This may be great news to the ears of auto enthusiasts. Maruti Suzuki is actively considering the possibility of launching a hotter version of the Swift, likely to be badged the Sport.
The Swift Sport is Suzuki's hot hatch version of the Swift and is available across Europe. Powering the Swift Sport in those markets is a 1.6-litre, dual overhead camshaft motor that produces 136 bhp and some 16-odd kgm of torque. It's also offered with a pretty neat looking body kit that includes a front splitter and revised bumper, a different looking grille, side skirts and a spoiler at the rear. It's also got a different looking rear bumper, wider tyres and neat looking alloy wheels
On the whole, the sporting pretensions of the car aren't lost. To curb the enthusiasm, it comes with ESP, although you can turn it off. The interiors are a pure black affair with few hints to suggest that it's got more pony power under the hood. And this is not what we are going to get here.
What Maruti Suzuki is considering (and rightfully so, from an economic standpoint) is a larger motor than the 1.2-litre K Series unit. This could either be the 1.4-litre motor that's found on the Ertiga or the 1.6-litre G series motor that powers the SX4. Both engines are mounted in more or less a similar fashion to the 1.2, so it shouldn't involve much in terms of re-engineering.
Read our REVIEW of the SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT here:
REVIEW! Maruti Suzuki Swift Sport - Swifter!
The 1.4-litre unit is good for 94 bhp on the Ertiga. However, if Maruti does consider it, we hope they try and nudge the three figure mark, just to enhance the power-to-weight ratio and the appeal of the car. The 1.6, if offered could stay untouched. Expect it to be offered with a 5-speed manual of course. Changes to the brakes (larger rotors, more effective pads), a slightly stiffer suspension setup and a body kit can be expected, as would some emebellishments on the inside that project its sporty intent.
Maruti is very tight-lipped about progress on this front, but says that projected volumes have to be substantial enough to warrant production. The idea behind the exercise took shape after customers and auto journalists repeatedly asked the senior management to consider a more powerful version of the Swift. If it does take shape (and we are hoping it does), it would mean a new lease of life for the 'hot' hatch segment in India that seems to be represented by just the VW Polo 1.6 and Skoda Fabia 1.6, both of which aren't exactly best-sellers for their respective manufacturers.
Read our ROAD TEST of the VW POLO 1.6 here:
Battle of the hot hatches - Heat this!
Read our ROAD TEST of the SKODA FABIA 1.6 here:
New Skoda Fabia 1.6 Review - A mightier heart
Pricing will play key too, for a substantial hike over the top end 1.2 ZXi (over a lakh of rupees) may not yield the kind of numbers Maruti is hoping to garner from the car. So, if you are keen to see Maruti launch a hotter, faster version of the Swift, start a signature campaign now!
EDIT: The car will be a five-door like the regular Swift. We expect Maruti Suzuki to consider a 2013 launch for the car.
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