An all-wheel-drive version of the Suzuki Swift is currently under evaluation for a UK launch later this year.
Suzuki believes there is a potential market for all-wheel-drive superminis after the bad weather Britain has experienced in recent winters.
A left-hand-drive version of the all-wheel-drive Swift is currently in the UK from Germany on a three-month evaluation period and the firm expects to announce its decision by the summer. Autocar understands that its launch is almost a given and a minimum of 500 units will be offered each year, although Suzuki believes sales of up to 1000 units are possible. It would have a price tag of around £13-14,000.
The automatic viscous controlled system sends drive to the front wheels most of the time but can also send drive to the rear as and when required. The driver will not be able to switch between permanent front- and all-wheel-drive in the cabin.
The system is available on the Swift’s 93bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine. There is a 90kg weight penalty and the car is also 25mm taller. “It’s a good proposition and gives us an opportunity for extra volume,” a Suzuki source told Autocar. “We’re hoping for extra sales in rural areas, encouraged by the recent snow.”
Suzuki will also launch a diesel version of the Swift it June. It will be powered by the previous Swift’s 1.3-litre diesel unit and will have combined economy of 67mpg and 109g/km CO2 emissions.