Read this in-depth article to know about the Swift Sports recent sighting and possible India launch.
I am very well aware of the fact that almost 100 people have already written upon this topic, but I am here to be the best not first. This article would clear virtually all your concerns on the ins-and-outs of the new Swift Sport spotting in India. Happy Reading!
P.S. RevvReviews is my personal watermark, hence, it has been used at some places.
"Bbuuzzzz…bbbbzzz..bzz…" – what's that you ask? That's how the news of the Swift Sports sighting in India has buzzed around. The Hyundai i30 too has been spotted (but as a test car) and has generated some hype, but the Swift Sport has just stirred up the community like a whisk whisking an egg after it has been cracked open into a bowl. (I really need to start using better similes for describing stuff lol)
We all have loved Maruti for something or the other. Maybe your first car was a Maruti, or you just loved their old N/A (naturally aspirated) engines, whatever may the reason be, we can all agree for a fact that now Maruti is not the cool car guy in the market. There was a time when we had real gems by MS (Maruti Suzuki) going around revving their nuts out on the streets. Gone are those days, but what if they are coming back with a punch.
(I had previously written an article on Maruti Suzuki's untold story, you can check it out later by clicking here)
'Punch' – What comes to your mind when you hear the word? A boxer? or a teenager who has just fought with his mate? Definitely, a teenager comes to mind—an angry, youthful creature with all the power and agility. The Swift Sport is no different. Just don't expect it to go "burppp..ppp.buur..ppp" like some JDMs.
Let's talk numbers, shall we?
The current Swift Sport (Europe version) packs in a Fiat-sourced 1.4L turbo-petrol motor (K14D) producing a combined 140PS of power and 230Nm of torque, mated to a 6-Speed stick shift (MT). The 1.4L Booster Jet motor delivers 129PS of power, while the 48V electric motor delivers 13.6PS and 53Nm. Yes, it is a hybrid, and we are expecting good fuel efficiency under normal driving conditions.
All this translates to a 0-100 kmph time of just 8.1 seconds (claimed) and a top speed of 210 km/h (claimed)!
In my opinion and a few others, the car that was spotted wasn't a test car. Either it was a personal import or a car to be used for development or some internal work. It is highly unlikely that it is a personal import; hence, it is safe to rule out that speculation.
Even if Maruti decides to bring the hot hatch to Indian shores, it has to go through a few hurdles.
Firstly, the mentality of a general buyer isn't towards performance but pleasure. This was seen as Maruti tried to experiment with the Pseudo-Hot Hatch, the Baleno RS, which has now been discontinued because of the BS6 norms and sales figures. The Baleno RS was neither a mass-market consumer car nor a proper hot-hatch. It produced a mere 100hp from its 1.0L 3-cylinder Booster Jet. That is not even Luke-warm for the segment it was competing in. This incident would surely play a role in determining the Swift Sport's future announcement in India. This could turn out two ways, either they completely ignore the hot-hatch segment or learn from their mistakes by bringing the Swift Sport to India with all the beans we wanted in the first place.
Secondly, the price factor plays a huge role along with people's mentality for selling a product. A good product with a bad price tag (like the VW GTI) isn't generally considered as a consumer magnet. Even though, the VW GTI turns many heads but actually buying one from your own pocket is a no-no situation. On the other hand, a good product with a good price tag sells like hotcakes! The Swift Sport in that matter costs a whooping £18,000 (acc. to Carwow) i.e. ₹17,27,000! And that's the price w/o including import duties and other miscellaneous costs. It is seriously a not-so-great deal if we consider that the Abarth Punto was available at around ₹10,00,000.
And now to my final point, the Swift Sport uses a Fiat-sourced engine which is the same as that in the Abarth Punto i.e. the 1.4L T-Jet (The T-Jet produces a bit more power in the Abarth though). This engine hasn't been upgraded to comply with the BS6 norms and has been discontinued. Bringing the Swift Sport would result in reviving the engine but at a cost. Is MS ready to put in those extra bucks and efforts?
Is there any hope at all?
It's not all cloudy as a few things are going for MS, which might encourage them to launch the Swift Sport in India.
With the exit of the Baleno RS the company no longer has a hot-hatch to purr in its portfolio. This empty position might pave the way for the Swift Sport. Also, almost all the manufacturers have dished their performance cars due to sales figures and BS6 norms. This means that there isn't going to be a fierce rivalry in the segment if the spicy new Swift is launched at the moment!
Adding to this, the government has allowed OEMs to import 2,500 units a month without homologation.
In 2018, a similar form of hype was generated by rumours surrounding the launch of the Swift Sport and the Jimny in India. The idea was soon trashed as Maruti confirmed that they had no plans to launch either of the two vehicles because there wasn't enough demand in the market for them.
Jump to the 2020 Auto Expo, and we are surprised to find the Jimny at the show. Maruti Suzuki wanted to analyze the market and see the publics' reaction to the quirky little off-roader. The Jimny sure did bring many wandering eyes to automakers' pavilion. Hence, we are going to receive a 5-door Suzuki Jimny by 2021 instead of the 3-door Jimny Sierra which was on display. Well, somethings better than nothing at least.
My guess is that just like the Jimny has been re-thought for the Indian market; similarly, the Swift Sport could also be considered shortly.
If MS actually considers launching the car then, it must be launched either along or around the time of the Jimny's launch in 2021 because 2022 would just be too late for the Swift Sport.
The Suzuki Swift Sport costs ₹17 lakhs already and bringing it in as a CBU would only increase the price. What MS could do is use the Swift we get here as standard instead of using the Euro-Spec car. The Euro-spec car costs a lot more than the standard one because it has some very up-market features like collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, weaving alert, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control. All this would be considered a gimmick for such a small car at this price and would most probably be removed to keep the cost around ₹10 lakhs.
If MS is able to pull this off, then, it would be safe to say that the legend has returned!
Do note; all this is pure speculations as we have absolutely no clue whether MS is actually planning something like this or not. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. #make_maruti_great_again
These were my speculations on the Swift Sport. What do you think about the car and do you think MS would actually consider its launch? Why or Why not? Let me know in the comments.