BEHOLD the next-generation Suzuki Swift, leaked in a series of rendered images, and more recently sprung testing on public roads in all its bin-liner glory.
Expected to be one of the stars of the Paris Motor Show in October, before a mid-2017 on-sale date in Australia, the next Swift continues the successful Japanese supermini’s evolutionary design trajectory, seen first 12 years ago in the landmark EZ series.
Fun and affordable, that car came to define what Suzuki is today.
However, while the 2017 Swift’s overall shape and rear-end treatments are familiar, the nose and headlights jut forward in a far more pronounced manner, giving it a significantly more aggressive character than before.
Suzuki has also added some unexpected contemporary detailing to help keep the series fresh, highlighted by the Citroen DS3-style C-pillar blacked-out treatment and very Alfa Romeo 156-esque rear door handles. Both help provide a sportier, more coupe-like appearance.
With the sleeker silhouette pointing to a longer (and hopefully roomier) interior, current model issues such as tight rear legroom and a tiny boot might at last be addressed.
A completely redesigned dashboard shows influences from similarly sized hatchbacks such as the Mazda 2 and Audi A1, as well as the company’s recently released Vitara SUV. A pair of large analogue dials, a trio of heater/vent knobs and a large central touchscreen reveal the more simplified look.
There’s even greater change going on underneath, thanks to an all-new platform shared with the upcoming reborn Baleno. Under the bonnet in some variants will be the promising new 1.0-litre three-cylinder Booster Jet turbo engine, while updated versions of the current 1.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder unit are also likely.
Furthermore, a Swift Sport is in the pipeline for a 2018 debut, powered by a variation of the 1.4-litre turbo Booster Jet engine that’s about to arrive in the Vitara Turbo.
The 2017 Swift will usher in a wave of fresh superminis expected over the next 12 to 18 months, including the next-gen Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta, Nissan K14 Micra, Toyota Yaris, and Hyundai Accent.
Interestingly, with such tough competition, Suzuki is going for a two-pronged B-segment supermini approach, tailoring the imminent Baleno towards a more conservative and family-oriented demographic, while leaving the next Swift as the more youthful style leader.
That means pricing is likely to kick off from around $16,000 for the base Swift, rising beyond the mid-$20,000 mark when the Swift Sport surfaces.
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