The Suzuki Swift was introduced in 1985 and has remained in production to the present day. In the United States marketplace, production of the Swift ended in 2000.
When the Suzuki Swift was first introduced, it was named the SA-310, and was renamed in 1986 to Swift. Under the hood was a straight-three cylinder engine that displaced 993cc and produced 50 horsepower. Zero-to-sixty took 14.9 seconds with top speed being achieved at 145 km/h. The engine may not have been very powerful, but it was very lightweight, weighing only 63 kg. A variety of optional engines were available, which included a turbocharged version.
The Swift was sold under various names and badgings, including the Pontiac Firefly, Chevrolet Sprint, Geo Metro, and Maruti Esteem.
The first series of the Swift was the MK1, produced from 1984 through 1988. Two version were available, a 1-liter GA and 1.-liter GL. The GA was a 'minimalistic' vehicle, with plastic wheel covers and a five-speed gearbox. The GL also had a five-speed gearbox, but added a sunroof and alloy wheels. In some markets, the GL came with air conditioning.
The GTi version came equipped with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that had an aluminum block and cylinder head, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and cast aluminum high compression pistons. Power was rather impressive, producing just over 100 horsepower. It was available in a limited number of markets, including Europe and the Asian-Pacific markets.
The second generation of the Swift was introduced in 1989 and remained in production until 1991. Its design was all-new and featured many curves and a rounder body. It had many mechanical improvements, including four wheel independent suspension. Under the hood was a 1-liter 3-cylinder engine; optional equipment included a 1.3-liter and 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The three-cylinder engine produced just over 50 horsepower. The GTi version had an improved engine, now producing over 100 horsepower. Also included with the GTi were disc brakes which helped keep the car in the drivers control.
In the North American market, there were two trim levels available in 1989, including a 3-door GTi and a 5-door GLX. In 1990, the GTi name changed to GT. Volkswagen had laid claim to the name, and demanded Suzuki swift change it - which they did.
In 1992, the third generation of the Swift was introduced, remaining in production until 1994. It had the same bodystyle as the MKII; the major changes were the bumpers, taillights, and the interior. Mechanical changes followed, such as larger sway-bars for the GT/GTi versions.
In North America, Suzuki Swift production ended in 1994. In Japan, the Swift (known there as the Cultus) ended in 1998. In Europe it was called the MK 2 Type 1, and remained in production until 2003.
A special edition of the Suzuki Swift, called the Suzuki Swift MK3.5, was offered from 1995 through 2001 to the North American public.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007
The Swift MK4 was introduced at the Paris Auto Salon in September of 2004. It is currently in production in the European market, and in Japan and many other countries. Sales are reported to be very solid.