It is difficult to find in the French market a high-performance sports car without paying a huge penalty now. Except for one: Suzuki Swift Sport. The best deal now?
Times are getting harder and harder for a sports car. Beyond the very high market, with supercars and hypercars, which do not suffer, the entire sports section on four wheels is a major victim of new levels of anti-pollution and regulatory requirements in terms of CO2. If this does not mean the total death of a normal sports car, major manufacturers are reorganizing their priorities.
Because if paying horrible penalties ultimately is not very important for luxury customers (Porsche, Ferrari, etc.), ecological penalties have slowly made some models to the public unsustainable. At Renault, leave for the RS brand (Clio and Mégane) whose price has been increased by a fine of several thousand euros. Everything is now packed together in Alpine, which will undergo extensive electrical treatment to survive. The same thing in Peugeot where the Peugeot Sport Engineered label has adopted high-performance models under its wing (especially the 508 for starters), but not without the adoption of plug-ins to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And the same thing at Volkswagen where the days of the GTI label are numbered like that, as it is now difficult to sell cheap performance cars without electricity. The GTE label and its hybrid smoking chain have taken over.
Some models of heat exchangers are still being developed, but are primarily reserved for other markets, Asia and America, where environmental constraints are much lower financially. If Toyota has proven right that it will sell its GR86 sports car in France, mainly because the average CO2 of its entire range still allows, Nissan, for example, has stopped importing its future 400ZX there.
Strong argument: real Japanese style “Mini”
Hard to find real warm sports so … But it is impossible. Some high-performance, low-performance vehicles are still affordable due to low penalties. But only one is the most avoidable among the big general: Suzuki Swift Sport. Sold since 1997 in Europe (about 50,000 copies per year, sports version representing less than 10%), this Japanese version of the mini city car has its young loyal customers, who are fascinated by the impressive value for money.
The Suzuki Swift Sport, in line with Euro 6 standards, “cheated” a bit. It does not heat up again 100%. The small car is actually equipped with a hybrid technology technology, a 48v battery, a fully automatic converter and transformer converter, which can withstand a 1.4-liter turbo engine, with recharging due to energy recovery on the brakes.
The result is a horsepower of 129 at 5500 rpm, and a torque greater than the old version of the heat of 235N / m at half the counter rev. The contribution of the electrical component is significant, and makes it possible to provide a small additional boosting effect, by filling dips in engine speed and reducing CO2 consumption and emissions. Results: 5.6 liters per 100 km average WLTP mix (approximately 7.5 liters in sports drive) per 125g of CO2. So… neutral from a regulatory point of view.
Comfortable, practical, well-equipped
The result is a round engine, rather sensible in laziness and very smooth while driving, backed by the (Oh Wonder!) 6-speed persuasive gearbox. The small Suzuki Swift Sport is playful and responsive thanks to its compact size (more than a few tons), and has suspensions that are enough to make city trips enjoyable.
The passenger compartment, very simple but well-completed, “old” (especially needle counters), is decorated with comfortable bucket seats and excellent support. It does not damage anything, the rear space is generous to the city car, the roof protector is important and contributes to the feeling of space, accentuated by large glass surfaces, and its accessibility is facilitated by opening camouflaged rear doors. The trunk, even the smallest (263 liters) remains spacious, enough to carry a large jacket, two sports bags and a few odds and ends.
Additionally, even though the media system is outdated, Swift Sport has a good level of technological equipment, from Apple Car Play to route support, as well as cruise control and flexibility … among others. Very good action for a car of this type.
We love it even more: a happy sportsman
But make way for the game! And in terms of emotion, if you press the button (following the speed limits, of course), the Suzuki Swift game is full of features. If the nostalgics of older models regret the performance in retreat (0 to 100 km / h returns 9.1 seconds) and the increase in volume, this small car is just waiting to give a real sense of sport. The power train emits good noise as it rises over the towers, without self-esteem, and you actually feel the beneficial contribution of the extra electric charge.
Swift Sport accelerates smoothly, reacts with good sense and jumps from corner to corner, just waiting for the turn to turn. Certainly we are far from the best speed if only the Clio RS or the sharpness of the chassis and the front axle of the Ford Fiesta ST, but we are at the helm of a real small sports car full of good intentions. We will not lead him with a knife between his teeth, but instead of a smile on his lips, filling us with good feelings.
Black argument: several disappointing adjustments
The only areas of concern are related to detail: the gearbox could have been better guided, the suspension was slightly more flexible to avoid slight twists, and the uncomfortable switch (coming sooner than 6000 rpm)… also remember the very small tank (32 liters) which it needs to replenish fat frequently despite low consumption.
But at what cost?
For the remaining amount, for 22,550 euros, Suzuki offers with Swift Sport its priceless price / feel balance, with the key being a fun little sports car that avoids the cold rain of the penalty. High technical and commercial performance in the current context, for a unique vehicle.