Suzuki unveils the all-new 2017 Swift in Japan

Suzuki has taken the wraps off the all-new Swift hatchback at an event held in Japan today. With more than 5.3 million units sold worldwide since it's introduction as a strategic global model in 2004, the Swift is a crucial model for Suzuki. The all-new model is expected to consolidate the Swift's position in Suzuki's lineup.

Just like the current-generation model, the new Swift gets an evolutionary design incorporating all the elements that made the existing car a crowd-pleaser. Featuring a wrap-around windshield with blacked-out A and B-pillars, a progressively expanding body when viewed from the top, an inset Mini-like cabin, prominent waist lines that flow onto the taillights on either sides and scaled-back headlights, the new Swift is instantly recognizable with its predecessors. Yet, there are enough new styling cues to distinguish the new model. 

A sleek hexagonal grille with a red-coloured line in the center gives the new Swift's fascia a distinct identity. In profile, the characteristic tapering window line now gets the rear door handles as well, giving the car a coupe-like appearance. There is also a partially blacked-out section in the C-pillar that successfully manages to impart a 'floating roof' effect. The taillights are more squarish now while the bootlid and rear bumper gets prominent character lines for added muscularity. It is clear Suzuki has tried hard to please all with the new Swift and we have to agree that they have succeeded partially.

Mainstay of the new Swift's powertrain lineup internationally will be the 1.2-liter, 4-cylinder DUALJET K-Series petrol engine coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission. The sporty RS variant will get Suzuki's new 1.0-liter BOOSTERJET engine that's expected to make its debut in India under the hood of the upcoming Baleno RS. The SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) mild hybrid system also features in the list of technologies underneath the new Swift. The Indian versions though are expected to carry over the existing 1.2-liter K-Series petrol and the Fiat-sourced 1.3-liter DDIS diesel engines, possibly with higher power outputs.

There is a new upmarket flat-bottom steering wheel inside overlooking a sporty twin-pod instrument cluster. The center console gets a rather large touchscreen infotainment system and big rotary controllers for the climate control system, resulting in an uncluttered dashboard. A full suite of safety features are on offer including Adaptive Cruise Control and Dual Sensor Brake Support collision mitigation system that uses a camera and a laser sensor to prevent impending collisions, the latter employed for the first time ever on a Suzuki car.

The new Swift shares its underpinnings with the Baleno and is expected to shed weight compared to the current-generation model. With pricing expected to be more or less similar as well, it will be interesting to see how Suzuki pitches these two cars in various markets. We expect the Swift to be targeting the young and the young-at-heart types as a chic and sporty offering with the Baleno presenting itself as a mature and spacious car for the whole family.

The new Swift goes on sale in Japan, starting next month, followed by launches in other international markets including India through 2017. With stylish looks, sporty handling and efficient powertrains, the Swift has never ceased to impress. Expect the new Swift to carry the legacy forward!

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