8 September 2004

Suzuki will take the covers off this distinctive, sharper-to-drive, European-built supermini at the Paris motor show in a few weeks - the new Swift. Based on the rally-inspired Concept-S shown at the 2002 Paris show, and also taking cues from the open-top Concept-S2 which appeared a year later at Frankfurt (see gallery), the new B-segment entrant will be available in three- and five-door bodystyles at UK launch next spring.

Designed and developed with the European market in mind, the new Swift sits on a completely new chassis honed on European blacktop. It will also be assembled locally, at Suzuki's Magyar plant in Hungary.

Under the bonnet, there will be three powerplants to choose from: a 67bhp 1.3-litre petrol, a variable-valve-timed 75bhp 1.5-litre petrol, and a 1.3-litre diesel with 51bhp and 125lb ft of torque.

Inside the cabin the Swift gets a bold, contemporary-looking fascia, built from better quality materials than it has used previously. The three door has seating for four; opt for two extra doors, and the Swift will stretch to five, its rear bench accomodate three across, its maker claims.

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