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Old 11th May 2010, 14:15   #1
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Default A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift


A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-23.jpg

I am fuelled.
Really, I am fuelled.
Yes, seriously I am fuelled.

What? did I say I am fuelled?
Yes, of course. I did not eat today but drank too much fuel.
Why? Because on May 25, somebody will say to me, "You are the fuel"!

Well, people have fret their brains and ate them for lunch, mine included. They keep asking me:
"Sid Bhai, yeh gaddi kya cheez hai?"

Manne bola, "Mainu ki pataa?"

Suddenly I feel thirsty while sitting in a dhaba and having lunch on the hot summer day of May 25, 2005. Then Suddenly, a chick comes swiftly in a car and stares at me.
I keep staring at her. Suddenly, I feel more thirsty by just staring at her.

"Oh Ji! Pyaas di ki gal hai?
Jaado moorni aati hai to kheta which bin badal barsaat hone lagta hai."

Suddenly it begins to rain! And I listen to the track "kale megha kale megha paani to barsaao..ghanan ghanan." from Lagaan in that car's stereo.

She is black and is driven by a chick called megha and she turns her car's wiper jets anti clockwise 180 degrees and starts spraying water at me and I get to quench my thirst! Kale megha nain aakhir car paani barsaa hi diya.

That was the night of May 24,2005 and was just day dreaming at the age of 20 and the nation was going crazy over 20-20..

Seriously, what exactly is a car? It took me 25 years and 4 months to realise that a car is nothing but an electrical appliance which is made of steel body bolted onto a chassis with 5 seats to transport your PGs and generations from A to B by steering right, left, ahead or back using transmissions, sometimes manually while you are pissed off or sometimes automatically while your left hand is held on to your chick.....

Well, Oh darling! yeh hai India..
Here majority of the people buy the cars from their head, not from the heart.
  • Some people consider the car as just a object that can be used to transport 5 passengers and luggage from point A to B.
  • Some people think that a car is just a washing machine that can be driven with gusto and all hell breaks loose if you are pissed off...maybe from your other half..
  • Some people think that it is a hair dryer that can be used to enjoy the wind and dry your hair by chopping the roof.
  • Some people think that a car is a truck which can seat 7 and take on any terrain in any condition...
and so on..

Well, do people ever think of a car as an "exciting fun to drive" machine?
In our country, not majority of them seems so.
All they want is "average kitthe hai" aur "discount kitthe hai" wala stuff.
Some are those types jinko "gaddiyan ragadni hai, kudiyaan nahi" and look at mazboot dhatu wali body.
They do not know ki ABS aur airbags bhi koi cheez hoti hai....

OK Ok..

We as a country drive our growth and passion on hatch backs, at least more than seventy percent of those tend to agree with me, isn't it?

While the market is today flooded with hatchbacks, each come in different shapes and sizes, the concept of an "affordable urban exciting to drive hatch" still rests with one brand.

Well, May 25 2005 was a historic day in the Indian automobile industry as none other the the empire themselves, known for its affordable, reliable and sensible cars with superb after sales service, was about to add another moniker to its portfolio-exciting and enthusiastic.

While Yash Raj films showcased this,

The pre launch hoopla was sky high. And ACI even proclaimed-It promises to be one of the most exciting cars to be launched at the modern era, an exciting car that many of can actually to afford to buy and run.

Because every new car that is launched by the empire causes the ripple. But when its the most important and exciting launch ever, expect a storm.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-26.jpg

And it did quite create a storm. Within a week, 21,000 fully paid bookings without even test drives and the car continues to fuel in hearts and minds of consumers alike. Finally, India got a car that they wanted, a car that can be purchased equally with both the head and with the heart. even today, it continues to break monthly sales records and with more than half a million derivatives roaming the country's roads, the country cannot have enough. And the empire still cannot make them enough.

Call it a 24 X 7 zinda kumbhakaran.

Well, whats there in this car that's still have the nation swooning around it and showing its competition a pair of wet pants day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year?

Of course, there is much more than to just being called a nameplate called Maruti Suzuki Swift.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-011.jpg

As the car completes its 5 successful years on May 25, 2010 and keeps on scaling new heights, lets embark upon the journey of this little wonder from Suzuki in a series of write ups, live here on team-bhp as we look at various stages in conceivement of the project, design, development, adaption to our conditions, its success story and its future.

Because my silver jubilee celebrations are not over yet...

Yet Its time for a new kind of a compact car.
And yes, Diesel rocks!
Because you are the fuel!

Last edited by sidindica : 11th May 2010 at 14:17.
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Old 11th May 2010, 14:24   #2
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nice write-up sid. no other car, before nano, in the last decade, has made so much ripple as swift did. this deserves a well-written tribute. 5 years of the king. swift set the benchmark in the hatchback segment, and competitors strove to match that. That itself is the greatest tribute.

Last edited by cuboid : 11th May 2010 at 14:29.
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Old 11th May 2010, 14:26   #3
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Nice picture, the last one!
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Old 11th May 2010, 14:36   #4
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wait, is that a two door version of the swift ? Is it actual Or just a photoshop work ?

Sid, the writing has been great, the swift deserves a mention of not only ruling India but also some countries in Europe as first time India got a car the world got at the same time.
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Old 11th May 2010, 14:41   #5
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That is the 2 door version of the Swift. No PS work here .

Look here for more.


Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
wait, is that a two door version of the swift ? Is it actual Or just a photoshop work ?

Sid, the writing has been great, the swift deserves a mention of not only ruling India but also some countries in Europe as first time India got a car the world got at the same time.
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Old 11th May 2010, 17:00   #6
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Yes, true to every word. Still remember the days when we saw the car in Bunty aur Babli. That was the first time me and my friends had 'seen' the car. But to actually see it had to wait for few more days, it was put on display at Forum mall in Bangalore, we heard it was on display and me and my roommates reach there to see a huge crowd surrounding the car which is placed behind a rope / barricades. Got a prized possession in form of an A4 size picture of car from there with the words 'You are the fuel' written across. It was pasted in the hall of our house as soon as we reached back.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 11th May 2010 at 17:01. Reason: To edit font
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Old 11th May 2010, 21:17   #7
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Part 1: Conceivement of the project:

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-suzukiswift_2005_1600x1200_wallpaper_08.jpg


Suzuki, though then a relatively small player in the global automotive industry, was a relatively well known brand in many parts of Asia and some parts of central Europe where it has a mother plant in Hungary. As a maker of sensible cars like the successful alto, wagon-r, jimny and escudo (vitara) nameplates, the swift too was a long running nameplate but that was used in variety of cars, the most prominent being the derivatives of the erstwhile esteem.

To expand globally and to make its presence felt, this new millennium Suzuki embarked upon a global image and strategy change-from a maker of budget econo boxes to a maker of exciting compact cars and SUVs.
And for that it needed to recreate a completely new identity, and for that they needed a new product for a fresh start. This new product wold be Suzuki's first truly global car with same design and engineering but with engine options based on country's requirements and demands. Also, knowing its expertise in high revving motorcycle engines, Suzuki was poised to tap its global talent in conceivement of the global car project.
A car that will be sold in Asia pacific, Europe, Russia, China, South America and the likes of Latino.

Suzuki created a new family design and its theme was boldness blended with contemporary elements. It opened a design studio in Europe and the first sketches were done by both European and Japanese Designers.
After much heated debates and discussions, acceptance and rejections, a clay mock up model was made and a concept version-Concept S was presented at the 2002 Paris motor show.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-suzukiswift_2005_1600x1200_wallpaper_3d.jpg

Suzuki had made global headlines in the field of super bikes when its hayabusa motorcycle was certified as the fastest production motorcycle on earth and a team of people were on a mission to build a car around it. This time, team suzuki had to come out with nothing but the best, read "excitement".

A new global campaign-WAY OF LIFE was to be introduced signalling a new era and a seachange from the usual Suzuki boredom.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-suzukiswift_2005_1600x1200_wallpaper_3e.jpg

The concept S got a tremendous response at the Paris motor show 2002 and the public got its first taste when the car was displayed with the hayabusa bike and formula Suzuki hayabusa race car. The car looked shockingly different and unlike anything else that Suzuki had designed ever before. In an era of cab forward designs, the concept S was a daring 2 box silhouette and even though it was bearing an uncanny resemblance to the new Mini Cooper, the public gave it a thumbs up.

The 2004 auto expo in New Delhi also marked the first time that the public got to view Maruti Suzuki's latest creation along with the hayabusa bike and the formula hayabusa car. In a stall of mundane looking marutis, this one stood out like a creative car-icature. Simply stunning and radical to say the least. Little did the Indian public knew that behind the curtains a secret project was being conceived....

Suzuki designers, buoyed by the public's enthusiastic response, went ahead and created another stunning concept-the concept S2, an open top compact roadster which almost looked production ready.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-suzukiswift_2005_1600x1200_wallpaper_3f.jpg

Displayed at 2003 Geneva Motor show, it showcased Suzuki's best global talent at one of the world's biggest auto shows. Not resting on its laurels, Suzuki engineers tireless working off the final design and mechanicals decided to showcase the car to the world in fall 2004 at the Paris motor show, the fashion capital of the world. And what better way to make a splash and to showcase your latest fashion fiesta?

So Suzuki chooses the 2004 Paris Motor show in 2004 to showcase its latest sensation-its first global compact car-the swift, the logical name chosen due to brand recognition and signaling a swift change In Suzuki's "way of life".

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-17.jpg

The public gave it a thumbs up, as the car exceeded expectations with a daring 2 box design, superb interior shape, jazzy color options and all at a promised VFM price tag, way cheaper than its competitors. Finally, Suzuki's four year effort has paid off.


The swift was designed keeping global market requirements in mind and would be powered with a variety of engine options depending upon the requirements of various countries.

Suzuki is already well known for its high revving compact sized gasoline motors and had developed a new family of its "M" series engines for its use in various cars.

For all other countries except India and China, the car had 2 engine choices:
  • M13A with 92 bhp 1300 cc in-line 4
  • M15A with 101 bhp 1500 cc in-line-4 and variable valve timing, VVT.
A couple of engine choices would be added later in the product.

The swift was not only a car that was designed keeping world markets in mind, it was also designed keeping Indian market requirements as this was the first car in which 25 of Maruti's top engineers worked in coordination with Suzuki's Japanese and European engineers to design and develop the India spec car.

As far as engines were concerned,since Indian market is extremely sensitive to price and maruti is often termed as masters in economies of scale. So, the engine too had to be an "Indian" based one and what better than to rework its best compact engine-the famous G13BB, a well known high revving motor that is extremely tuner friendly, hugely reliable and easy to service and maintain, having done duty in thousands of esteems and gypsys, and also proven in its smaller 1.0 liter avatar in the zen.

The difference between the esteem engine and the one that will power the swift is considerable. While the all aluminum 16V SOHC configuration remains in an effort to save cost and weight, the top half of the engine is completely new. The gaskets, cylinder heads, fuel injection system and ECU are completely different to suit the driving character of the swift, so is the modified gearbox which is cable operated in the interests of better reliability and durability.

There were also some differences between the India-spec car and the Euro spec car-mainly:
  • increased headroom by 2 inches due to deletion of curtain airbags in the interest of cost requirements
  • matt finish A and B pillars instead of gloss finish
  • full sized stepney instead of space saver spare wheel
  • 14" and 15" wheels instead of 16" to optimise ride and handling
  • double din empty slot for audio to let customers customise their sound systems aftermarket; Euro versions get a standard stereo.
  • high local content, as high as 70 percent to keep the price competitive.
  • improved rear seat comfort and cushion base. In fact, the Indian engineers played a vital role in the rear seat design.
  • keeping the limitations of compact size, increased front seat travel of 240 mm to liberate huge legroom for chauffeur driven owners.
The India spec car too underwent immense testing and validation at Suzuki, Japan's headquarters and Maruti's gurgaon plant was being tooled to manufacture the swift.

the suspension-front McPherson strut with coil spring and rear-torsion beam with coil spring was developed to aid handling and in fact, the swift was bench marked against the best of Euro compacts while the suspension was being developed, often touted by Suzuki as "rally based suspension system".

In fact, the launch of swift just within months of its European debut couldn't have come at a better time for maruti.
Known previously for selling "beyond life cycle" products, this new sea change in thinking philosophy clearly taught Suzuki the importance of the Indian market.

Now that we have seen how the car looks outside, how about if we open the doors and enter inside?

For this, wait for the inside story, coming up next.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-img-181.jpg
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Old 11th May 2010, 21:30   #8
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Brilliant Tribute !! But why tribute, the way it seems the Swift seems to still remain a "favourite" amongst many of us.

I am "inspired" to get mine turbo charged now !!

Hail the Swift

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Old 11th May 2010, 21:42   #9
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Awesome write up. Can't wait until they plonk the Diesel into it.
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Old 11th May 2010, 23:11   #10
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Superb thread, thanks Sid - Five Stars !
My Swift is truly the Rocksta of my life.. She's been with me for three years now, but feels fresh as a daisy.
Makes my day - each day.
Makes my heart miss a beat, every time I look at her.
Puts a smile on my face, each time I drive her !
Can't think of a more perfect car. Awesome engine, very very drivable, chuckable (to say the least !) compact, yet very comfortable.
Truly, Rocksta !

PS: I can't resist putting pictures of my Swift - Sorry Sid, hope I'm not spoiling the spirit of this thread. Mods, please remove pics if in the wrong thread.
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Old 12th May 2010, 08:57   #11
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post

Within a week, 21,000 fully paid bookings without even test drives
I'm proud to declare that I am one of those 21,000 early movers. Still remember vividly that day in May '05 when I had gone to book a Wagon-R. Saw some brochures of the Swift and boy did it look good or what - atleast on paper

Salesperson said 'Sir if you book now, you will be among the first ones to get it delivered'. Was still a bit apprehensive not having seen it in flesh, leave alone test driving it. Still went ahead and paid the 50K deposit amount. After all if I ended up not liking it, I could have cancelled my booking and gone for the Wagon-R

Then came the agonizing wait.. Every single day was difficult to get by. Meanwhile I used to look for even the smallest bit of information on the car on Internet and Auto mags. Maybe just to reinforce my decision . Somewhere down the line, a couple of test drives also happened. By then I had realized I had done the right thing. Bookings were pouring in, and people were using all kinds of 'jack' to get theirs delivered at the earliest.

It finally arrived by end of June. First few months I was so elated just to be driving the car. Office used to be some 30 kms away and I used to look forward to taking the wheel each day. Along came a plaque from MSIL signed by none other than Mr. Khattar himself congratulating me for being a proud owner of the first batch of Swifts produced in the country. Oh yes, proud I was, and still am.

Lalli as we call it (yeah the Red Swift what else) is now almost 5 and still going strong.

Thank you so much Sid for bringing back all the good memories.
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Old 12th May 2010, 10:45   #12
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I remember the time when I did my summers (marketing project) in maruti - the place was buzzing with excitement. There were numerous meetings wrt the Indian launch, dealership interactions, best practices etc etc etc.

At the same time (yes way back in May 2005) they were deciding with the dates of the Swift Sedan launch (yes names Dzire later) including Diesel variants for the same.

Maruti truly upped its ante with this product - and till date it has been one of the hottest selling products in the Maruti stable (diesel still has a 90 day wait period....period).

While borrowing heavily from the mini - the design came as a whiff of fresh air for the young Indians so used to toy cars ala alto and 800 and box on wheels ala WagonR (which I appreciate for its utilitarian features), though people were divided over the looks of the Swift (sporty cool on one side – ugly as a toad on the other).

It drove well, was decently frugal and heal yeah it could be modded. So within a month of launch we saw sporty body kits, low profile tyres and the works – some more colour to the character the Swift already had by the ton.

5 years and still going strong – with minor mods and engine change (for the better), Swift is one success story, the other car manufacturers in India, can only wish they could emulate.

PS: Though on a personal front I did go and buy a SX4, the Swift was and will always be my first love. Maybe when it’s time for a second car, a Diesel could be the One !!!

Last edited by suprateep : 12th May 2010 at 10:55.
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Old 12th May 2010, 12:09   #13
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Part 2: The inside story

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-26.jpg

The swift is positioned as an affordable compact sporty car for all kinds of demographic buyers and age groups. But it is the youth that has been targeted by Suzuki here. So, the interior theme too is a combination of style, flair and functionality. It uses a wraparound theme around the driver and the ergonomics are designed in such a way that it is easier for driver and co passenger to reach out for controls.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-101.jpg

The meter cluster reeks of Suzuki's motorcycle heritage and the fonts used for dials too are super bike inspired. Of special mention is the idle position of tachometer's needle which is at six-o-clock position, clearly inspired by the hayabusa. Continuing to the rest of the dashboard, the all black interior theme is obviously designed for restrained sportiness. In our country where people are crazy about that so called "luxurious" beige interiors, the black theme may appear to be claustrophobic at first but suddenly seems to make practical sense, especially at resisting sunlight, easy to clean and polish and added durability, with the added benefit of increase in air conditioning efficiency.
The quality of interior plastics used in the swift was clearly the best in a Suzuki product till date and the Indian version, too was no different after criticism of plastics in its earlier cars like the zen and the esteem. Localization levels did witness a difference in quality between the global and the Indian version but not enough to deter potential buyers.

Depending upon the markets and country requirements, the swift comes with a standard manual air conditioning and for India, an option of automatic climate control, for the first time ever in a compact car too was added in the top end model.

Space and Comfort

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-28.jpg

Keeping size compact, two box shape and a small wheelbase are limitations which can hamper the interior space, especially at the back. The swift's limitations too, are obvious with less than stellar legroom and mediocre 232 liter boot space. But the positives too, are there to out weigh the two negatives.

First of all, the wide front seats offer comfort levels unheard of in a maruti product before and their squab design offers superb under thigh and lumbar support. Perfect for long drives. And keeping in line with the car's sporty nature, the side bolstering is pretty aggressive which literally hugs your body imparting with the sporty feel of a rally car. Despite its size limitations, the front seats have huge 240 mm of fore and aft travel range to suit drivers of all heights and sizes and in addition to that, select variants are also equipped with a driver's seat height adjust mechanism, again a first for an Indian compact 2 box car in 2005. So finding an optimized driving position is easy.

But things are not exactly rosy at the rear, with legroom and width at a premium especially with the front seats traveled fully back with that danda (sorry SAM for using your words, too good to resist). But hey, things are still rosy out there. Well, fact is that often in a car where a vamp and a chick travel at the back seat, the front seat's travel range can be pulled fully forward to release enough legroom to make you chick happy while the vamp gets her karmon ka phal..

Its still best to keep two at the rear as three would be a squeeze due to limited width. But one point here deserves mention-the seat comfort at the rear-simply superb for a car of its size and footprint. In fact, in a country where many people are chauffeur driven, who else knows backseat comfort like we do?
So, the 25 engineers from Maruti have played a vital role in designing a back seat with good cushioning, under thigh support and angle of inclination, which could have been better.
International markets also get the added benefit of 60:40, but at launch the Indian market model only got a single bench folding rear seat,in the interests of costs, thus limiting its practicality, but hey, does one really care about it especially if he loves to drive single?

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-27.jpg

Now that we have explored the inside story, lets sit inside the cockpit, wear our seat belt before that warning alarm annoys us, turn on the ignition and see how she goes..
But hey, its a hot summer out there.
Maybe time for a break perhaps?
Turn on the engine, set yourself to a comfortable temperature using the climate control to stay fresh before we see the heart of the matter in the next part....
Kyonki dil jeetne ke liye haseena chaiye. Paseena nahi.

A tribute-Maruti Suzuki Swift-3.jpg

Last edited by sidindica : 12th May 2010 at 12:11.
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Old 12th May 2010, 18:22   #14
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Excellent write up Sid !!! As always. Please also shed some light on its JWRC journey. IIRC it has won JWRC S1600 rally.
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Old 12th May 2010, 20:28   #15
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The swift truly requires a tribute.
Even after 5+ years after introduction there's so much waiting period and people still want one.
I'm on the look out for a zxi and getting one seems close to impossible,although the love for the car doesn't deter the buyer.
Would love to join the swift revolution soon.Keep the updates comin sid,waiting to read the master class article!
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