Suzuki returns to Simola Hillclimb this weekend with ‘accessible’ contender

The Suzuki Swift Sport will compete in Class A1. Picture: Suzuki SA.

The Suzuki Swift Sport will compete in Class A1. Picture: Suzuki SA.

Published May 2, 2024


Suzuki returned to the Simola Hillclimb this weekend to show once again that you don’t need a super-expensive sports car to get your adrenaline fix.

It will be Suzuki’s third assault on the 1.9 kilometre Knysna stretch of tar to try and clinch top honours in Class A1. It’s also their second year as a Tier 1 sponsor allowing them to put a speed camera in the renowned Zone 4 and Zone 8, now renamed the Suzuki Esses.

Three Suzuki Swift Sport hatchbacks will be leading the charge in the class that is open to vehicles powered by a factory-fitted four-cylinder engine with forced induction (turbo or supercharged).

Piloting the three stock-standard cars are advanced driving instructor Wesley Greybe and fellow motoring scribes Brendon Staniforth of Maroela Media and Thomas Falkiner from Times Live.

The journey starts on Saturday May 4 with four timed practice attempts. Picture: Suzuki Auto SA.

The little Swifts are powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 103kW and 230Nm, sending power to the front wheels via either a six speed manual or six speed automatic transmission.

It comes in at only 970kg as a result of the engineers trying to keep it light and nimble, and that included even shaving down the magnets in each speaker.

It has a lower ride height, higher roll stiffness, 16-inch alloys with special Monroe front struts and rear shock absorbers as standard.

They start their journey on Saturday with four timed practice attempts and later in the day the first three qualifying sprints.

On Sunday they get the last three qualifying opportunities to see which three competitors from each class are fast enough to reach the finals to battle it out for King of the Hill.

“There is a beautiful symmetry between our brand ethos and that of the Simola Hillclimb. From its inception in 2010, it has endeavoured to be accessible to each and every motorsport enthusiast. In much the same vein, Suzuki Auto wants to make fun and reliable motoring accessible to all,” said Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto South Africa.

“One thing that we did not anticipate when we first entered, is the reception that we would receive from the fans. People cheer for the Suzuki Swift Sport and celebrate its racing times, perhaps because it is one of the few cars at the event that represents and is accessible to the average South African.”