Maruti Suzuki's next big launch is slated for August. After the Kizashi and SX4 diesel, it's the turn of the new Swift to go through the song-and-dance sequence and with a launch slated for the month of our independence, the Swift is perfectly poised the festive season that typically sees many new cars being launched.
So what's new about the 'new Swift' you ask? Well, for starters, it does resemble the outgoing car a fair bit deal, simply because it has been loved and accepted by a whole lot of people and that made Suzuki's job even tougher. Instead of radically changing the car, Suzuki have opted to make the second-gen Swift an 'evolutionary design'. The headlamps are larger, the snout is a bit longer and the bonnet has a thicker crease line on either side that join the waistline. In profile, the car doesn't look much different, but it's the longer snout and the wider flared rear arch that make it appear longer than before. The tail lamps are new and the tailgate treatment is quite different too, though we hope it doesn't make loading and unloading difficult.
Internationally, the new model is 90 mm longer, has a 50 mm longer wheelbase, is10 mm higher and 5 mm wider than outgoing model. That still shouldn't bother the Swift, given the fact that it will stay well under 4-metres and continue to receive excise duty benefits.
Given the larger footprint and overall dimensions, we expect the car to be marginally more comfortable as well, which is always a plus given the relatively tight-confines of the existing car when compared to most other cars in its category. Despite the heavy use of black, we expect some of the silver trimmings found on the European Swift to also adorn the Indian-made cars in higher-spec. Airbags and ABS should be standard on the top-end variants, but whether there will finally be a ZDi trim this time, remains to be seen.
The new Swift will come with two powerplants, just like the outgoing model. A 1.2-litre petrol motor with 85-90 bhp and the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel model will be the mainstay of the model range. More powerful motors aren't expected in the interim, but it will be interesting to note whether Maruti Suzuki finally bite the bait and launch a 1,6-litre model on a future date.
The 1.2-litre petrol motor will be the current K-Series motor, but whether Maruti will offer it with variable valve-tech like the European model or skip it for the moment is a matter of debate. We will try to find that out for you as soon as we can. If Maruti continues with the existing motor, then it should be good for 84-85 bhp, but with the addition of variable-valve tech, that figure could bump up to 90 bhp or so. The 1.3-litre DDiS diesel will remain unchanged, so expect the same 74 bhp of peak power and 19.4 kgm of peak torque. Maruti is expected to make minor tweaks to make the car more efficient and less-polluting than before, but apart from that the basic nature should remain the same – nicely sorted NVH levels included!
Dynamically, the car will remain as sorted as ever. Expect the same cheerful handling that has got the Swift accolades from the enthusiast lot. Ride quality could be more mature and less thrashy than before. The new Swift also benefits from a new steering setup that is quicker turning than before.
Prices for the new Swift are expected to be 5-7 per cent more than the outgoing car at best, given the amount of competition and the general nature of the segment. The Dzire model is expected a few months after the Swift and may be a sub 4-metre version, thus making it competitively priced too.