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New Suzuki Swift Sport: Kia Picanto GT rival reported to gain mild hybrid system


An electric system could reduce emissions and boost performance in Suzuki’s much loved warm hatch

The next-generation Swift Sport is supposedly the next vehicle in Suzuki’s line-up to receive a mild hybrid system, if a recent report out of Japan is to be believed.

According to local outlet Best Car Web, a new-generation Swift Sport model is set to debut in October of this year with a mild hybrid system onboard. 

2023 Suzuki Swift Sport Concept front Best Car Web
It’s likely that the new Swift Sport will wear a new face – Image: Best Car Web

As a hybrid-powered supermini, this Swift Sport warm hatch would sit in quite a niche segment, potentially only facing competition from the likes of the ICE-only Kia Picanto GT

What will power this new Swift Sport? 

The report states that the upcoming Swift Sport will be powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with a mild hybrid system attached. 

In Europe, the Swift Sport is currently offered with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that’s also paired with a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine. 

2023 Suzuki Swift Sport Concept Best Car Web
Bigger wheels will give the Swift Sport a more aggressive look – Image: Best Car Web

Here, this ‘Boosterjet’ engine is good for 96kW and 235Nm. Like the ICE-only Swift Sport that’s offered in Australia, this is sent exclusively to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. 

These peak figures are on-par with the non-hybrid Swift Sport offered locally at 103kW/230Nm. 

New-generation Swift on the way

It comes after Best Car Web previously reported back in 2021 that a new-generation Suzuki Swift would be unveiled in 2022, with the Sport model set to follow in 2023.

The new-generation Swift has yet to be confirmed, but the report stated it would sit on a new platform, though it’s not clear if this would be an all-new or heavily revised underpinnings.

2020 Suzuki Swift red and blue cars
It’s likely that the new Swift will sit on a significantly revised chassis

The report also stated the mild hybrid system was going to continue on with this new model, but the series parallel hybrid system offered in international markets was to be dropped. 

The Japanese outlet’s claim of a new Swift Sport making its debut sometime throughout 2023 is also inline with this new news. 

Suzuki’s mild hybrid system explained

International markets make use of an electric system that Suzuki calls SVHS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle System) in the current-generation Swift Hybrid. 

Unlike the series-parallel hybrid system in the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, this SVHS isn’t able to drive on battery power alone, and is simply there to assist the petrol engine. 

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport yellow front moving
The mild hybrid system would likely improve the Swift Sport’s fuel economy

It makes use of a belt-driven Integrated Starter Generator which is able to recharge the battery whilst braking and power the electrical systems while driving. 

In the case of the Swift in New Zealand, the Hybrid model is able to better the fuel economy of the ICE-only Swift by 0.5L/100km or 9.8 percent.