The Suzuki Swift began in 1985 as a marketing and manufacturing rebadge of the Suzuki Cultus, a supermini (or subcompact) manufactured and marketed worldwide across three generations and four body configurations—three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and two-door convertible—and using the Suzuki G engine family.
The Swift was marketed in the Japanese domestic market (JDM) as the Cultus and elsewhere as the Suzuki Swift, Suzuki Forsa, Suzuki Jazz, Chevrolet Swift, Chevrolet Sprint and Sprint Metro, Geo and Chevrolet Metro, Pontiac Firefly, Maruti 1000, Holden Barina and Subaru Justy. Versions of the second generation Cultus were also produced until 2007 in India and the car remains in production today in Pakistan and China. For more information on the initial versions of the Swift, see: Suzuki Cultus and Geo Metro.
The first generation Swift was introduced in 2000 as a replacement for the Suzuki Cultus. Outside Japan, the "Suzuki Ignis" name was used. Both three- and five-door hatchback body styles were offered, although the three-door was not offered as part of the regular lineup in Japan.
The Swift was powered by a new generation of Suzuki inline-four gasoline engines, the M family. Engine displacements of 1.3 and 1.5-litres were offered, both with a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. The vehicle was available with either front or four-wheel drive. Vehicles fitted with the 1.3-litre engine were designated HT51S, with the 1.5-litre version assigned HT81S.
The shorter three-door body variant formed the basis of the Swift Sport in Japan, or Ignis Sport in export markets. Introduced in 2003, it featured redesigned bumpers, and was fitted with a higher-output version of the 1.5-litre engine. The Sport ceased production in 2005, with the regular Swift models remaining until 2006 for the Japanese market only.
In 2001, General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Cruze—a crossover SUV based on the Swift, retaining the original car's basic dimensions and powerplants. The Cruze was restyled, adopting a crossover look between a tall hatchback and a sport utility vehicle, and the three-door body was dropped. The "Chevrolet Cruze" commercial designation was used in Japan, while in Australia the car was sold as the "Holden Cruze" from 2002 to 2006. The 1.3-litre cars were given the model code HR51S, with the 1.5-litre versions coded HR81S.
Suzuki in Europe introduced the Cruze modifications as an update of the Ignis in 2003, although extended by 145 millimetres (5.7 in) in length, thus improving interior and luggage dimensions. Due to an agreement with Subaru, this model was also sold throughout Europe in all-wheel drive form as the Subaru Justy from 2003. These Europe-only models were manufactured by Magyar Suzuki in Hungary. Due to the local presence of the Chevrolet-badged model, Suzuki in Japan did not utilise the modifications for a Suzuki-badged model of its own.
The second generation Swift debuted at the Paris Motor Show in September 2004. The design of the new Swift was previewed on the Concept S and Concept S2 concept cars at auto shows, in the years leading up to its launch. This generation of the Swift marked a significant departure with the previous Cultus-based models, with Suzuki redesigning the vehicle as less of a "low price alternative" subcompact and more of a "sporty" subcompact. The Swift's design and driving characteristics focused on the European market with its chassis refined through a road-testing program across Europe.
The second generation Swift has received a four stars out of five rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests. It also was awarded 2006 Semperit Irish Car of the Year in Ireland.
Since its global launch in 2005, which was kicked off with a marketing campaign fronted by the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo in many European countries, the Swift has recorded above forecast sales in most markets. In Japan, sales figures have been twice the forecast and in many European markets the model has been a runaway success.
The Swift was available with 1.3- and 1.5-litre petrol engines, rated at 92 metric horsepower (68 kW; 91 hp) and 102 metric horsepower (75 kW; 101 hp), respectively. It was produced in Hungary, India, Japan, Pakistan and by Chang'an Motors in China. In China and Japan, only the five-door body is available, and four-wheel drive is an option for the 1.3- and 1.5-litre petrol engines. A 1.2-litre engine fitted with an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) was offered in front-wheel drive only. In Europe, the Swift was launched in three- or five-door hatchback forms, with 1.3- and 1.5-litre petrol engines, and a 1.3-litre DDiS engine supplied by Fiat. The 1.3 petrol is also available with an automated manual transmission or with four-wheel drive. Both the 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre petrol models are available with four-wheel drive, and hold the chassis numbers, ZD11S and ZD21S.
In October 2005, Suzuki launched the Sport version of the new Swift in Japan named SwiftRS, and in September 2006 the model was introduced in most European markets. Named "Swift Sport", it is powered by an enhanced M16A unit, a high-revving 1.6-litre, naturally aspirated DOHC VVT four-cylinder engine with an 11.1:1 compression ratio, high lift cams, forged pistons, and strengthened valve springs. The 1.6-liter engine produces 125 metric horsepower (92 kW; 123 hp) and 148 newton metres (109 lb·ft) torque. At 3,765 mm (148.2 in), the car is 70 mm (2.8 in) longer than the standard Swift. The Swift Sport features sportier bumpers and spoilers, a stiffer suspension, twin exhaust pipes, red sport seats (with Recaro seats optional) and four-wheel disc brakes on 16-inch wheels. The European Swift Sport features five-speed manual transmission, the three-door body variant, 17-inch wheels (16-inch also available) and electronic stability control (ESC).
The Maruti Suzuki Swift was launched in India in May 2005 with a 1.3-litre petrol engine. Later, in early 2007, Maruti introduced the Swift with a Fiat-sourced 1.3 L DDiS engine. In 2010, due to the new BS IV emission norms, Maruti replaced the 1.3 L petrol engine with a 1.2 L K-series engine. In August 2011, Maruti launched the all-new third-generation Swift, with 1.2 L K-series petrol and 1.3 L DDiS engines. Hence Maruti Suzuki Swift design is derived from the previous Suzuki Swift which was already in the foreign market.
The Suzuki Swift Plug-in hybrid concept car was unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. The Swift Plug-in concept has an all-electric range of about 30 km (19 mi) drawing on a lithium-ion battery pack. When the battery is running low a small 0.66 L engine kicks in to power a generator that charges the battery.
In May 2010, Suzuki announced a demonstration program with 60 Swift Plug-in hybrids in Japan scheduled to start by late 2010. Initially sales of the Suzuki Swift plug-in hybrid electric vehicle were scheduled to begin by 2013.
The plug-in car is powered by a 55 kW (74 hp) and 180 N·m (130 lb·ft) AC synchronous motor and a 2.66 kWh Li-ion battery pack. Average fuel consumption, calculated by combining fuel consumption during operation on electric power from grid charge and fuel consumption during hybrid operation after depletion of the battery pack is 37.6 km/L on the JC08 cycle (88.4 mpg US, or 2.7 L/100 km). Grid charge time for the battery is approximately 1.5 hours @ 100V and 1h at 200V.
In March 2014 Maruti Suzuki announced that it will provide several copies of the production version, renamed "Swift Range Extender" as part of a pilot project to be conducted in partnership with the Indian government during 2014 to 2015. According to Maruti's tests, the Swift Range Extender delivers a combined fuel efficiency of up to 48.2 km/l (136 mpg‑imp; 113 mpg‑US), with an all-electric range of 25.5 km (15.8 mi). The battery takes nearly 90 minutes to get fully charged. Maruti is awaiting for the implementation of the India's National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, which will define the government's purchase incentives for plug-in electric cars.
The third generation Swift is being produced at Suzuki's plant in Hungary from where it will be supplied across Europe. The new car has its wheelbase extended by 50 millimeters over the previous second generation and has many visual updates. While the new car looks different from the old one, its design is an evolution of the radical second generation styling with a longer and more rounded appearance. Post-September 2010 Swifts are fitted with a heavily revised version of the K12 engine found in the Suzuki Wagon R+d. During September 2010, Suzuki in the United Kingdom released the third generation Swift onto British roads.
The new generation is expected to feature a 1.2-liter VVT petrol engine developing 92 bhp. In some countries, the 3rd generation of Suzuki Swift uses a 1.4-liter VVT petrol engine (K14B) which produces 95 hp.
In Thailand, the Swift is built locally and is part of the Thai government's eco-car program. The car is sold with a CVT automatic transmission on GA, GL and GLX variants; GA and GL variants are also offered with a five-speed manual transmission without anti-lock brakes.
For the Malaysia Market the Swift was released on 12 July 2013.
As with the previous generation, a four-door notchback saloon model was developed for India by Maruti in 2012. This is shorter than the previous generation; now at 3.99 m (157 in) it falls underneath an important tax threshold at four metres of length.
The Suzuki Swift S-Concept was at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show. The concept car is powered by a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine combined with a six-speed manual transmission. At Paris, it was rumored that the next Swift Sport would get a 150-hp (112-kW / 152-PS), a 22 percent increase over the 2010 model. Riding on 18-inch wheels, the car now features a large spoiler, new headlights and rear lighting clusters. It has also been brought closer to the ground. Inside, designers included bucket seats, a new steering wheel, different instrumentation and carbon fiber trim.
The 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport is powered by a revised 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine producing 100 kW (130 hp) and 160 N·m (120 lb·ft) torque. The 2012 model comes with the option of a six-speed manual transmission or a high performance CVT transmission with seven-speed manual mode and paddle shifters.
Riding on light weight 17-inch alloys, the car now features a rear spoiler, a large front grille, body kit, new HID headlights and rear lighting clusters. The ground clearance is also lower than the normal version. Inside, designers included leather bucket seats with sporty red stitching and "Sport" mark, a new steering wheel and different instrumentation.
In January 2014, The Swift Sport was updated to include a 6.1-inch combined satnav/dab radio infotainment touchscreen as standard.
In the United Kingdom Suzuki has released another special edition of the Swift, the SZ-R, with a list price of £14,249 and limited to just 100 units. The SZ-R has a 136HP VVT engine and is capable of doing 0 to 62 mph in 8.7 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 121 mph, while returning 44 mpg. It is equipped with seven airbags, auto air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and USB port, rear privacy glass and 17-inch wheels.
For 2013, Suzuki updated the Swift with some minor cosmetic changes such as a revised front bumper, L-shaped LED daytime running lights on the foglamp housings, fresh 16-inch wheels, LED-type high-level brake lamp and new seat fabric design.
For the Japanese market, it features Suzuki's newly developed DUAL JET ENGINE as well as Suzuki's ENE-CHARGE system and ECO-COOL, implemented from the Suzuki Wagon R. The new DUAL JET ENGINE uses the dual injection system on its 1.2L petrol engine and it works by increasing vaporization, making combustion more efficient. It channels fuel to two intake ports instead of only one per cylinder.
With the DUAL JET ENGINE and the ENE-CHARGE, fuel economy is now up to 26.4 km/L, calculated based on JC08 mode.
Maruti Suzuki later launched the midlife facelift of Swift on 28 October 2014. The facelift comes with both cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. The manufacturer also includes a new variant called LXI (O) and introduced three new colours namely Mysterious Violet, Fire Red and Granite Gray.
Maruti Suzuki in India launched the second generation of its sedan Maruti Suzuki DZire (known as DZire as of 2012), which is based on the third-generation Swift on 1 February 2012. Unlike the previous generation, it is a compact sedan under 4000 mm. It shares its engines with the hatchback. Like the previous car, changes to the suspension have been made. It also has two-tone beige and black interiors, unlike the hatchback's all-black interiors.
The new version of Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire was launched in Feb 2015 which was a refined version of the existing model. The vehicle was rated as the most fuel efficient diesel car in the country. Maruti Suzuki has also created an automatic transmission variant of the DZire, available in the VXi trim.
Maruti Suzuki launched the DZire ZDI with Automatic Gear Shift (AGS) in January 2016 at INR 8.39 Lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi)
The 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT)is paired to the 1.3-liter DDiS diesel engine in the Dzire ZDI variant, which produces 75 PS and 190 Nm of torque. The fuel efficiency is rated at 26.59 km/l for the diesel automatic variant, which is the same as that of the regular model with a manual gearbox.
In 2009, Peter Scott won the Suzuki Swift Cup, the junior swift cup and the British Rally Championship R1 class.
Images of this model have leaked on the Internet at the middle of March 2016. The fourth generation Swift debuted in Japan on 27 December 2016. The Hatchback is built on the 'HEARTECT' platform which made its debut in 2015 and is the same lightweight platform used for the production of hatchbacks Baleno and Ignis and is equipped with a 1.2 l 4-cylinder Dualjet petrol engine and a 1.0 l 3-cylinder Boosterjet Turbo petrol engine for the Japanese market. In India though, it is expected to come equipped with a 1.2 l 4-cylinder K12B petrol engine and a fiat sourced 1.3 l 4-cylinder DDiS 190 diesel engine. It is also anticipated that the India spec car can also get the 1.0 l 3-cylinder Boosterjet Turbo petrol engine.
Sales of the Swift had reached cumulative worldwide sales of four million units in August 2014 (nine years and nine months since the start of sales in 2004). Especially in India, ever since its launch in 2005, the Swift steadily increased its sales in line with the market expansion due to economic growth, such as by adding diesel variants and sedans. Of the four million units, units sold in India account for approximately half of them. Also, approximately 19% were sold in Europe, and approximately 11% were sold in Japan. By June 2008, cumulative sales of the Swift reached 1 million and in January 2011, cumulative sales totaled at 2 million.
The Suzuki Swift has won more than 60 Awards including car of the year awards since its introduction as a global model.Most fun to drive car in Japan car of the year awards 2006
RJC Japan car of the year 2006 & 2011
Indian car of the year 2012
2011 small car of the year by BBC Top Gear India
Goldstar award by Wheels magazine Australia
Best buy hot hatchback by whatcar magazine UK for Swift Sport
Best model in city cars by Largus magazine France
2011 Small car of the year by AMI insurance autocar magazine New Zealand
Best Small Car' by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers in Scottish Car of the Year Awards 2010