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The Suzuki Swift, the sporty small hatchback built in Japan, has won followers all over the world and is a common sight on the roads of Ireland and for some time a special edition version, the Attitude has been available in Northern Ireland and will be available in the Republic in limited numbers.

The Attitude is largely based on the SZ-T variant with the 1.2 litre Dualjet engine and you will not fail to recognise the newcomer with its unique exterior styling upgrades, which hold a lot of appeal for the younger driver.
Since 2005, global sales have topped the 6.1 million mark, quite an achievement and no great surprise..
Apart from its attractive styling, the Attitude model offers good affordability with the all important low running costs and can claim to be one of the most powerful and economical cars in its class- which, by the way, is a very crowded one which leaves the buyer with a wide choice.
The Attitude adds to the standard specification of the SZ-T with a mesh front grille featuring chrome trim, a an eye catching rear spoiler, side, front and rear carbon effect skirts which adds that sporting touch and it rides on sixteen inch polished alloy wheels. Carried over from the SZ-T are the rear camera, electric front windows, manual air con, auto headlamps and so the list goes on, a very comprehensive one. Under the bonnet is the already noted Dualjet engine which delivers a highly respectable 90bhp and which is mated to a slick five speed manual transmission. I have previously gone on somewhat about the pleasures of a six speed gearbox, but after having driven the Attitude I came away quite content with its standard transmission.

Good news on emissions the CO2 figure is relatively low at 108g/km and economy is important as many will testify to the seemingly rise in prices at the pumps. Just about everyone enjoys a splash of colour and in this respect Suzuki has given the Attitude a palette of exterior colours. However the real test, of course, is when you take the wheel and start the engine and here the joy begins with the Swift Attitude. With lively acceleration and excellent road gripping qualities, such a car not only serves its purpose for a small outlay, but can also put a smile on your face. The Attitude is a very welcome addition to the seemingly ever expanding Swift family and I certainly enjoyed my time behind the wheel.

Still with Swift and when the going gets tough there is the 4×4 version using the ALLGRIP auto four-wheel drive system available as an option on the SZ5 model with a lively 1.2-litre engine. This Dualjet engine uses twin fuel injectors which aid economy with 90PS, enough to get from rest to 100kph (62mph) in around twelve seconds. The lightweight hybrid system uses a compact 12V lithium battery placed under the front passenger seat. The well proven and simple fully automatic and permanent four-wheel drive layout transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling. The viscous coupling takes on the role of a centre differential to connect the front and rear axles and is made up of two sets of annular metal plates which rotate in a casing containing a silicon type fluid. In normal operating conditions the plates will turn at the same rate but when wheel slippage occurs the silicon fluid will quickly become highly viscous when heated by increased friction and shear caused by differences between the movements of the plates. A part of the viscous coupling is connected to the driving axle and one part to the driven axle and when the front wheels spin the centre viscous coupling locks due to friction and shear caused by the differences in motion of the plates which then rapidly transfer more torque to the rear axle. The bonus is, it is automatic, when AWD is required it occurs seamlessly, there are no buttons to press or levers to engage. The thought has often crossed my mind with the Swift; it would make a great one make race series.

Ian Lynas

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