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the staff of Motorsport Marketing
the staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
7/8/14 10:54 a.m.

Story by Alan Cesar

Suzuki’s North American operations just rang their death knell. The producer of many a widow-making sportbike never could quite get its four-wheeled vehicles to gain as much recognition in the broader American market. Its last significant effort was the stylish, mid-sized Kizashi sedan. There hasn’t been much in the brand for car enthusiasts to latch onto. …

Read the rest of the story

msterbee
msterbee Reader
10/5/23 9:55 a.m.

I got one of the last of these to be sold in 1994.  I worked at GM Design Center at the time. The (base) car was also badged as a Geo Metro in the US and Pontiac Firefly (Where it had a 3-cylinder turbo) in Canada, I found Firefly decals in one of the studios shortly after the purchase and rebadged the car so it would appear that I was driving a GM car when I parked it at work. It sowed a lot of confusion as most people didn't know about the Canadian version.  laugh

Sadly, it was hit by a car while parked in front of my house one night. The car was destroyed and somehow the driver of the other car was able to run. indecision

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
10/5/23 10:13 a.m.

I had wanted to put a V8 in the MK1 Swift/Sprint/Forsa/Firefly since they came out in 1985.  Finally did.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
10/5/23 10:41 a.m.

I absolutely loved the G13B. It was/is such an obnoxious, violent little engine. The rest of the car.... well..... left a lot to be desired. Rear suspension motion ratio made it difficult to get a good spring rate. The body had more flex than a pot of wet noodles. The steering was so slow that I was shuffle steering for a slalom. And the transmission ratios were made by a masochist that loved to hurt you. 

But goodness they are a lot of fun. My 94 GT with a full tank of fuel weighed in at 1780lbs on the SCCA's scales and that was with a full interior. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/5/23 10:45 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

One of my favorite things is when someone explains why they love a particular car by first listing a bunch of reasons why the car isn't that good, but always ending it with something like "but it was really fun to drive."

Absolutely nothing wrong with loving cars that way, I just think it's funny. wink

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
10/5/23 11:04 a.m.

These were fun cars and I remember a couple of them running Showroom Stock at our local SCCA club races.

I do have one bone to pick with the article: "many a widow-making sportbike".

I may be a Yamaha guy but even I know Suzuki made some of the best handling bikes out there.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
10/5/23 11:09 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Don't get me wrong I'd never buy another. But I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to wring out someone else's lol

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/5/23 11:18 a.m.

I remember seeing a leftover at a local dealership in 1994 or ’95. I forget the asking price, though. Could it have been like $9999 or less?

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
10/5/23 12:28 p.m.

I haven't seen one of these in, probably since 2001. Good luck finding one now. Too bad as I bet I'd love one.

msterbee
msterbee Reader
10/5/23 12:51 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

If I remember right, I think mine was just over $10K. 

msterbee
msterbee Reader
10/5/23 12:54 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

I remember seeing a leftover at a local dealership in 1994 or ’95. I forget the asking price, though. Could it have been like $9999 or less?

I found a listing on cars.com that says the original list price was $10,839.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/23 1:20 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

I may be a Yamaha guy but even I know Suzuki made some of the best handling bikes out there.

Someone once told me that the average lifespan of a Hayabusa owner was two weeks after they bought it.

 

Not sure how true that ever was, but given the clientele it was certainly believable enough.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
10/5/23 1:56 p.m.

So I just spent the last hour checking FBM nationwide. There are 2 swift GT's for sale, one with original drivetrain one swapped to the metro 3-cyl (fun fact, all NA Suzuki swifts from 1989-up were 4-cyl). There are about 100 Cappuccino and Jimny's, which were never sold here. 

FORZDA1
FORZDA1 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/5/23 3:06 p.m.

Back when I was much younger and poor, I owned this car as a 1989 Chevy Sprint Turbo with the 1.0 liter 3 cylinder turbocharged engine.  It was fun for a few months until I autocrossed it.  It was pretty damn quick in a parking lot and surprised a whole lot of people.  I traded it off after a few events though.  The rear panhard bar mount on the chassis would buckle the floor so badly in a sideways corner entry that it would pop back loudly when unloaded under power.  Traded it for a 1991 Ford Ford Econobox GT and autocrossed that car for 17 years.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/5/23 3:11 p.m.

In reply to msterbee :

I seem to recall this particular car advertised for less than $10,000, so maybe it was discounted? I want to say it was an unsold, previous-year model sitting at the Daytona Suzuki dealer. Mind you, this was almost 30 years ago. 

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
10/5/23 5:53 p.m.
bobzilla said:

There are 2 swift GT's for sale, one with original drivetrain one swapped to the metro 3-cyl (fun fact, all NA Suzuki swifts from 1989-up were 4-cyl).

Fun fact: Except for the ones that came with 3cyl engines. 

Trent
Trent PowerDork
10/5/23 6:03 p.m.

I have been ignoring this one for about a week
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1938168173233945/?ref=search&referral_code=null&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A4ae2cc9e-b3ac-4699-a023-c347077df2e9

 

Poor things are essentially extinct.

 

But I would probably just be better off stockpiling the motors

One and another

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
10/5/23 6:20 p.m.

In reply to Trent :

Thank goodness that I'm on thr other side of the country.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/23 6:46 p.m.
Peabody said:
bobzilla said:

There are 2 swift GT's for sale, one with original drivetrain one swapped to the metro 3-cyl (fun fact, all NA Suzuki swifts from 1989-up were 4-cyl).

Fun fact: Except for the ones that came with 3cyl engines. 

Which ones were that?

I know at some point, all Swifts came with the 1.3l.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/23 6:50 p.m.
CyberEric said:

I haven't seen one of these in, probably since 2001. Good luck finding one now. Too bad as I bet I'd love one.

My youngest aunt had one until, I think, 2009.  Then something happened (rear shock tower rusted out?) and she bought a new Fit.

She loves the Fit, but she preferred her Metro, which replaced her favorite car of all time... an '86 Encore that was the best car ever, took her to work and all around the country without any issues, and then it got rear-ended in 1996.

I keep telling her they made one good Encore and she got it.

 

Not sure what she is going to replace the Fit with, nobody sells cars in that class in the US anymore.  At the current rate this will have to happen around 2040.  

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
10/5/23 7:21 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I don't remember exactly, it was 20 years ago, but at least 91-93. 
I had a 93 and remember looking at a 91. 

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
10/5/23 7:44 p.m.

My metro was umm,different then most :)

https://youtu.be/_AbPkpyLRW8?si=J_uAuRNQQI6088LO

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/5/23 7:45 p.m.

Never should have sold mine. I had a Chevy Sprint Turbo too.

I am running out of places to stash cars.

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
10/5/23 9:48 p.m.

Years ago I autocrossed with a guy who had one.  His nickname was "Tippy."

RacerBoy75
RacerBoy75 Reader
10/5/23 11:17 p.m.

I had the four cylinder non-GT model, which was underwhelming performance-wise. Sure, it was quicker than a Metro, but the taller gearing of the Swift really hurt it. If I had kept it I was going to put a Metro transaxle in it. I wanted a Swift GT, but eventually ended up trading it in on an Acura Integra, which was a much quicker and nicer car.

There has been mention of the 3-cylinder turbo Firefly from Canada. I was driving from Portland, OR to Astoria, OR one night when I got in a race with one of those (I had a 1985 CRX Si). It was pretty much dead-even on the straights but I could pull him in the turns; eventually we stopped at a traffic light and rolled down our windows to talk. He had his wife and an infant in a car seat in the back! I was kind of angry that he was being stupid by racing another stupid person (me) with a child in the car.

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