Suzuki Swift Sport WR1 Supercharged 2008 — Road Test

Suzuki Swift Sport WR1 Supercharged 2008 — Road Test


The Suzuki Swift Sport is one of our favourite cars read the review here. It has the right proportion of power, handling and looks, and a sweet five-speed manual gearbox that puts you in control. So how can you improve it? If you changed any one of the ingredients, it might risk spoiling it — like putting too much salt in the stew.

The recipe for change in this case addresses the car holistically: engine modifications to give the Swift more poke, suspension and brake modifications to cope with the extra power, and a body kit to tell the world you’re packing more than just the standard 1.6-litre four-banger.

The Swift Sport has always been a car that’s possible to bling out, with go-faster stripes and bigger alloys; this takes it to a new, official level with a factory warranty.

The extra urge is made available by a discrete supercharger that sits at the back of the engine. You’d barely notice the modifications if it wasn’t for the large Supercharged sticker across the rocker cover and the chrome GReddy pipe that leads to a bright yellow air filter.

The supercharger sucks in the air through an Airinx air cleaner that uses two layers of three-dimensional urethane foam. The whole engine can be tuned to perfection with the GReddy ECU. Power at the flywheel is up from 111PS to 145PS at 6800rpm. Torque is up from 138Nm at 5000rpm to 171Nm at around 3800rpm. The power is all usable, making the Swift more responsive down low. It doesn’t turn it into a screaming, torque-steering ride, though. It’s delivered in an unfussy way, with a helping of supercharger whine.

While we didn’t test a 0-100kph time, my seat-of-the-pants meter reckons it’s in the late seven-second bracket, down about a second from the standard car. To get the most poke out of the car you need to turn ESP (electronic stability control) off because it robs the WR1 of a lot of power. This doesn’t turn it into the tyre-smoking maniac that you’d expect, though.

You may have all this extra power, but it hasn’t affected fuel economy because the Power Extreme II twin exhaust system has less back pressure and improves fuel economy. The Swift Sport has an official figure of 7.5l/100km, whereas this supercharged WR1 has a quoted fuel consumption of 7.2l/100km. It’s also not overly noisy with the modified exhaust. You certainly hear the supercharger while accelerating, but while cruising it’s only marginally louder than a standard Swift Sport.

Brakes can be GReddy four- or six-pot units with aluminium callipers and can be specified as full competition units, but weren’t fitted to our test car. Springs are Tein, and the suspension has 32-level damping, monotube structure and adjustable pillow ball upper mounts. An optional in-car control unit is available separately.

The rest of the Swift Sport is as standard. There’s a perfectly adequate (but not stellar) stereo with WMA/MP3/CD.

If all the extra power is surplus to your abilities, turn the ESP back on. There’s also ABS, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist for the emergency stops. But it’d be a rare occasion you’d need them, because the Swift’s handling is so superb you would have to enter a corner at a fairly ludicrous speed.

Modifications don’t come cheap for the Swift, and you can expect to part with around $40,000, depending on what specification you choose. This makes it a valid alternative to a Mini Cooper or Cooper S read the review here. But it doesn’t have the power of a Mini Cooper S, something I was a little disappointed in. Sure, you get the supercharger whine, it’s definitely quicker and it handles superbly, but I expected it to be much more¦umm¦swift in a straight line. Perhaps to maintain the balance of the recipe it doesn’t need to be.

The Swift Sport as a standard car is brilliant; the WR1 just gives it that little bit extra.

Click through to the next page to read the full specifications of the Suzuki Swift Sport WR1.

Price: Around NZ$40,000

What we like

  • More perky
  • Supercharger whine
  • Excellent stopping power
  • Great handling
  • Better fuel economy

What we don’t like

  • Can start to get expensive with all the options
  • Optional livery won’t be everyone’s cup-o’-chai
  • Limited internal storage

Suzuki Swift Sport WR1 Supercharged (2008) – Specifications

Overall length mm 3765
Overall width mm 1690
Overall height mm 1510
Wheelbase mm 2390
Tread Front mm 1460
Tread Rear mm 1470
Ground Clearance mm 140
Minimum turning radius m 5.2
Curb weight kg 1090
Gross vehicle weight kg 1500
Type M16A
Cylinders 4
Number of valves 16
Displacement cc 1586
Bore X stroke 78.0 x 83.0
Compression ratio 11.0 : 1
Maximum Output (EEC net) PS/rpm 145/6800
Maximum Torque (EEC net) Nm/rpm 171/3800
Fuel distribution Multi-point injection
Fuel type 98 Octane
Fuel consumption (L/100km) Urban – 9.3
Extra urban – 6.4
Combined – 7.2
CO2 emissions (g/km) 179
Type 5-speed Manual – close ratio all synchromesh
Gear ratio 1st 3.250
2nd 1.904
3rd 1.407
4th 1.064
5th 0.885
Reverse 3.250
Final gear ratio 4.388
Power assisted Steering Rack and pinion
Suspension Front Custom
Rear Custom
Brakes Front Custom
Rear Custom
Tyres 195/50R16
Seating 5
Fuel tank (unleaded 91) Litres 43
Capacity Rear seatbacks raised 213
Rear seatbacks folded 562

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

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