Suzuki Swift Sport gets hybrid hot hatch option, not coming to NZ (yet)
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Plonking hybrid technology in performance cars — a trend that started with hypercars and supercars — appears more and more likely to become the new normal in the hot hatch sphere. And Suzuki are among those leading the charge (pun not intended).
The popular bubbly Suzuki Swift Sport is set to gain a mild hybrid option in Europe; making use of a 48V lithium-ion battery. This will power some on-board components, such as the air condition, but also feed a lick of electric torque at low speeds.
That addition of low-speed torque stems in part from a new integrated belt-driven starter-generator, which replaces the antiquated stop-start system and controls the engine under 1000rpm.
The system also helps cut carbon emissions for the sporty Swift by 6 per cent, which helps the little hatch meet the latest Euro 6 emissions requirements.
Beyond the hybrid tech, the electrified Sport retains a slightly tweaked version of its standard 1.4-litre turbocharged four. All up, the system is said to add 15kg to the lightweight Swift's total weight.
Power interestingly is down in the hybrid Swift, from 103kW to 95kW. But, torque goes up from 230Nm to 235Nm. Peak torque is achieved at a lower number, too, at 2000rpm instead of the standard 2500rpm.
Other changes include a revised gear stick with a 10 per cent shorter throw.
But, don't hold your breath. Much like the other hybrids that Suzuki produces, the electrified Swift Sport isn't expected to land here. We've contacted Suzuki New Zealand anyway, and will update this story when they respond.
Suzuki Australia has told media that it's considering not just the mild-hybrid Swift, but also electrified versions of the Vitara and S-Cross. Could we follow suit?