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A Strong Faith in Turbochargers

A decade ago, we all detested the sight of compacts. Just as how some people still do in current day and take them as a joke. They way these compact cars misleadingly hide themselves in parking spots and zip in and about any open space can sometimes be irritating. But little do this people realize that the joke is actually on them.

As we move into a more developed era, the population grows exponentially and we find ourselves running out of space. The chaotic traffic conditions on our roads are a testament to that and because of this, the demand for compact cars has increased substantially over the past years.

Aside from being economical and practical as a daily runabout, compacts are small and easily maneuverable through tight spaces. But while they’re good for many reasons these cars – with their much smaller engines – lack power. So while compact cars have become a trend in most developed cities, it’s also becoming a craze to modify these tiny terrors.

Even the big Japanese names such as HKS, Blitz and GReddy have realized this and are starting to produce more and more performance add-ons for these cars. Simple modification parts such as induction kits and exhaust systems, or even the more elaborate ones such as turbocharger kits and supercharger kits are all made readily available.

This takes us to Brunei Darussalam, where we’re set up with a pair of modified Suzuki Swifts. While both owners have strong faith in turbochargers, one employs a HKS bolt-on kit while the other performs a custom mod.

Blue Streak
Belonging to G’Boi, this Swift has undergone some intense modifications to pump out a little more than 160 horses. The output of its tiny 1.3 liter engine was given a boost with a custom turbocharger kit. The internals however, remain stock.

In order to bolt-on a CT-9 turbine – cannibalized from a Toyota Starlet – a custom exhaust manifold had to be fabricated for the engine. Once in place, the turbine draws in filtered air from a HKS Super Power Flow filter, compresses it and pumps it out through the intercooler pipes. These pipes are connected at the joints with HKS silicon hoses to prevent leaks, while a VR4 intercooler efficiently sits behind the front bumper.

To remain in the safe zone and avoid unwanted complication, G’Boi decided to reduce the engine’s compression by laying down two layers of metal gaskets in between cylinder head and block. Additionally, the fuel system is upgraded with two additional injectors that should suffice to the engine’s new appetite for fuel.

For practicality, the Swift’s stock ECU is retain and piggy-backed to a GReddy E-Manage Ultimate. This allows engine parameters to be fine-tuned to the modifications, minus the hassle of a fully standalone unit.

Seeing that the stock automatic transmission was able to cope with the torque increase, it remained in service. Although this greatly affects the car’s acceleration, it is a breeze to drive in the city.

For a more sporty character and dynamic drive, a set of D2 adjustable coilovers are fitted onto the car and allows damping rate as well as ride-height to be adjusted. A set of 17” wheels that are wrapped with 205/45/17 Federal tyres are also fitted to the car.

An exterior package from Monster finds is fitted to the car for a more extreme profile. Together with the kit is a custom made vented carbon fiber hood that adds to its aggressive stance. Meanwhile the interior is trimmed in a funky blue color to match the ‘Bayside Blue’ exterior. Atop the dash sits a rarely seen Power Enterprise boost gauge, which also doubles up as a boost controller.

‘Blue Streak’

Car: Suzuki Swift
Engine: M13A
Engine Mods: Custom turbo kit, CT-9 turbine, custom intercooler pipes with HKS silicon joints, VR4 intercooler, additional injectors, HKS Super Power Flow Reloaded, HKS M35i spark plugs, double metal gasket
Transmission: Stock automatic
Electronics: Greddy E-manage Ultimate
Suspension: D2 adjustable coilovers
Brakes: Stock
Wheels: Alloy 17” x 7j with Federal 205/45/17 tyres
Interior: Re-upholstered, Power Enterprise boost/controller gauge
Exterior: Monster exterior kit, custom made hood
Tuner: SHH Proshop

Dark Phantom

The black Swift you see here is still in its early development stages and in fact yet to be fine-tuned. Even the exterior looks completely standard!

However, don’t let its modest looks deceive you. The concept behind the modification may differ from what you see in blue Swift, but it too is bolted-on with a turbo kit. Instead of mixing and matching custom made parts, this Swift’s 1.5-liter wonder is fiteed with a HKS turbo kit.

Without a doubt, the HKS kit is much neater and fancier with its stainless steel pipes and tidy welds. Aside from the turbocharger, the engine was also upgraded with HKS M35i spark plugs and a HKS Super Power Flow filter. To vent out excess boost, a HKS SQV blow-off valve is fitted to the throttle inlet pipe.

One of the greatest things about the HKS kit is that it comes complete with all the necessary parts required for a job well done. This even includes a piggy-back HKS F-Con iS that’s preloaded with a turbocharged base map, making it even easier to fine-tune the car once the installation and testing is complete.

A set of 17” wheels wrapped in 205/40/17 tyres is fitted onto the car, giving is a sporty image, even in its standard trim.

Tiny, comfortable and yet powerful; this is the one concept that should be applied to daily workhorses that are put to endure the busy city streets. It’s time that practicality should be given priority over prestige…besides, a torque and tiny terror in tight spaces is always a fun drive!

‘Dark Phantom’

Car: Suzuki Swift
Engine: M15A
Engine Mods: HKS turbo kit, HKS Super Power Flow Reloaded, HKS M35i spark plugs
Transmission: Stock automatic
Electronics: HKS F-Con IS
Suspension: Stock
Brakes: Stock
Wheels: Alloy 17” x 7j, 205/40/17 tyres
Interior: Greddy boost gauge
Exterior: Stock
Tuner: SHH Proshop

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