With last week’s launch of the new Swift and Vitara models both centred around the powerplant, we shall tell you about that first. The 1 373cc four cylinder engine with direct in-cylinder fuel injection and roller rocker-type variable valve timing delivers 103kW of power at 5 500rpm and 230Nm of torque in a linear fashion between 2 500rpm and 3 500rpm. It fulfils different roles in the respective Swift and Vitara guises.
In the Swift Sport it is all about driving fun. Available with either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, the new arrival weighs in at just 970kg, a massive 90kg lighter than its predecessor.
That, Suzuki claims, gives both the front-wheel drive versions a 0-100km/h time of under eight seconds and a top speed of over 200km/h. More importantly, this is a true driver’s car. We got to sample the manual model around the Red Star Raceway and had to be forcefully prised out of it after our allotted laps.
It comes with a redesigned, ultra-rigid chassis, custom designed Monroe shock absorbers, thicker anti-roll bars, plus a unique trailing arm design, for better tracking between the front and rear wheels.
Braking comes via front ventilated disks and rear solid disks with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD). The steering is precise, the turn-in grip phenomenal, the power delivery progressive, the gearshifts smooth and the braking smooth.
In all, the Suzuki makes you think you are driving better than is actually the case. It also proves the point that proper balance and the resultant driveability can be more rewarding than brute power. The new Swift Sport also looks the part, being lower, wider and longer than its predecessor.
It boasts a front splitter with carbon-fibre type patterning, integrated fog lights, LED front and daytime running lights, carbon fibre-patterned side spoilers, and a redesigned rear, plus a bumper that houses two chromed exhaust pipes, LED-taillamps, a large, integrated roof spoiler and a rear splitter.
The package sits on 16-inch diamond-cut and polished alloy wheels, shod with 195/50R16 low profile tyres. It boasts red-and-chrome detailing, a thick-rimmed D-shaped steering wheel, a unique set of dials, stainless-steel sport pedals and semi-bucket seats.
There is also automatic climate control, speed-sensitive power steering, electrically foldable rear-view mirrors, all-round electric windows, a seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a reverse camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, steering mounted controls and cruise control. The Sport has six airbags, electronic stability control, side impact protection and child locks on the rear doors.
Offering 10Nm less, the Vitara comes with a six-speed manual or auto box, with the latter offering manual shifting via steering wheel-mounted paddles. The Turbo offers the same specification levels of the model’s range-topping GLX grade. These include 17- inch alloy wheels and the choice of five solid colours and seven dual-zone combinations, where the body colour is contrasted by the choice of a black or white roof, depending on colour chosen.
The Turbo is also equipped with LED daytime running lights, LED head-and-brake lights, with a set of silver roof rails and chrome detailing in the front grille and under the fog lamps.
Luxuries include steering mounted controls for audio and cruise control, park distance control both front and rear, automatic climate control, a multi-information full colour display in the instrument binnacle, electric windows and mirrors, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and reverse camera, plus mobile phone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.
As is the case with the Swift models, the Suzuki Vitara range has safety features like electronic stability control, ABS brakes with EBD and brake-assist, seven airbags, side and cross-body impact zones, plus ultra-high strength steel and additional bracing for the body.
A five year/200 000 km warranty and a four year/60 000 km service plan comes standard on the Swift Sport and the Vitara Turbo.
Swift Sport – R315 900
Swift Sport AT – R335 900
Vitara Turbo GLX – R378 900
Vitara Turbo GLX AT – R397 900