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Turbocharged Suzuki Swift GTI and Vitara set for Australia

2016 Suzuki Swift GTI

The Suzuki Swift GTI — a cult car from the 1990s — is finally poised for a comeback. The new turbo 1.6-litre engine due to join the stablemate Vitara range next year (see below) is understood to have been developed also for a hot hatch version of the next-generation Swift.

The last version of the Swift GTI was phased out at the turn of the century.

Three generations of Swift GTI were sold in Australia from 1986 to 2000, notching up class wins at Bathurst and on the rally circuit, in the process developing a cult following among the hot-hatch crowd.

Since the GTI was axed, Suzuki has had a "Sport" variant of the Swift, which — even with a 1.6-litre engine — hasn't lived up to the GTI hype.

The original GTI, a lightweight three-door, was powered by a high revving 1.3-litre twin cam engine.

But as the Swift grew in size and weight, the 1.6-litre Sport couldn't match the pace of the lighter 1.3 GTI.

Suzuki Australia boss Andrew Moore won't discuss future model plans but CarsGuide understands the Vitara's 1.6-litre turbo is destined for other models. Power figures are yet to be released.

There is a catch — enthusiasts will need to be patient. The next generation Swift is not due in Australia until late next year or early 2017 — and the turbocharged GTI version is likely to follow at least 12 months later.

Suzuki Vitara Turbo

The Vitara will get turbo power within six months.

A 1.6-litre flagship is tipped to be priced below $30,000 drive-away for an automatic front-wheel drive.

It will replace the current RT-X version of the Vitara, which has a non-turbo 1.6-litre.

Sales of the new Vitara got off to a slow start locally. Global demand has limited shipments from the factory in Hungary to Suzuki Australia.

Are you excited about a Swift GTI comeback? Let us know in the comments below.