Suzuki still makes cars, just sadly not for America. A good one is the Suzuki SwiftSport Katana widebody coming to this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, based on the recently revived Suzuki Katana motorcycle. I’ve just got one big problem with this widebody hatchback, though.
Suzuki announced it wouldn’t sell cars in the U.S. market anymore back in 2012, and that’s sad for a lot of reasons. It meant we lost the Kizashi, a perfectly fine compact sedan, and it meant we would never get the Jimny, a perfectly adorable compact off-roader. But it also meant we lost the Swift, a smart and simple, fairly sporty hatchback.
And that last one is particularly painful today, as I have learned that Suzuki is bringing a widebody Swfit to the Tokyo Auto Salon, and it looks fantastic. There’s also a custom Jimny and Hustler headed to the Salon, too, according to Autoblog.
This new widebody Swift is based on a limited edition model, the Suzuki Swift Sport Katana.If you know motorcycles, you know Suzuki took the Katana name from one of its most iconic sporting motorcycles that was recently reintroduced after over a decade and adapted it to the hatchback.
The limited-edition car announced back in May of 2019, added a strut-tower brace, cat-back exhaust, adjustable sport suspension, 17 or 18-inch wheels, and a big power boost over the standard hatch (which maxes out at just 110 horsepower) with a 138 horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Only 30 were built, and they all went to the Netherlands (did they deserve them?).
That car was only a €4,000 (roughly $4,500) premium over the standard €28,999 (roughly $32,400) car, which is a pretty good deal.
But now they have made at least one more Katana edition, except wider, for the Tokyo Auto Salon. And I stillhave a problem with it.
It’s unclear what powertrain is in this so-far one-off widebody, but since it’s likely the same 138 HP 1.4-liter turbo engine as the previous Katana edition Swift, I have determined that this is not enough power for one very simple reason: the Katana bike is still more powerful, at 150 horsepower.
If it was me in the boardrooms of Suzuki, sipping the coffee and eating the pre-packaged pastries and enjoying myself for snagging a “cool” project at the company, I would not let the meeting on the Swift widebody Katana end until I had convinced everyone that we can’t ship a car named after a motorcycle with less power than said motorcycle.
There’s just no logic to it. Regardless of whether or not the bike would still be faster if the car’s power was also 150 HP, on paper it still makes the car look weak.
What’s the problem here? Bike engine doesn’t fit in the car? Make it fit. The 1.4-liter turbo engine can’t get to 150 HP? Is there room for both a turbo and supercharger?
I just feel like Suzuki has really left too much on the table here. Does the Swift need more power? Absolutely not. Nobody needs more power, except maybe the Mazda 3.
But if you’re going to use a hatchback to brag about your cool motorcycle and actually have it mean anything at all, you should bring the car up to the level of the bike. Also, I think the widebody could still be wider. Figure it out, Suz.