Evolution of favourite

Suzuki Swift
Suzuki Swift Contributed

THE new 2011 Suzuki Swift has been revealed at the Australian International Motor show in Sydney, and it's very much a case of the Japanese manufacturer sticking to a winning formula.

The new Swift retains the quirky good looks that has made it such a success since its 2005 launch, but the 2011 model is now longer, taller and wider.

Every model in the Swift range will now come with Electronic Stability Program and seven airbags as standard, including side curtain airbags and driver's knee airbag. Such specification has already seen the all-new Swift achieve a maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP.

We'll not see the 2011 Swift in Australian showrooms until the first half of next year, and it's unclear at present what engine options we'll be offered.

The new Swifts sold in Europe come with 1.2-litre petrol or 1.3-litre diesel engines, but Suzuki Australia says there are larger petrol engine options available.

The current Australian Swift range has a choice of 1.5-litre or 1.6-litre petrol powerplants, so expect more of the same for the 2011 models, and hopefully a diesel for our market too.

Suzuki Australia has claimed the new engines will offer even better performance and economy than the current model, and promise the new Swift will deliver the best fuel economy figures for a petrol car in its segment.

The body and styling for the new model has certainly evolved, but really by very little, suggesting Suzuki's reluctance to tamper with its favoured son. After all, the Swift has shifted nearly two million units for the company and has won 63 car of the year awards in 19 countries.

The 2011 model is 90mm longer, the wheelbase has been stretched by 50mm and it is slightly wider and taller. Suzuki says the new car will be stiffer and lighter than before, and offer better noise refinement and safety by using higher strength steel for the bodyshell.

We can expect the final specification and pricing details for the new Swift closer to its 2011 launch, and with Suzuki sticking to the ‘if it ain't broke don't fix it' mantra, the facelifted 2011 hatch is likely to remain the star in Suzuki's line-up.

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