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It is a fact that Manufacturers who started off producing Motorcycle engines, today produce incredibly reliable motor vehicles which are rapidly becoming legendary. Besides Suzuki of course, there are others like Honda, the latter producing the largest number of engines worldwide, followed by BMW and Yamaha. In 1909 Michio Suzuki founded the Suzuki loom works in a small seaside village, to service Japan’s giant silk industry. In 1937 the company started producing small cars and the rest is History! Interestingly Volkswagen held a 20% shareholding in Suzuki between 2009 and 2015, until an international court ruled that VW had to sell the stake back to Suzuki for $3.8 billion. BOOSTERJET is a proprietary name for Suzuki’s range of all new compact turbo engines and combines the concept of turbocharging (BOOSTER) and multi-point, high-pressure direct fuel injection (JET).The late Colin Chapman was famed for saying that adding power makes you faster in the straights, but subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere. One of the best ways to increase performance therefore, is to reduce weight and this is exactly what Suzuki has done with their newest range of motor vehicles. The 2019 Suzuki Swift Sport weighs in at 970 kg, a massive 90 kg less than its predecessor, with resulting humongous beneficial effect on its handling and performance. It was thus fitting that Suzuki chose Redstar Raceway for the launch of its Hot Hatch contender. Redstar raceway is the brainchild of a farmer who built a superb ‘motorcycle’ racetrack on his farm on the outskirts of Delmas. Due to its affordability compared to other tracks, it is fully booked for corporate events and is very safe with plenty of “run off” should a competititor go farming! Inside the cockpit the Sporty intentions are very evident from behind the thick-rimmed steering wheel. The redesigned formfitting seats are brilliant with side bolstering ensuring you stay in the seat during cornering g-forces. The dash just oozes quality and provides a full range of extremely attractive instrumentation. Performance is the name of the game in this hot hatch and combined with Monroe sports suspension proves to be one of the best handling compacts we have driven. Nothing lacks with regard to the “bells & whistles” which are prevalent in modern cars today. The most prominent change is the all-new front 'nose’ design incorporating a new Grille. Suzuki also brought along their new Vitara Turbo which sports an identical power plant to the Swift Sport! The Swift is shod with all new 16” alloy wheels whilst the rear end sports twin exhaust pipes on either side of the redesigned rear bumper. The chassis has been stiffened resulting in minimum body flex or shudder! Brakes and safety has been improved with the liberal use of ultra-high tensile steel inasmuch as twice as much as its predecessor. VERDICT: Although the price has risen with inflation, the Swift is still brilliant value for money as confirmed by the increased sales and success of Suzuki in SA. Suzuki is one of the fastest growing brands locally. All round a fabulous hot hatch! The Swift Sport will be sold with a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and a 5-year / 200 000 km vehicle warranty. LIKES: Handling and performance and excellent interior space. DISLIKES: None!

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