Suzuki’s Swift Sport has been a decent hot hatchback in foreign markets since its introduction in 2005, and the newest model looks to keep that reputation lit. We Americans still can’t buy a Swift, mostly because we can’t buy any new Suzuki. The company . So gaze from afar at the brand’s most fun-minded model as it makes its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show.
Compared to an everyday Swift, the roughly 2100-pound Sport injects some muscle via a 138-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four. A six-speed manual transmission manages the flow of engine power to the front wheels, and the strut front and twist-beam rear suspension is lowered and firmed up for better dynamics. The Sport’s tires are 1.6 inches wider than before and wrap around slick-looking 17-inch wheels; the additional width aids high-speed stability, according to Suzuki.
These go-fast goodies are stuffed into the cheeky new Swift’s tiny body. The grille and front intakes are notably larger and angrier-looking than the regular model’s, and two big exhaust outlets poke out from the rear bumper. For those who prioritize safety in the small hot hatchbacks they can’t buy in the United States, the Swift Sport offers a suite of active-safety tech, from automated emergency braking to lane-departure warning. It’s a neat little car that’d be a great competitor for Ford’s Fiesta ST here, but it unfortunately remains forbidden fruit—largely because Suzuki’s lineup as a whole failed to capture American customers.