Pocket rocket appears to lose power but gain torque in CO2-cutting update - but Australia retains familiar drivetrain for now.
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The Suzuki Swift Sport hot (ish) hatch has picked up an electrified petrol engine in Europe that cuts fuel use and CO2 emissions by six per cent, helping its maker meet Euro 6 requirements.

It also appears to offer less power and more weight than before, countered in part by an additional slab of low-down torque through electric assistance that promises to make it as responsive in most situations, and smoother from idle.

Outlined late last year but launched across that continent this week, the revised Swift Sport's drivetrain is in essence a re-tuned version of the 1.4-litre 'Boosterjet' turbo-petrol with some electric add-ons.

These are optimistically clustered under an umbrella called Smart Hybrid Vehicle By Suzuki (SHVS), but they're not enough to make the Swift a hybrid in the Toyota Prius mould.

SVHS tech includes a 48-volt lithium-ion battery kept charged by captured deceleration and braking energy, and a converter that lets the 48V system run power greedy components like air conditioning.

It also includes an integrated belt-driven starter-generator (ISG) that adds a small dose of helpful torque at lower engine speeds, replaces the clunkier old stop/start function, and controls the engine below 1000rpm electrically rather than by fuel injection.

The ISG also takes the peak torque figure to 235Nm from 2000rpm. It was formerly 230Nm, from a higher 2500rpm.

"This function therefore eliminates fuel consumption under these conditions as engine momentum is electrically controlled by the ISG unit and the car is ready to re-accelerate on request with no engine restart delay," Suzuki says.

Suzuki claims the whole package adds 15kg, and has placed the battery and converter under the front seats "to assist overall weight distribution". The system cuts CO2 emissions and WLTP fuel use by about six per cent.

While none of Suzuki's press material talks about power, UK reports claim that the outputs have dipped from 103kW (138bhp) on the previous model to 95kW (127bhp). They cite a 0-100km/h time of 9.1 seconds, about 10 per cent slower than before.

There’s also reportedly a new gearstick and shift mechanism that has a 10 per cent shorter throw than the old car’s. There is no word on whether the six-speed paddle-shifter auto version will get the 48V system, but it seems obvious that it can.

Australia

Suzuki's local division says it is looking at the mild-hybrid Swift, plus the Vitara and S-Cross versions that are claimed to use up to 20 per cent less petrol than their forebears, in 2021. But nothing is official.

In the meantime, Australia will retain the 103kW and 230Nm Swift Sport for now. We understand the pocket rocket will also get an update around May, bringing more active safety features, some new colour options, and a much-needed digital speedo.