Red Rooster’s Turbo Swift

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BY
VIVEK VENUGOPAL

February 19

The G13B Swift was hot when it was launched in 2005 but now you probably would pass many off, as you see loads on the road with all possible body kits, projections beams and alloy wheels. It is even easier to miss this white Swift VXi of Red Rooster Performance as an ordinary Swift were it not for the Lenso Samurai wheel and that extra grill on the front bumper.

This Swift runs 9psi on the stock internals. Red Rooster who uses it as their demo car claims it was dyno-ed to develop around 125bhp on the wheels. We couldn’t do a proper timing with the car, but it felt seriously quick once the turbo comes to full boost. A sizeable and equally expensive BMC CDA performance air filter draws air into the Garrett GT20 turbo mounted deep inside the hood. A Turbosmart blow off valve provides the required sound effects while a custom exhaust system has been completely fabricated from the manifold to the muffler. An electronic boost controller and a Haltech Sprint 500 stand alone fuel management system take care of the electronic side. The drive train has been upgraded with a stage I Exedy clutch. The suspension system has been swapped for a Tein super street set up with EDFC(Electronic Damping Force Controller). Braking has been improved by using Mintex pads and the tryes have been upgraded to wide 205 section Yokohama S drives to keep wheel spin under check.

Or so you think. Get the engine up to 2000 revs and there is enough wheel spin to keep you entertained in the shift to second and even third gear. Power delivery is relentless right up to 5500rpm. And the Exedy clutch bites in well to transfer all the power to the front wheels. The engine feels a lot more guttural than the 1.3litre capacity suggests and that is not just in that part of the powerband where the turbo comes alive. Drivability is good, since the engine behaves like a healthy naturally aspirated motor below the boost level. A small lack of low end response will be felt when moving off from a halt and you need to carefully release the clutch to prevent it from stalling.

Tein superstreet is slowly becoming our favourite as the most well sorted suspension set up for Indian conditions. It gives great dynamics without the expense of ride quality. With electronic damping force control, you can alter the way the dampers behave and tune your ride accordingly. With the right set of tyres, the Swift has always been a good handler but with Teins it is even better. It feels much more planted and forgiving in the normal setting, but you can tweak it a little to make it even better. The smaller diameter three spoke Toora steering wheel feels just about right and is closer to the driver for added control.

Red Rooster has logged in more than 20,000kms on this car without any faults to report. The turbo drive package costs around Rs. 2.25lakhs and is a worthy addition to your Swift.

Get the turbo on boost and it is a different story altogether. The car accelerates forward in proper tuned car fashion. There is no let up in power till 5500rpm and though most enthusiasts complain about the rev limit being lower on turbocharged cars, but there is no denying they are fast in every gear. This particular Laura sounds rorty thanks to its uprated Miltek exhaust system I got to throw around Ketan’s car on the same twisty bits where I did the Honda BRV that morning. Not only could I carry almost double the speed through a follow through, it still felt like child’s play in the Laura. The combination of good grippy tyres and the Bilstein B14 coilovers is hard to beat in the corners. Yes, these track focussed coilovers are a bit stiff for daily use, but it offers supercar levels of grip in the corners. The chassis feels even tighter thanks to Eibach antiroll bars and polyurethane bushes all around. And the Tarox G88 brakes with Strada pads are so confidence inspiring, you soon forget you are doing silly speeds all the time.

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BY VIVEK VENUGOPAL

ASSISTANT FASHION EDITOR

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