Suzuki Swift RS TURBO 2017

₨ 4,600,000 ₨ 4,150,000/=
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THE TOP OF THE NEW SWIFT RANGE, THE RS, GOES FORCED INDUCTION FOR THE FIRST TIME, WITH A 1.0-LITRE DIRECT INJECTION TURBO MILL MATED TO A SIX-SPEED AUTO. IT IS SET TO GIVE THE SECTOR A HURRY ALONG
WORDS: PETER LOUISSON | PHOTOS TOM GASNIER
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When designing a $25k car compromises are key, and in Suzuki’s new top-of-the-tree Swift RS I reckon they’ve got things about bang on. This is the least expensive car to get active cruise control (but without stop and go), and it also features lane keeping, LED headlamps, and auto headlamps with high beam assist (auto-dipping). It’s a sophisticated baby.

People will laud the fact that this comes with sat nav, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with comfort entry and pushbutton start, but it also gets paddle shifters for its six-speed auto and that’s important in something with an RS badge. Okay, so it has no blind spot eliminators, so owners will just have to think laterally and use their mirrors.

It foregoes engine modes (sport, normal, eco) and tends to shift to high gears early for economy, but you can override the transmission any time by using the paddles. There’s no idle-stop either but then it uses so little fuel (5.1L/100km the claimed average) that it simply isn’t needed. And on that, when the fuel level started to get low, we stopped and put in $20 of the good stuff – it runs on 95ULP – and that brought it back up to an indicated three-quarters full. Put another way, the distance to empty figure rose from 80km to 380.

ITS SIX-SECOND OVERTAKING TIME SEEING TO THE FIESTA AND SKODA COMPETITION, BOTH $2K- $3K MORE EXPENSIVE
A real RS

Suzuki has offered Swift RS models before, but they’ve been faux hot-ups, using the same atmo 1.4L engine as the lesser Swifts. Not any more. For the first time in a Swift, a direct-injection turbocharged engine is available, a 1.0L ‘Boosterjet’ triple, producing 82kW of peak power, and 160Nm from 1500rpm. Think of this as being almost as quick as the existing Swift Sport – there’s about a second in it 0-100, though they’re lineball on the overtake – but for less money ($25,990 vs $28,990 in auto trim).

And it therefore begs the question – who needs a Swift Sport when you can have this instead? Simple answer: the Swift Sport is being replaced next year and is getting the 103kW/220Nm turbo engine of the go-hard Vitara. It should be a flyer. The RS engine is actually based on the bigger 1.4-litre engine, and Suzuki reckons the 1L unit outputs as much as an atmo 1.8. Hmm. We’d question that; a 1.5 atmo output is closer, the Jazz RS is good for 97kW and 155Nm. See how these two RS models compare next month!

Anyway, power is only part of the performance equation. Suzuki managed to subtract up to 175kg of weight by moving to the new platform which debuted in Baleno. Mention of which, an RS variant with the same powertrain as Swift RS is now available for the same price so you can choose between the cuter Swift or the larger, less lovable but more practical Baleno, though the latter misses out on the active safety kit.

On the weight reduction, the 175kg relates to the base $20k car. It’s closer to 100kg down for the RS which weighs in at 960kg whereas previous Swifts scaled up at around 1060kg. Weight savings are thanks mainly to increased use of high tensile steels, now comprising 41 per cent, meaning fewer reinforcements are necessary. With power to weight improvements, this promises to be a proper little RS terrier.

Option List

  • +Push Start
  • +Power Window
  • +Power Mirrors
  • +Power Shutters
  • +2 Air Bags
  • +Retractable Mirrors
  • +Heat Seats
  • +ABS
  • +Power Steering
  • +Central Lock
  • +Remote Key
  • +Intelligent Key
  • +Rear Wiper
  • +Winker Mirror
  • +Lane Departure Warning
  • +Cruise Control
  • +Paddle Shift
  • +4-way Camera
  • +Fog Lights
  • +Smart Entry
  • +Electric Seats
  • +Seat Heaters
  • +Multifunction
  • +Seat Head Dress
  • +Leather Steering
  • +Leather Seats
  • +Alloy Wheels