2010-10-15

2nd Generation Maruti Suzuki Swift

The all new Swift will perhaps be the most important car launch of 2011.
Not only because it will come from the country's numero uno car manufacturer, but perhaps it will replace the first generation of a nameplate thats as strong as the company itself.
Besides, with intense competition from all sides and all manufacturers looking at each other to beat black and blue, with Toyota (Ethios) and Honda (NSC 2CV) joining the fray, it's just the survival of the fittest that counts.
Today, the swift still sells strongly but is clearly beginning to show its age as compared to its modern competitors.

The design is actually quite aggressive, yet it keeps Suzuki's new family look first seen in the Kizashi.


The front is now wider than ever before, with the trademark peeled back headlamps being now much larger and more aggressive. The all new front bumper is characterized in "V" shape character moulding which tapers down with the honeycomb grill, similar to the Kizashi.
The curvy bonnet gets more flatter and at the same time, is also now wider and looks much stronger atleast in the pics. The shape is made more simpler and the two character creases are now at more far ends as compare t the present model.
The windscreen also grows in size and promises better visibility for the driver and front passenger with the curvature being more rakish and squsrer in design.

The windowline is now much larger and flatter as compared to the earlier model, primarily to address the old model's criticism of claustrophobic ambiance while seated at the rear.
Glasshouse is generous and appears to be much more convectional in the interests of increasing space and appealing to a much more wider audience.

The doors are longer and more curvier as the overall length has been increased by 90 mm and now to a certain extent resembles the fabia. The central character line now runs directly along with the glasshouse and merges with more aggressive newer taillight design split into 2 parts. A point which makes for an interesting note is the rear door window curvature which actually appears to be much smaller, even though dimension wise its grown and replaces the squared angled design of the current model.

The backside has seen some serious changes. Gone is the simple look and replaced by more aggressive creases and curves. Singularly, the rear design is perhaps the not so good aspect of the car,especially the number plate housing directly under the tailgate which looks out of proportion and pretty bulky. The rear bumper appears to be much larger and aggressive but could have been more cohesively designed, especially the upper lip which merges with the taillights. 


The dashboard carries the Kizashi family look with more rounded aggressiveness and a waterfall central console which houses the radio and HVAC controls. The pics shown represent the European model but expect some bits and pieces to be similar in the Indian model as well.



The boot space is perhaps the biggest disappointment at just 211 litres, down a whopping 21 litres as compared to the current model. Clearly, priority has been given to increase the rear legroom after owners gave less than stellar feedback regarding the current model.

Currently, pics of legroom (seats) and utility space (glovebox plus side door trims) have not been released but with an increase of wheelbase by 50 mm,we hope that the feedback turns on the positive side and rear passengers get additonal space and comfort.
The model pictured has 60:40 splits, expected to be offered by maruti too in the top end variant.
 


An increase in
  • wheelbase (50 mm)
  • length ( 90 mm)
  • width ( 5 mm)
  • track (20 mm front and 15 mm rear)
should result in a car which is more spacious in the inside, larger at the outside and with the promise of better ride, handling and stability. Interestingly, the height is decreased by 20 mm (1510 mm to 1530 mm of he current model) which may prove to be a deterrent.
 
 The bodyshell is claimed to be more than 60 percent stiffer in the interests of meeting stricter safety morns (including pedestrian safety which explains the lower bonnet flanks) which should result in an overall solid feel serious lacking in all the current Marutis. Only time will tell how much compromise will Maruti make in the build quality once the product is heavily localized to price it competitively. The current swift seriously lacks a stiff body shell which we hope will be solved by the time the new model is launched.

Prototypes of this swift were frequently spotted lapping the famous Nurburgring Nordschlife racetrack in Germany so expect the handling to be much, much better, even if the suspension is softened for the interests of ride quality in India.

The suspension design too is carried over (McPherson strut in the front and torsion beam at the rear) but modified spring and damper rates with gas filled dampers should result in better ride quality, if not as plush as the punto, polo or figo, but maybe close to that.


Engines and Gearboxes:

Initially the swift will be available In Europe with 2 power train options.
  • 1.2 K 12 B gasoline: This engine is an evolution of the same K 12 M which powers the current Indian swift and in the interests of uniform options which result in huge savings of development costs, the European model too gets this motor but heavily modified. It replaces the previous M13A and M15A motors respectively. This 1242 motor produces a class topping 94 ps@6000 rpm and 118 NM torque at a highish 4800 rpm. Surprising, isnt it? But don't these figures fool you. This motor promises to be the most advanced in its class, even more than the class topper, the 1.2 i-vtec of the jazz. Unlike the i-vtec motor which only features VVT tech in the intake valves which work at varying rpms, this motor features dual VVT, in addition to the usual 16V DOHC tech. With varying valve timings in both intake and exhaust valves, this motor promises class leading performance, efficiency, refinement and emissions. 0-100 is claimed in 12.3 seconds.
  • 1.3 DDIS diesel:The blockbuster diesel motor is carried over virtually unchanged but some changes have been made to the EGR system and combustion pressure is claimed to be more in the interests of more fuel efficiency and lower emissions. 0-100 is claimed to be in 12.7 seconds for the manual transmission variant running on EU diesel.
Gearboxes:

The swift gets an option of 5 speed manual with more closer ratios for extracting the best out of the engine and higher mileage, in addition to the 4 speed automatic carried over from the previous model mated to the new powertrain.
We request maruti to seriously conider the automatic gearbox as an option in both engines, as the market is grown and matured and the needs arise, especially in the congested city traffic of the metros.

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