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Plenty aboard to back up the new Swift’s improved looks

SUZUKI has made a whole lot of subtle and sweeping changes to its 2018 Swift Sport and in the process has launched a high-tech, high-performance and good looking vehicle.

Probably the major change is that for the first time the Swift has a turbo-assisted engine, a 1.4 litre intercooled, four-cylinder, twin overhead camshaft motor producing 103kW of power. Peak power is achieved at 5500 rpm. The earlier Sport realised that at 6900 rpm.

There is a huge lift in engine torque output, which is of significant importance. The Boosterjet power unit produces 230Nm of torque between 2500 and 3500 rpm against the outgoing car’s 160Nm, resulting in an outstanding 237Nm per tonne torque to weight ratio.

Putting all that into colloquial English this latest Swift is really hot.

The Swift offers a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic. The former has an unladen weight of 970kg which is down by 90kg, the automatic at 990kg or 85kg less. Both options average fuel consumption of 6.1 litres/100km.

The body of the 2018 third generation Swift is 15mm lower and 40mm wider than its predecessor. It is the same length at 3890mm but the wheelbase is increased by 200mm.The 17-inch alloy wheels are manufactured from a new flow-forming technique that results in a reduction in rotating weight for better acceleration and more responsive handling.

Careful tuning of the suspension has improved the car’s handling and road holding, with McPherson struts and coil springs employed at the front, with a torsion beam and coil spring rear suspension. Monroe shock absorbers optimise damping force front and rear. At the front the stabiliser joint bars are thicker and a Teflon seat is added to the stabiliser mount.

Putting it all into plain English, this Swift Sport handles like a dream.

There are big advances in safety too. An advanced forward detection system incorporates a monocular camera, laser and millimetre wave radar that takes the Swift to a five-star safety rating. The forward detection system has dual-sensor brake support, lane departure warning at 60kmh or faster and weaving alert.

Suzuki says the Swift is one of the few small cars on the market with this level of safety.

A comprehensive standard equipment portfolio includes LED projector crystalline headlights, a seven- inch multimedia display for audio, hands-free phone, navigation and smart phone integration, while Apple Car Play and Android Auto are offered.

There are steering wheel controls for the adaptive cruise control, speed limiter, audio and phone.

The Swift has a reversing camera, climate control air conditioning and a colour LCD display that includes a turbocharger boost gauge and engine performance screens.

On top of all that, the 2018 Swift Sport looks really good, with an aggressive stance, angular crystalline headlamps, new honeycomb grille and a unique rear spoiler.

All those looks and plenty to back them up.