IN THE LEAD-UP to next month's Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki has presented a plug-in hybrid version of its popular Swift hatch.
The Swift Plug-In Hybrid concept is powered primarily by an electric motor, charged from a wall socket for short trips. As the battery's charge begins to run low, a 658cc petrol engine kicks in to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack.
The basics of the system mimic the likes of GM?s Chevrolet Volt by not directly linking the petrol engine to the driven wheels.
The electric motor produces 55kW with the petrol engine capable of generating 40kW, and battery placement runs down the centre of the car, through the centre console area.
The Swift Plug-In Hybrid Concept differs visually from the production Swift with redesigned headlamps, restyled wheels and a window in the bonnet to view the hybrid system.
Inside, there?s lightweight, mesh-trimmed seats and a redesigned centre console with open windows to show off the battery pack.
Suzuki has yet to offer any official word of its intention to enter the hotly-contested hybrid market. However, with the Swift Plug-In Hybrid a clear indication of where the carmaker's attention has been focused, a hybrid vehicle of some sort looks likely for the company's future.
Whatever direction the company takes in the increasingly environmentally-conscious future, this news adds credence to reports in August that a hybrid version of the upcoming Suzuki Kizashi is in development.