New K-series (K14B) engine from Suzuki
SUZUKI is about to launch a new generation of the popular Swift light car in February but you’d be hard pressed to notice, it looks the same as the current model.
Under the skin changes are extensive starting with a new 1.4-litre engine offering good performance and economy but with less power and torque.
Fuel efficiency was a focus for Suzuki engineers when they were planning a replacement for Swift. The new, slightly smaller capacity engine is good for 5.5 litres/100km and produces 132g/km of carbon dioxide.
That represents a 13 per cent improvement over the old engine and makes it the most economical naturally aspirated engine in the class.
The new K14B engine produces 70kW and 130Nm and is an under square design with a torque producing longer stroke than the superseded M15A engine.
It also features electronic throttle control to give better launch feel and overtaking performance.
Suzuki engineers concentrated on weight reduction as part of the new engine development, and the new K14B comes complete with a lightweight plastic cylinder head cover, lighter pistons and narrower crankshaft bearings.
Other key features of the new engine include an aluminum alloy cylinder head, a center plug pent-roof combustion chamber, variable valve timing, cross flow intake and exhaust layout, and direct drive valve train for increased rigidity.
The 1.4-litre engine is matched to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, another anachronism in the days of five or six-speed autos.
The five-speed manual transmission has a new assist mechanism for reduced driver effort, while an optimized shift-lever pattern further promotes smooth changes.
It also features a new mechanism to prevent accidental shifts from fifth gear to reverse, while a new hydraulic release system in the clutch further aids smooth gear changes.
A revised four-speed automatic transmission is also available with a revised straight shift pattern, replacing the gated version of the old model.
The all-new Swift automatic features a hill-hold function to ensure fuss-free launches in hilly urban areas.
Dynamics have been sharpened with a newly developed steering system for crisper response, greater rigidity in front and rear suspension, brake improvements and a lighter, stiffer body.
Extensive use of ultra high tensile strength steel has increased torsional rigidity by 15 per cent, providing an excellent basis for improved dynamics.
The center of gravity is slightly lower in the new Swift, while a wider track further aids stability and handling.
Specially designed low-play joints in the steering-column shaft provide a firmer, more linear steering feel.
The electric power steering system also has a newly adopted variable-gear-ratio design; a relatively quick ratio is adopted when the rack is near the center point to make the car respond quickly at the start of a turn, while a relatively slow ratio near the steering wheel’s turning limits reduces the effort required for bigger turns.
The front suspension utilizes McPherson struts/coil springs together with an enhanced stabilizer layout which combine to give better roll stiffness without any weight penalties.
Swift comes with seven airbags, including side curtain airbags and driver’s knee airbag.
Combined with standard electronic stability program, the all-new Swift has already earned a maximum five-star rating from the European new car assessment program.