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Maruti Suzuki Swift: Evolution of an icon

January 20, 2018, 07:02 AM IST by Nikhil Puthran
Maruti Suzuki Swift: Evolution of an icon

Going back in time when hatchbacks were all about practicality, Maruti Suzuki rolled out a revolutionary stylish hatchback in May 2005. Called the Swift, the hatchback catapulted Maruti Suzuki to new heights as it was not just the best looking car back then, but also offered features which was only limited to cars in the higher segment. Supporting claims, Maruti Suzuki Swift went on to win the Indian Car Of The Year (ICOTY) award in 2006.

First Generation

At the time of launch in 2005, Maruti Suzuki Swift was limited to the G13B four-cylinder 1.3-litre petrol engine from the Esteem. The 1298cc, 87bhp all-aluminium engine, in fact, turned out to be a hit especially among the tuner crowd, thanks to its free-revving nature and immense mod potential. The hatchback quickly announced its 100,000th buyer in India in January 2007. In the same year, owing to growing demand the company introduced a Fiat sourced 1.3-litre Multijet engine. The additional engine option further let people shed their inhabitations and sales for the Swift touched 200,000 in March 2008, followed by 300,000th Swift in February 2009 and 500,000th Swift in January 2010.

First Generation Update

The Indian government introduced BS-IV emission norms, which also gave an opportunity to the country’s largest car manufacturer to introduce fresh upgrades in its popular selling model. The Swift hatchback received the Suzuki’s modern K12M 1.2-litre petrol unit. Additionally, Maruti Suzuki also revised the gearing and the suspension setup to offer a better ride quality.

Second Generation

Six year down the line, Maruti Suzuki introduced the second generation in August 2011. Like its predecessors, the second generation Swift also continued to find acceptance among the masses. Although fresh competition had entered the Indian market by then, none managed to hamper Swift’s unwavering popularity. The company soon witnessed one millionth Swift being delivered in September 2013.

Second Generation facelift

In an effort to keep riding high on its success tale, Maruti Suzuki introduced a mildly updated version of the second generation Swift in 2014. The hatchback received more features in form of Bluetooth telephone function and keyless go. The company had also introduced special edition Swift models in July 2016 which was loaded by special edition DLX kits. The special edition cars featured FM music system with Bluetooth, USB and front door speakers and all four power windows. The exterior sports blackened B-Pillar and fog lamps. As for safety, the special edition variants will get smart warning indicators, engine immobilizer and child safety lock.

Third Generation

Due for launch in February this year, the third generation Swift comes with an evolutionary design. Based on the Heartect platform like the Baleno and the Dzire, the 2018 Swift is considerably lighter than the outgoing model. The wheelbase has gone up marginally from 2430mm to 2450mm while boot space has been increased from 205-litres to 268-litres. This time around the new-generation Swift will finally start offering AMT options in both diesel and petrol engine options. Moreover, the new model will get standard safety equipment like dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounting points, seat belt reminder and pre-tensioners as well pedestrian protection compliance. The new model will further strengthen Swift’s sales in India as it promises to be better and improved with over a decade of presence in the country.

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