This year Suzuki marks its centenary. The Japanese company began life as a textile machinery-maker, getting around to motor manufacture in 1955 with the Suzulight, a little car with a 14.5bhp two-cylinder, two-stroke engine.

Fast forward 100 years from those humble beginnings in engineering production and the firm Mr Suzuki began is powering into the electric driving revolution.

The firm has updated its range with further hybrid technology, after dipping its toe in the water with a 12-volt ‘mild hybrid’ for the Baleno family hatchback in 2016.

The latest Vitara, S-Cross and Swift Sport models get more oomph from a new 48-volt electric motor. The five-door SUV Vitara is now on sale alongside the S-Cross crossover and Swift Sport, with the Ignis and other Swift models hot on their heels, equipped with the ‘mild technology’.

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The new electric motor assists the petrol engine during vehicle take-off for a higher level of torque available from 2,000rpm and up to 3,000rpm. Torque boost, not provided on the 12-volt system, enhances driving feel by adding torque from the electric motor to engine torque during acceleration.

In addition, an electric motor idling function eliminates fuel consumption by using the motor to idle the engine without injecting fuel.

The compact and high-performance lithium-ion battery stores electrical energy recovered from deceleration and braking. The manufacturer says the hybrid equipment adds less than 15kg to the overall weight of the car.


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THREE-GRADE hybrid line-up of SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5 models.

• Up to 20 per cent lower CO2 emissions than before at just 104g/km for 2WD models and 15 per cent improvement in overall fuel consumption.

• Introduction of new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with Suzuki’s Boosterjet technology now offers a greater and wider spread of torque available from 2,000rpm.

• Higher level of standard safety specification fitted as standard to all Vitara models include dual sensor brake support, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.

• Seven airbags including drivers knee airbag fitted as standard on all Vitara models.

• Bluetooth and climate control fitted as standard on all models.


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THE S-Cross first went on sale in October 2013 and, three years later, the facelifted model was introduced with more distinctive and upright front-end styling, offering a stronger and bolder road presence.

• The car offers ample room for five occupants with their luggage and the double sliding panoramic glass sunroof fitted as standard on the SZ5 model has one of the largest opening areas in its category

• Large luggage capacity of 430 litres.

• Higher level of standard safety specification now on all S-Cross models, including collision mitigating Radar Brake Support as standard.

• The petrol engine and hybrid technology found in the Vitara are shared by the S-Cross


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THE sporty version of the highly-capable Swift (a car that should be on anyone’s short-list if they are searching for a little hatchback) comes with the petrol engine and hybrid technology found in the Vitara and S-Cross. With its reduced wind resistance, tuned exhaust system, enhanced suspension and brakes, the car lives up to its Sport title.

• Uses Suzuki’s ‘Heartect’ lightweight platform with a kerb weight of just over 1,000kg.

• Six airbags, auto air conditioning, DAB radio, privacy glass, LED daytime running lights and Bluetooth fitted as standard.

• Safety specification enhanced for 2020 model to include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.

• Smartphone link display audio, rear view camera, front fog lamps, navigation, LED headlamps, polished 17in alloy wheels, rear electric windows, dual sensor brake support, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control all fitted as standard equipment.