Suzuki Swift GTi: the Mini-Cooper S of the 1980s

01 July 2018

It is probably fair to say that the Suzuki Swift GTi was to the 1980s what the Subaru Impreza WRX would be to the 1990s: no-one expected it, no other car could match its performance for money equation and this remarkable machine quickly established a cult following. In many respects the Swift GTi was a latterday Morris Mini-Cooper S.

The first edition Swift GTi was the first car I ever bought with the major purpose of putting it to the racetrack. At the time I was campaigning my old Alfetta 1.8 sedan in the NSW Street Sedan series. But I had recently bought a brand new Nissan Pulsar ET with more than half a plan to enter it in Group E. It was a great little hot hatch and its turbocharged engine took kindly to a new big bore exhaust system.

Sure it looked like a little bread van but it was the engine that counted.