Unless you have been living under a rock for the past ten years, the Swift Sport is the new compact darling of the performance fraternity. The name is pretty underwhelming for hot hatch, because once anyone looks past the cutsey appearance, lies a mean machine under the hood. Sure, it may look like the standard Swift in the same way a FD2R looks like a normal Civic, but the bigger wheels, kit as well as suspension are there to supplement the energetic 1.6-litre engine. That much power inside a small car, name a petrolhead who can’t resist such a fun package?
The Swift Sport is as close as you can get to old school hot hatch in a new car. The rev happy heart responds to the throttle with a sense of urgency, and it really begs you to switch off the ESP the second you start it.
So do imagine our surprise when we counted one pedal less and a gearstick that only goes downwards. Yes, this did pique our interest, as this car is fitted with the “optional” four-speed automatic gearbox instead of the “usual” six-speed manual.
Can a hardcore hot hatch be a driver-friendly car? While a manual Swift Sport is built with driver engagement in mind, the automatic is a bit of an odd pairing, like the automatic MX-5 which we test-driven a while back.
But, this is a waaaay faster than you expect. Built around a more robust four-speed torque converter slushbox, the M16A engine growls at idle with a more aggressive cam profile. An enlarged throttle body enhances the engine’s responsiveness further, while a throaty bellow can be had from the custom fat tummy intake by Choons. You’ll definitely hear it coming with the single outlet Sunline muffler providing the bassy note worthy of a performance hatchback.
Forgetting the main reason for buying an automatic car, the “daily driver” Swift Sport has been upgraded with coilovers for that low-down agressive looks, plus customized front fender bars for better tracking from the reduced chassis flex. To further improve the car’s sharp handling characteristics, the rear suspension is upgraded with a thicker anti roll bar which helps in loading up the front outside wheel in the corners!
Gone are the 17” stock wheels, in favour for a slightly more compliant ride with the smaller 15” wheels. However, grip is not compromised a bit with the choice of super sticky Yokohama AD08R. Despite the downsize, a mini 6 pot brake kit was squeezed into the tight space, to the point that the wheel weights had to be mounted on the outer lip because they would interfere with the calipers- A classic example of function over form right there.
The interior is largely untouched for the sake of daily drivability, but with a few nifty upgrades to whet the enthusiast heart. In order to save precious space in a small hatchback, the stock audio system gets a underseat active subwoofer. A subtle, compact Defi display sits on the dash, with all the essential readings directly in the driver’s line of sight.
And finally, to set this Swift Sport aside from the horde, a very rare, yet sleek Tryforce rear spoiler breaks the line of the hatch’s curved rear, while the “ears” get downsized with equally rare Ganador side mirrors.
The stock rump receives aesthetic treatment with a HKS and Kansai rear diffuser combination, while the front end sheds more weight and gains angry grills with the Chargespeed bonnet and TM Square fender.
Can you get more yellow than yellow? The entire project was finished with a matte chrome yellow wrap on top of the yellow bodywork, and finished with a custom racy vinyl design. We definitely love an odd pairing, this Swift Sport has been built to last beyond the 10 year mark, and it certainly shows!
Suzuki Swift Sport
M16A Engine with Monster cams and valve spring
Monster 0.7mm head gasket
RRP throttle body
Choons fat tummy air intake
RRP Water pump pulley
Reinforced Engine Mounts
Suzuki swift sport Automatic gear box
Sunline Racing 60RRS exhaust muffler
Project S coilovers
Project S customised front fender bars
Submit rear anti-roll bar
Volk Racing TE37 15” wheels (Gun Metal) with AD08R Tyres
PJS Mini 6 Pot Big Brake Kit
Blitz underseat active subwoofer
Defi advance ZD original sport gauges
Tryforce Rear spoiler
CF Ganador side mirrors
CF HKS/Kansai rear diffuser
CF Chargespeed Bonnet
CF TM Square fender
Majestic matte chrome yellow