VVT (Variable intake and exhaust valve timing) capable to produce 94 PS @ 6,000 rpm (which is more than the current 1.3-liter engine).

Torque was also improved to 118 Nm at 4,800 rpm. The fuel consumption was also improved and now the car, in the combined cycle can deliver 56.5mpg for the manual transmission model, an improvement of 7.8mpg over the previous 1.3-litre unit.

Emissions are also lower: the new engine produces just 116g/km on the combined cycle, a 17 per ent improvement over the 1.3-liter plant. An optional automatic transmission will be available for the petrol engine from launch. The new Swift will alsi receive a 1.3-liter diesel engine in early 2011.

According to Suzuki, the new engine will deliver an impressive combined fuel consumption of 67.3mpg, an improvement on an already highly credible 62.8mpg from the outgoing Swift DDiS.

The 2011 Suzuki Swift is considered to have the widest body in its segment with a width that measures 1,690 mm. When combined with its long wheelbase, it results in a cabin with enough space for all occupants with a practical boot.

In fact, for the three-door models, it can carry up to four while the five-door versions can go as high as five. In order to give the interior that feel of style and function, the design team utilized aluminium trim highlights to enhance its elegance. The team also combined high-grade plastics with a tight fit and finish of its trim to give a complete sense of quality and sophistication. The height adjustment of the driver’s seat and the tilt-adjustable steering column are part of the usual features.

This makes sure that the driver can find the necessary height for comfortable driving. In general, the front seats provide support and hold considering that it allows a 240 mm adjustment for the aft and fore, topping its segment. To make sure that there is good forward visibility, a low position was set for the instrument binnacle.

This also strengthened the idea of the cabin having more space. Among others, the triple gauge instrument cluster has a tachometer whose needle starts at the six o’clock position. It even reflects the sports bike convention. The third is an information display that shows the fuel consumption, time, and outside temperature in digital format. The information display is centrally mounted and located on the fascia’s leading edge. The dashboard has a radio/CD player integrated to it with two ways to operate it.

The first is through the one touch push buttons on the player itself. The second is through the controls placed on its 3-spoke steering wheel. The ventilation system and heating are operated using the large and dial-type controls. Under the audio system is the air conditioning, which is standard for the SZ3, SZ4 and even the SZ3 DDiS models. Even the automatic air conditioning for SZ4 is at the same location. For those who want a safe place for their CDs, mobile phones, or any other small items, there are a number of storage spaces in the cabin.

These include the glovebox, the compartment of the instrument panel and the cup holders on the front and rear. Storing items is also possible using the seat pocket and the front door pockets. The front door pockets in particular are large enough to store even those A4-sized road atlases. There is also a “hidden” tray under the seat of the front passenger that can simply be slid out.

The interior also offers an ashtray shaped like a cylindrical pot. What this means is that it can fit easily to the cup holders. As a result of this shape, when not in use for its purpose, it can function as a stowage point. The car has a unique arrangement for its torsion beam suspension that contributes to the boot and its flat floor having a capacity of 213 liters.

Since the rear seats can be split folded to 60:40, the capacity is increased to as high as 562 liters, more than double the original. For sensitive items that need to be stored, there is a compartment under the floor storage of the boot.

Press Release

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift brings to the compact car segment a blend of eye-catching good looks, Japanese quality and European-inspired driving dynamics, and with prices starting at £9,190, excellent handling and 60 mpg-plus fuel economy from the 1.3 DDiS, it has the individuality to attract the most discerning of supermini customers.

The model line-up offers a choice of 1.3-litre petrol engine in three and five-door body styles, and a 1.3 SZ3 DDiS diesel engine in five-door guise. The 1.3-litre petrol model is available in SZ2, SZ3 and SZ4 grade; the 1.5-litre petrol is available as a five door with automatic transmission only.

The distinctive styling and spacious interior are complemented by a comprehensive specification. All models feature front, side and curtain airbags, radio/CD player, remote central locking and immobiliser, electric front windows and mirrors, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and tinted glass, while SZ3 models and 1.3 SZ3 DDiS gain front fog lamps, electric heated door mirrors and manual air conditioning. SZ4 models gain keyless start, automatic air conditioning and 15" alloy wheels.

1.3-litre petrol engine

Suzuki Swift is engineered to excel in urban driving or on twisting country roads. Its petrol engine, a 92PS 1.3-litre has been selected for strong performance at low and mid-range engine speeds.

The engine delivers enjoyable driving characteristics, with the Suzuki Swift 1.3-litre dispatching 0-62mph in 11 seconds. Top speed is 109mph. This performance is matched by strong fuel economy with all models easily exceeding 40mpg in the combined cycle driving, including the 1.5 automatic, which returns 43.5mpg. Economy rises to 48.7mpg for the 1.3-litre.

Smooth, efficient and economical 1.3-litre diesel

The 1.3-litre common rail diesel engine with turbocharger and intercooler gives smooth progress even at low engine speeds. With the wide spread of torque peaking at 190Nm at just 1,750rpm it provides superb flexibility and kind-to-the-wallet running costs. Fuel economy adds to the strong value proposition, with an official 61.4mpg in combined cycle driving.

Transmissions

The same five-speed manual transmission is used in both petrol and diesel-powered models, with suitably revised gear ratios for the diesel. It gives satisfyingly firm and quick gear shifting thanks to an enhanced linkage arrangement. Unusually for the Suzuki Swift's segment, the four-speed automatic available a standard on the five door 1.5-litre SZ4 has a gated shift lever design.

Global outlook, European focus

Suzuki Swift was the first product of Suzuki's radical innovation programme to strengthen its position as both a leading compact car manufacturer and one of the world's foremost motorcycle brands. It introduced new ideas and design thinking that will define many more new Suzuki models in years to come.

Suzuki Swift is global in outlook and production - it is built in Japan, Hungary, China and India - but its development has been focused firmly on the demands and tastes of the European market in terms of design and driving characteristics. Indeed, the design team's first step was to establish a base in Europe, where it was able to gain a valuable insight into the European mindset and draw inspiration from the European environment. And much of the chassis development and refinement was based on real-world intelligence gained through extensive road and track testing across the continent.

The result is an innovative, sporty and elegant design with genuine international appeal. As a new departure in Suzuki design, Swift develops styling themes first seen in the Concept-S and Concept-S2 show cars, and demonstrates the company's desire to develop original interpretations of established market segments.

The stylists deliberately shunned the trend towards 'one-box' uniformity, instead producing a substantive design with a distinct bonnet. Muscular, flared wheel arches, bold sills, wheels pushed out to each corner, and a broad-shouldered beltline that continues all the way to the tail lights express the car's inherent stability and dynamic appeal.

The strong curvature of the nose together with the square cut openings of the wide, deep spoiler and mesh grille add further distinction. The black A and B-pillars create a wraparound glasshouse effect, and the headlamp housings sweep back into the wings to mirror the shape of the tail lights.

The distinctive shape of the tailgate combines with the large rear bumper to give the lower part of the body a solid appearance. At the top of the tailgate, the roof's trailing edge is shaped to form a spoiler, improving aerodynamics and saving a valuable 1kg over a conventional bolt-on item.

Easy entry

The SZ4 models feature keyless entry for simple door unlocking/locking and engine start-up. With this system, there is no fumbling to insert a key in the lock or press a remote, all you need to do is have the key in your pocket or bag and press the small black button on the door handle to unlock. Once inside the car, the ignition barrel can simply be twisted to start and stop the engine. When parked, press the door handle button once and the car will be locked and immobilised.

And to make life even easier, particularly when carrying shopping bags or luggage, the tailgate has an electric catch that is released with just a light touch.

Room to breathe

At 1,690mm, Swift has one of the widest bodies in its class. This, together with a long wheelbase, allows for a spacious cabin with plenty of space for everyone on board (up to four in the three-door models, five in the five-door) and a generously proportioned and practical boot.

The design team set out to create a chic yet functional interior which uses aluminium trim highlights to add an air of understated sophistication. Tight fit and finish of trim together with high-grade plastics contribute to an overall sense of refinement and quality.

The front seats offer superior support and hold and have class-leading fore and aft adjustment of 240mm. Driver's seat height adjustment and a tilt-adjustable steering column are standard features, enabling drivers of all different heights to find a comfortable driving position.

The instrument binnacle is set relatively low to ensure good forward visibility and reinforce the cabin's sense of openness. A triple gauge instrument cluster features a tachometer with a needle that rests in the six o'clock position, reflecting sports bike convention, and a digital information display showing time, fuel consumption and outside temperature is mounted centrally on the leading edge of the fascia.

The radio/CD player is seamlessly integrated into the dashboard and can be operated using either the one touch push buttons on the unit, or additional controls mounted on the sporty three-spoke steering wheel. Large, dial-type controls for the heating and ventilation system or, on SZ3, SZ4 and SZ3 DDiS models, the standard air conditioning (and automatic air conditioning on SZ4), are located beneath the audio system.

Storage spaces for mobile phones, CDs and other small items are handily located around the cabin, including a compartment in the instrument panel, glovebox, front and rear cup holders (three in total), a seatback pocket, front door pockets - large enough for A4-size road atlases - and a 'hidden' tray which slides out from under the front passenger seat.

The ashtray takes the form of a cylindrical pot which slots neatly into any of the cupholders. Thanks to its shape, it doubles as another handy stowage point when not needed by smokers.

The boot has a 213-litre capacity (VDA) with a practical flat floor, thanks in part to the choice of a torsion beam suspension arrangement. Collapse the 60:40 split folding rear seat, and the load area more than doubles to 562 litres. There is also an additional under boot floor storage compartment for added security.

Comprehensive safety measures

Suzuki Swift is robust and well equipped with safety features. The car's structure is inherently strong - awarded four stars for adult occupant protection by Euro NCAP when launched. It features extensive use of high tensile steel and tailored blanks to achieve strength without the penalty of added weight.

All models incorporate driver and passenger front and side airbags as standard, together with full length curtain airbags. These are complemented by brake and clutch pedals designed for less risk of driver leg injury in an impact, front seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters, energy absorbing trim, three point ELR seatbelts for all seats and child seat ISOFIX attachments on the rear seat. Each seat also has a head restraint, with those in the rear designed to minimise obstruction of the driver's rearward view.

Pedestrian protection measures were given careful consideration at the design stage and helped Suzuki Swift gain a three-star Euro NCAP rating, a result that is particularly impressive for a compact car. The bonnet, wings, wipers and front bumper are all designed to be crushable and to absorb impact energy progressively, so reducing the risk of injury.

Active safety provisions that can help the driver avoid an accident in the first place include ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution [EBD] and a brake assist function, fitted as standard across the range.

A chassis to match the looks

Suzuki's European programme of chassis development has paid dividends with Suzuki Swift providing a level of handling that will appeal to the enthusiast as much as to typical B-segment customers, while still achieving a sophisticated and comfortable ride. These qualities are delivered thanks to one of the widest tracks in its class - 1,470mm at the front and 1,480mm at the rear - combined with a 2,390mm wheelbase.

The platform, which was newly created for Suzuki Swift, features a front sub-frame to which the steering gearbox, lower suspension arms and engine mounting for the rear are attached. The resulting rigid structure generates less road noise and a strong feeling of stability.

MacPherson strut suspension at the front is matched by a torsion beam and coil springs at the rear. The low unsprung weight of the torsion beam arrangement enables effective control of camber angle and toe-in to deliver accurate and predictable handling, while its space-efficient layout plays a key role in achieving a low, flat boot floor.

To round off the driving experience, Suzuki Swift benefits from a steering rack that gives direct and precise feel and a braking system with particularly rigid callipers for enhanced stopping performance.

Despite the Suzuki Swift's 1,690mm overall width, it still remains a highly manoeuvrable proposition about town. The turning circle is a compact 9.4m.

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