Everyone roots for the most popular team in any form of team sport, be it Red Bull F1 Team, the All Blacks, or Manchester United F.C. Inevitably, these fans also root for the personalities of their respective teams, Sebastian Vettel, Richie McCaw or Wayne Rooney. But every so often, the underdogs are often gone unnoticed. They are the least mentioned during social gatherings, due to the fear of being ridicule or being in an awkward position. As one man who describes the hive mentality spot on, mentioned, “Everyone wants to be a winner”.
Every sport today has its underdog, and one great example would be Ayrton Senna’s maiden 2nd place fi nish in the Monaco Grand Prix in 1984, which he made his way in an underpowered Toleman-Hart TG184 that he started from the grid on 13th position in bad wet weather! He would have won the grand-prix if the race has not been red flagged.
While doing my best not to sound like a horrible Rap battle Hype man, the Suzuki Swift Sport is one of those underdogs that have performed above our expectations. We tried and tested 2 versions of the fully imported Swift Sport for a back-to-back test, an Automatic Transmission CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) model and a 6 Speed manual transmission model. Styling wise, the difference that sets the regular Swift and the Swift Sport variants apart are its bi-xenon projector headlamps, its sportier front, and rear bumper designs, rear spoiler, side skirts, 16” alloy wheels, and a ‘Sport’ badge at the rear. But the biggest differences lies deeper.The CVT transmission lives 2 separate lives, when in automatic mode it transmits drive progressively to its front wheels continuously without any sensation that provides smooth driving.
However with manual mode is selected, the gearbox turns itself into a 7-speed close ratio transmission that allows the driver to use all of the rev range, and that it a good thing! For the hardcore driving enthusiast, the 6 speed manual transmission is the one to go for. Its proportionately spaced gear ratios allow the engine to push the car within the huge sweet spot that ranges from 3,000 rpm to 6,900 rpm. Although gear selector shifts gears via gear linkage cables, it makes short shifting seamless through all 6 of its gears. And what matters most is that; the gear knob is positioned close enough to the steering wheel that makes sleight of hand shifts possible.
Its interior is simple and functional, and sits 4 adults comfortably with reasonable leg and headspace at the rear. The front sports seats have stiff but great lateral supports and for a good reason too. For safety, its thorax supports contains its side impact airbags, and with that, the Swift Sport also comes with a pair of airbags in the front, one in the steering wheel and another above the passenger glove box. It also comes with curtain airbags on both sides that deploy, when a side impact or a roll over occur. The instrument clusters are well within the line of sight of the driver without missing out vital information of the car’s engine speed and velocity. It’s well built interior provides a pleasant driving experience with little N.V.H (Noise Harshness and Vibration) that none of its interior panels rattle when driving over rough surfaces.
How the car handles is simply amazing, and it is how hot hatches should be. Why? It weights at a lightweight 1,085KGs and short wheelbase that makes this car capable of taking tight bends as quickly as possible. Long story short, it is an engaging and fun car to drive. Agility is not only beneficial for spirited driving, but also driving in cities and towns, especially around tight bends in small underground parking lots. There is one side effect while driving around in the Swift Sport, the growing habit of looking at the fuel gauge, fearing that the fun would end abruptly. How much does it cost then? The manual model costsRM100, 686.00 OTR and the automatic model costsRM105, 816.00 OTR. Although it may sound a lot for a hatch, but to have a car that is similarly engaging and fun to drive costs RM200, 000.00. The Swift Sport comes with 2 colours, Champion Yellow and Snow White Pearl.
The Suzuki Swift Sport, its lightweight, quick, livable, and lovable. It’s like a sharpened wood pencil that is uncomplicated and light to the hand. It allows the artist to draw different line thickness on canvas without its lead tip breaking. It’s a car that is easy to drive around town and capable of providing the driver an evocative driving experience.
Car: Suzuki Swift Sport M/T and A/T
Engine: 1.6L 16-Valve MPFI VVT
Power: 130hp @ 6,900rpm
Torque: 160Nm @ 4,400rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Manual / 7-Speed CVT
Price: RM100,686.00(M/T) / RM105,816.00(A/T)
Both models come with the motorsports proven M16A (Not referring to the infamous assault rifle) 16-Valve 1.6L MPFI VVT engine that produces 136hp at 6,000 RPM and 160Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm.