We've all witnessed the unveil of the new 2017 Suzuki Swift this year and are eagerly awaiting its launch in India. But for those thinking that the car will come soon, well the wait is a bit longer. Maruti Suzuki have said that the car will be launched in India in the first half of 2018 and this means that the Auto Expo next year will be the apt place to make a strong beginning. Having said that, there's something new about the 2017 Suzuki Swift that's been unveiled now and this one is the hybrid version. The 2017 Suzuki Swift Hybrid was recently unveiled in Japan and is available in two variants - SG and SL. Now this is not a mild hybrid, mind you like the SHVS showcased at the time of the global unveil, rather carries an electric motor assisting the petrol unit. So, it's a proper hybrid and one which is more fuel efficient. We say that because the automaker claims a mileage of 32 kmpl in the Japanese cycle and that's quite a good number, one has to admit.
The Suzuki Swift Hybrid remains the same in proportions and it is the technology under the hood that has seen a change. Powering the Swift Hybrid is a 1.2-litre petrol engine that churns out 89 bhp and is mated to a 10 kW electric motor generator sending power only to the front wheels. The hybrid powertrain is paired to a 5-speed AMT unit.
Apart from the hybrid engine, the new Suzuki Swift gets a host of tech upgrades as well. The hatchback can detect low road conditions and will shut the petrol engine off when coasting and run on electric power alone for a limited distance. Suzuki has managed to weigh the Swift Hybrid just under 1000 kg, which results in the hatchback qualifying for several tax benefits in Japan.
The Suzuki Swift Hybrid gets no exterior changes as such, barring the 'Hybrid' badge added to the front fender. The cabin too remains largely similar, save for the blue lining on the gear selector and a blue display on the instrument console. The Swift Hybrid SL variant also comes with paddle shifters, while the car is loaded on safety tech including Suzuki's Dual Camera Brake Support that uses lasers and cameras to help detect pedestrians.
The new generation Suzuki Swift is an extremely important product for India and is slated to make its domestic debut at the 2018 Auto Expo. While India will get the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engine options, as well as the manual and AMT units; the hybrid is unlikely. That said, the new Swift diesel is expected to return around 28 kmpl, going by the ARAI figures on the new generation Dzire.
With the high pricing and expensive technology backing the Swift Hybrid, Maruti Suzuki has refrained from introducing the hybrid version in the country even on the current generation model. Now, with the new GST norms charging 43 per cent taxes on hybrid cars, the Indian automaker will surely refrain from introducing the Swift hybrid here. More so, since the Ciaz and Ertiga that get the SHVS mild-hybrid systems are now over a ₹ 1 lakh more expensive.