2018 Suzuki Swift Sport goes from warm to hot hatch status

Thanks to a torquey turbo engine and a significant weight drop

Suzuki's stand at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is all about the all-new Swift Sport.

The third-generation B-segment hot hatch features many changes compared to its predecessor, chief of which is the engine. Suzuki made the switch from a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder to a turbocharged 1.4-liter unit in the new Swift Sport.

The new BoosterJet gasoline unit produces 140 hp (103 kW) at 5,500 rpm and, more importantly, 230 Nm (170 lb-ft) of torque — up from 160 Nm (118 lb-ft) in the previous-generation model. That results in improved driveability, especially since peak torque is available from 2,500 rpm to 3,500 rpm courtesy of the new engine.

Add to that a curb weight that has dropped by 80 kg (176 lb) to just 970 kg (2,138 lb), and you begin to understand why the 2018 Swift Sport is quicker than its predecessor. While Suzuki doesn't provide performance specs just yet, it says the new Swift Sport is a genuine hot hatch now.

To support that statement the automaker quotes a weight-to-torque ratio of approximately 4.2 kg/Nm, which apparently ranks the new model among "the most competitive hot hatch models in the market."

The 1.4-liter BOOSTERJET engine works with the same six-speed manual transmission used in the previous Swift Sport — enhanced to offer a "short-stroke and nimble shifting."

Handling is also said to be significantly improved, partly because the 2018 Swift Sport uses the new HEARTECT platform that achieves weight savings and increased stiffness. Another reason is the updated, stiffer suspension.

As far as the design goes, the hot hatch distinguishes itself from lesser Swift models thanks to a lower, wider stance, as well as more aggressive cues including the front grille and bumper, front-lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser, and roof spoiler. The 17-inch polished alloy wheels and dual exhausts also help send the hot hatch message. Unlike the previous three-door Swift Sport, it now comes exclusively as a five-door hatch.

Inside, the 2018 Swift Sport features semi-bucket seats with "high-quality textures," red accent panels with matching gauges, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with piano black accents and red stitching, sports alloy pedals, and chrome finished shift knob.

The Swift Sport comes as standard with a Bluetooth-compatible Smartphone Linkage Display Audio Display unit with a 7-inch touchscreen and SD Card 3D-map navigation.