The next Suzuki Swift has hit the road, with design cues from the first two Swift generations – and an expected range of hybrid power options.
What’s believed to be the next-generation 2023 Suzuki Swift city car has been spied testing in Europe, ahead of its expected Japanese launch as soon as this year.
While the prototype spied doesn’t wear Suzuki badging, its proportions are reminiscent of current and past generations of the Swift, with alloy wheels and headlight clusters akin to the car in showrooms today.
Gone are the ‘hidden’ high-mounted rear door handles introduced with the current Swift, replaced by traditional units at the same height as the front handles – and a more conventional C-pillar, without a black plastic accent like today’s car.
The overall design appears to be a nod to the first (2004-10) and second-generation (2010-17) European Swifts, with an upright rear pillar, simple proportions, and tail-light clusters which don’t extend into the tailgate.
A camouflage wrap disguises the front-end styling, however the headlights appear to be a similar shape to the current Suzuki Swift, with an equally-similar elliptical grille design.
The interior of the new Swift is not visible in these spy photos, however Suzuki’s latest-generation models offer 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, digitised instrument displays, and niceties including wireless phone charging, 360-degree cameras and heated leather seats.
Reports out of Japan suggest the next Swift will be available with some form of hybrid power – some sources claim it will be a mild-hybrid system with a 1.2-litre engine, while others suggest a Toyota-like ‘full hybrid’ option with a 1.5-litre engine.
A 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is rumoured to be offered in most models in Japan – though it’s unclear if the 1.0-litre turbo engine in Australia’s GLX Turbo will carry on.
A new Swift Sport flagship is set to follow in 2023, with a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a mild-hybrid system, expected to offer about 110kW – up from 103kW in the current non-hybrid Sport, or 95kW in Europe, where the current Sport is offered as a 48-volt mild hybrid.
Japanese reports suggest the 2023 Suzuki Swift may be revealed within the coming months – though the fact the first prototypes are only being seen now suggests a launch may be further away, possibly into next year.
An Australian launch is all but a certainty, given the axing of the Indian-built Baleno will leave the Swift as Suzuki’s only offering in the ‘light car’ market segment.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.