Swift Progress: What's next for Suzuki’s little ripper?

With Suzuki dropping hints that the next Swift might launch in 2017, our resident conceptualist Josh Byrnes considers the potential styling path.


Small has been big for Suzuki - and no more so than with the Swift: It has a cult following here.

Nevertheless the current car, which dates back to 2012 and replaced a near lookalike that served for eight years, is starting to waver. Newer competition has certainly been applying the pressure. It’s also one of those few new models that feels the heat from same-gen used import equivalents.

Fortunately for Suzuki New Zealand’s loyal following, the next-generation Swift is thought to be just around the corner.

So what will the all-new Swift look like and what can we expect? The car in blue here reflects our thoughts about what happens next.

Illustrated here in lively Swift Sport attire, the look is one of evolution rather than a radical departure from the current offer, seen below. Most notable aspects are the muscular, yet organic body lines, floating roof arrangement and hidden rear door handles within the C-pillar.

Regular models are distinguished by LED daytime running lights, rounded front grille with horizontal bars and softer intake styling. Whilst the Sport version takes the visual high ground with an aggressive grille, large machine-faced alloys, neat lower bodykit and dual exhausts.

The interior also sees a substantial lift in design quality; here styling is dominated by a twin-binnacle gauge cluster, circular air vents and an horizontal alloy inlay separating the upper and lower dash. Sport models get red accents and a flat-bottom steering wheel, while other goodies will include an new infotainment display with Apple CarPlay, reversing camera and satellite navigation.

Conjecture is that the current range of normally aspirated engines will make way for forced-induction units; so for those wanting enough mumbo to do a round shopping trip, standard Swift variants will utilise a 82kW/170Nm 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo from the latest Baleno. 

Not enough grunt you say? Well that’s where the Swift Sport’s larger 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine comes in. Shared with the larger Vitara, this unit pumps out 103kW and 220Nm - whilst not as potent as say Ford’s 134kW Fiesta ST, it should offer decent performance in a lightweight body.

It’s still unknown what transmissions the Swift Sport will use; however if we look to the Vitara Turbo for clues, expect power to be channelled to the front wheels via an 6-speed auto with paddle shifters. A six-speed manual should also be available as per the current car.

Expect Suzuki’s refreshed small offering to be revealed in regular guise very soon, whilst the Swift Sport will make an appearance mid-2017. With smart new looks and promising performance will it carry on the same success as its predecessors? - you betcha!

Meantime, the baby brand will focus its Paris motor attention on the S-Cross small SUV. A facelifted version with freshened styling and new powertrains will take the spotlight in a fortnight.

It's a return to familiar ground: The first iteration was unveiled at the 2012 show in the French capital.

Replacing the 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine will be a choice of two smaller-volume Boosterjet turbocharged engines – an 82kW/160Nm 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder and a 103kW/220Nm 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder. The first engine debuts in the new Baleno - but not in NZ - and the latter is already here and powering the Vitara Turbo.

The most notable changes have come to the exterior styling, with Suzuki giving the new S-Cross a more rugged front fascia with a more upright, protruding grille with vertical chrome bars.