Suzuki Cultus

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Suzuki Cultus
Suzuki Swift 4door red vl.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Suzuki
Production 1983–2003
Body and chassis
Class Supermini
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform GM S platform
Chronology
Successor Suzuki Cultus Crescent (Japan)
Suzuki Aerio Hatchback (United States and Canada)
Suzuki Ignis (Europe)

The Suzuki Cultus is a supermini car produced by the Japanese manufacturer Suzuki from 1983 to 2003. It was first presented at the 25th Tokyo Motor Show, formally introduced to the Japanese domestic market in 1983 and ultimately sold in seven countries across three generations and marketed worldwide as the Suzuki Swift. An alliance formed in 1981 between GM and Suzuki (and Isuzu) allowed GM to market the Cultus as a captive import internationally under more than a dozen nameplates including the Geo Metro, Chevrolet Sprint, Holden Barina.[1] It was also known as the S-car within GM.

Offered across its lifespan in four body-style variations with engines from the Suzuki G engine family, the second generation Cultus still remains in production in Pakistan. The Cultus family of vehicles has been marketed in Asia, North America, South America, Australia, and Europe. While never formally marketed in New Zealand they were imported and sold on the secondary market.

The name Cultus derives from the Latin cultus, meaning "care" or "adoration."

First generation (1983–1988)[edit]

First generation (SA)
SuzukiSwift133.jpg
Overview
Also called Suzuki SA-310/SA-413
Suzuki Swift
Suzuki Khyber
Suzuki Forsa
Holden Barina
Chevrolet Sprint/Sprint Metro
Pontiac Firefly (Canada)
Isuzu Geminett (JDM)
Production 1983–1988
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Bogotá, Colombia
Quito, Ecuador (Aymesa)
Nairobi, Kenya
Pekan, Malaysia (DRB-HICOM)
Trentham, New Zealand (GMNZ)[2]
Body and chassis
Body style 3/5-door hatchback
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Dimensions
Wheelbase 3-door: 2,245 mm (88.4 in)
5-door: 2,345 mm (92.3 in)
Length 3-door: 3,585 mm (141.1 in)
Export: 3,670 mm (144.5 in)
5-door: 3,685 mm (145.1 in)
Export: 3,770 mm (148.4 in)
Width 1,530 mm (60.2 in)
Export: 1,545 mm (60.8 in)
Height 1,350 mm (53.1 in)
Curb weight 620–750 kg (1,367–1,653 lb)

The first generation of the Cultus was designed and developed by Suzuki and sold from 1983 through 1988 in the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM). The model was exported Worldwide by Suzuki and assembled by a number of General Motors franchises undergoing badge engineering. The first generation Swifts all share the SA model code prefix and can be characterised by a straight lined panel edge and design cues similar to those of the earlier Suzuki Alto.

1983-1985[edit]

An early JDM Suzuki Cultus with recessed lights 
A 5 door Holden MB Barina with flush headlights 

Initially marketed only by the model code, SA310, the name shortly thereafter changed to Cultus.[1] The SA310 initially featured leaf sprung rear suspension and was originally marketed with a 1L, 3 cylinder engine.

Two headlight variations existed within the earlier models depending on market and level. The lower equipped were fitted with a recessed sealed beam rectangular light while others came with a panel-flush forwards swept glass unit.

1985-1988[edit]

LHD 3 Dr Suzuki Swift 
5 Dr Suzuki Swift GA with updated headlights and full plastic bumper 

Post 1985 the model was refreshed and upgraded from a leaf to a coil sprung beam axle rear end. The front was remodelled forward of the steel body work with a more forward swept grill and headlights. Interior changes saw a remodelled dashboard. The windscreen was now caulked in place rather than being held with a molded seal as in the earlier model.

GTi[edit]

A Suzuki swift GTI showing model specific fog lights 

In 1986, Suzuki introduced the flagship GTi (AA33S) model with both styling and performance upgrades over other models. It was available as a manual 3 door hatch only.

The GTi was one of the first Suzuki to feature Electronic Fuel Injection on its G13B high performance twin cam engine. The front brake system was also upgraded to a larger diameter disc.

Interior updates included velour highlighted door cards and seat trimming. A red theme across the dash board displays, carpet and seat roping was standard as was a centre console. Electric adjustable mirrors were also added.

Exterior styling upgrades included a model specific molded spoiler, side skirts and a bumper bar incorporating fog-lights.[3]

International markets[edit]

Market Make & Model Year Body Notes
Australia Holden Barina 1985–1988 5
Australia Suzuki Swift 1985–1988 3/5
Canada Suzuki Forsa 1985–1988 3/5 Also Hawaii, Guam, N. Marianas and test marketing USA 48 states.
Canada Pontiac Firefly 1985–1988 3/5
Colombia Chevrolet Sprint 1987–2004 5 Manufactured at GM Colmotores, Bogotá, Colombia
Japan Suzuki Cultus 1983–1988 3/5 Initially marketed as the SA-310
N. America Chevrolet Sprint 1985–1988 3/5 Canada's "Chevrolet" Sprint model ran through 1991
N. America Suzuki Forsa 1985–1988 3/5
New Zealand Holden Barina 1985–1988 3/5 [2]
New Zealand Suzuki Swift 1985–1994 3/5

3= 3-dr hatchback
5= 5-dr hatchback

Beginning in 1985, Cooper Motor Corporation (CMC) of Nairobi, Kenya, also assembled the SA310.[4]

North America[edit]

Suzuki Forsa

Originally sold by Suzuki as the Suzuki Forsa, it was marketed in Ecuador, Chile, Canada and the USA (minimally) from 1985 to 1988 – with Suzuki offering the supermini with either a carbureted 1.0 L inline-3 cylinder or fuel injected 1.0 L inline 3 cylinder turbocharged engine. The car had much greater reach in North America as the Chevrolet Sprint and the Pontiac Firefly.

Suzuki did not initially market the Forsa on the US mainland, but rather only in Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Marianas. An undetermined number of Forsa models were imported to the U.S. mainland to test the commercial viability of a supermini in the US. As a record of US marketing of the Forsa, listings at the EPA Fuel Mileage Site carry the 1985 model as the Suzuki SA310 (the original JDM name for the Cultus, Forsa and Swift), no listing for 1986 — and both the Forsa and Forsa Turbo for 1987 and 1988. For North America, Suzuki changed the name from Forsa to Swift with the 1989 introduction of the second generation.

  • 1984 – Suzuki and General Motors announced they would sell rebadged models of the Suzuki Cultus in North America as Chevrolets and Pontiacs, with Suzuki selling their own version as the Forsa.
  • 1985 – GM began marketing in North America as the Chevrolet Sprint. The car is also sold as Suzuki Forsa and Pontiac Firefly in Canada. The Chevrolet Sprint was sold only in the Western United States until 1986.
  • 1986 – Chevrolet Sprint began nationwide sales in the US. Sprint consumers had a choice of ER, Base, and Turbo models. Firefly marketed in FE, Turbo, and Base models.
  • 1987 – The Metro name first appeared on a model of the naturally aspirated Chevrolet Sprint: the "Chevrolet Sprint Metro."
  • 1988 – Production of the first Geo Metro models begins at Suzuki's plant in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Chevrolet Sprint[edit]

The Chevrolet Sprint was sold in the United States and Canada, with GM continuing to market the Chevette until 1987 alongside the Sprint. In the 1988 model year, the naturally aspirated hatchback was named the Chevrolet Sprint Metro.

The "Sprint" and "Sprint Metro" differed in their engines, though both were computer controlled carb systems. From 1985 to 1988, the carbureted 1.0 L 3-cylinder engine used a hemispherical head design. Later, fuel injection required the cylinder head for 1989 be redesigned to add the additional cooling required, reducing gas mileage.

The Sprint was originally offered in parts of the western US for the 1985 model year; subsequently Chevrolet marketed the Sprint across North America. All models were initially 3-dr hatchbacks. Starting in 1986, a five-door hatchback version was offered, called the Sprint Plus. That year, another model called the Sprint ER was offered that included a few extra features, such as an "upshift" light to indicate the ideal speed to shift to the next highest gear on manual transmission models. Although air conditioning was offered in all years, the three-speed automatic transmission wasn't offered until 1986. All models featured front-wheel drive and 12-inch wheels.

Turbocharged versions of the 1.0 L 3-cylinder engine were available in the Turbo Sprint in both the United States and Canada. Colors were limited to white and red for the Turbo Sprint. Naturally aspirated models' color choices were:

  • Red
  • Silver metallic
  • Blue metallic
  • Light Brown metallic (discontinued after 1987)

In the United States, the label was dropped with the introduction of the Geo Metro (second generation Cultus), but it continued to be used for a while longer in Canada.

Colombia
The name "Chevette Sprint" was considered before calling the Colombia model (first generation) the "Chevrolet Sprint" — to distinguish it from the Opel knock down kits imported to Brazil.[5] When presented on 7 October 1986, the Sprint caused a sensation.[5] Slight modifications were made in 1987, including increasing the wheel sizes from 12" to 13" and the Sprint remained in production virtually unchanged til 2004 – with a total production of 70,848.[5]

See: 1985 US Chevrolet Sprint commercial
See: 1988 Colombia Chevrolet Sprint commercial

Second generation (1988–2003)[edit]

Second generation (SF)
Suzuki Swift (second generation) (front), Kuala Lumpur.jpg
Overview
Also called Suzuki Cultus Esteem
Suzuki Swift
Geo Metro
Pontiac Firefly
Maruti Suzuki 1000/Esteem
Holden Barina
Chevrolet Swift (Colombia, Ecuador)
Suzuki Forsa II (Ecuador)
Chevrolet Sprint (Canada)
Subaru Justy (Europe)
Suzuki Amenity (Indonesia; HB)
Suzuki Esteem (Indonesia; Sedan)
Changan Suzuki Gazelle/Antelope
Suzuki Margalla (Pakistan)
Production 1988–2003
2000–current (Pakistan)
Assembly Kosai, Japan
Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada
Chang'an, China (Chang'an Suzuki)
Bogotá, Colombia
Quito, Ecuador (AYMESA)
Esztergom, Hungary
Gurgaon, India
Pekan, Malaysia (DRB-HICOM)
Karachi, Pakistan
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door convertible
3-door hatchback/van
4-door sedan
5-door hatchback
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Powertrain
Engine 1.0 L G10 (LP2) I3
1.0 L G10T (LS3) turbo I3
1.3 L G13A/BA (L72) 8V I4
1.3 L G13B/G13K 16V DOHC I4
1.5 L G15A 16V I4
1.6 L G16 16V I4
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,265 mm (89.2 in) (3-door/Conv.)
2,365 mm (93.1 in) (5-door/Sedan)
Length 3,745 mm (147 in) (3-door/Conv.)
3,845 mm (151.4 in) (5-door)
4,095 mm (161.2 in) (Sedan)
Width 1,575 mm (62.0 in) (3/5-door)
1,590 mm (62.6 in) (Sedan/Conv.)
Height 1,350 mm (53.1 in) (3-door)
1,380 mm (54 in) (5-door/Sedan)
1,340 mm (52.8 in) (Conv.)
1989–1991 Suzuki Swift GA 3-door hatchback (Australia)

The second generation, introduced in Japan in September 1988, followed by their European debut at the Brussels Auto Salon in October.[6] Some say it was designed at GM's Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, USA,[citation needed] and GM did designate it the GM M platform. (Personal interviews with GM Proving Grounds [Milford, Michigan, USA] Technicians indicate that the car was never seen at the Proving Grounds during the development period, thus casting doubt on a Warren design.) The chassis, engines, and drivetrains were developed by Suzuki, The second generation offered new styling and four wheel independent strut suspension. A turbocharged version remained fairly popular in Canada, which was the only export market for the version.

It was available with a 1.0 liter three-cylinder with a power output of 53 hp (40 kW), a 1.3 liter four-cylinder, and later a 1.6 liter four-cylinder (for the sedan only). The higher powered Cultus/Swift GTi had an improved G13B engine which featured hollow camshafts, stronger web casting on the engine block, a better flowing intake manifold (the prior generation intake manifold had its shape compromised to fit into the engine bay), and its ECU now had electronic control over ignition timing. It now put out 100 hp (75 kW) of power. The GTi also featured all wheel disc brakes.

In June 1989 Suzuki introduced their first three-box sedan since the discontinuation of the Fronte 800 in 1969. Sold as the "Cultus Esteem" in Japan, it was also available with a larger 1.6-litre engine never offered in the hatchbacks. Suzuki facelifted the Cultus in 1991 for the 1992 model year. The update involved the relocation of the rear license plate to the rear bumper from in between the tail lamps. The gap vacated by the license plate was filled in with either a black plastic panel or translucent red perspex panel integrating with the tail lamps. At the front, Suzuki revised the bumper's airdam, and inside, the interior was substantially re-designed.[7]

All Swifts got a redesigned front and rear fascia as well as a new dashboard. GS sedans received power steering and new hub caps. The 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine received a new cylinder head assembly: the engine of the previous generation used the same block and corresponding components but featured a head with valves in a V-formation straddling a single camshaft with rocker arms on shafts, whereas now the cylinder head assumed a much slimmer profile, owing to the valves now being in a vertical, inline configuration, actuated by inverted buckets also serving as hydraulic valve lash adjusters, all underneath a single overhead camshaft.

The first European-built model was a "Suzuki Swift" manufactured in September 1992 in Esztergom, Hungary. Updates in 1996 followed, and model year 2000 modifications included a version fitted with the same Suzuki four-wheel drive system that had been available in the Japanese market and badged as the Subaru Justy. The last modifications were made on the European Gen II from model year 2002 but only for the Hungarian market. The production of the three-door models ended in September 2002. In the same year, in December, the four-door sedan version was also discontinued. The last variation available was a five door version, which was offered until March 2003.

In Ecuador, the local plant Aymesa assembled some versions of this vehicle. The three-door version was called Suzuki Forsa II, while the four-door sedan version was badged Chevrolet Swift. Production of the sedan ended about 1996, while the hatchback version continued to being produced until 1999 or 2000 and it was badged as Chevrolet Forsa in latter years. It was imported to Colombia from 1991 til 2004, where it was called the Chevrolet Swift.[5]

Generation two of the Cultus remains in production today in Pakistan only. In North America, a rebodied version of the second generation was sold as the Suzuki Swift/Chevrolet Metro/Geo Metro/Pontiac Firefly. Designed by General Motors, the design echoed that of the contemporary Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire.[8] In Japan, the Cultus was gradually replaced by the slightly larger Cultus Crescent, sold as the Baleno in Europe and as the Esteem in North America.

A Suzuki Swift of this generation was used as a weapon in the 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal Family.

Names in different markets[edit]

Nameplate Market Body
1989–1998 Suzuki Cultus Japan 2/3/4/5
1989–1994 Suzuki Swift N. America 3/4
1989–2004 Suzuki Swift Europe 2/3/4/5 a.
1991–2004 Chevrolet Swift Colombia 3/4 b.
1989–1994 Pontiac Firefly Canada 2/3/4/5
1989–1994 Geo Metro N. America 2/3/4/5 c.
1988–1994 Holden Barina Australia 3/5 d.
1990–1994 Maruti 1000 India 4
1994–2007 Maruti Esteem India 4
1995–2003 Subaru Justy Europe 3/5 e.
2000—Present Suzuki Cultus Pakistan 5 f.
19—Present Changan Suzuki Lingyang China 4

2= 2-dr convertible
3= 3-dr hatchback
4= 4-dr sedan
5= 5-dr hatchback
a. Manufactured at Magyar Suzuki
b. Imported to Colombia
c. Geo branded models in US after 1989, in Canada after 1992
d. MF, MH: only generations of 'Cultus-derived' Barina
e. Justy JMA/MS, manufactured at Magyar Suzuki
f. Manufactured at Paksuzuki

Maruti 1000[edit]

Maruti 1000
Maruti Esteem facelift version, Pune.jpg
2004-2007 Maruti Esteem
Overview
Manufacturer Maruti Suzuki
Also called Maruti Esteem
Production 1990–2007
Powertrain
Engine 970 cc F10A I4
1298 cc G13BA I4
1298 cc G13BB 16V EFi I4
1527 cc TUD5 diesel I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,365 mm (93.1 in)
Length 4,075 mm (160.4 in)
4,095 mm (161.2 in) (Esteem)
Width 1,575 mm (62.0 in)

The Maruti 1000, made by Maruti Udyog was a sedan-type car produced in India between October 1990 and 2000. The car is a rebadged Suzuki Cultus/Swift and was introduced in October, 1990 (although Maruti had been showing the car since 1989). With a large waiting list for all Maruti cars, a computerised lottery was used to decide who got a chance to buy a Maruti 1000.[9] This was remarkable as the car was considered a luxury vehicle at the time, hard to conceive of from today's (or a foreign) viewpoint - but in 1990, when it was released, its purchase price was high enough that it was out of reach for more than 99.5% of India's population.[10] It sold at Rs. 381,000. A period commentator even accused the 1000 of being a project "by the elite for the elite.[10]

The car came with a 970 cc engine whose output was just 46 bhp and proved underpowered for a car that weighed 825 kg (1,819 lb).[11] This outdated engine was also installed by Suzuki in the Cultus/Swiftfor a few other developing markets.

Maruti Esteem[edit]

In 1994 an upgraded version of this car, with a more powerful 1.3-litre engine, was released with new looks and the new name Maruti Esteem. The first model had a 65 hp (48 kW) carburetted engine but this was replaced by a 85 hp (63 kW) fuel injected 16-valve unit in 1999. This proved to have one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in the under two-liter class, and helped the Esteem reach considerable success in Indian auto racing, where it is still popular in rallying. There was also a limited series of the sportier VXi, with 91 hp (68 kW). The Maruti 1000 remained in production until 2000 and was eventually discontinued due to low sales. As more competitors appeared on the Indian market, the Esteem's sales began to drop. It subsequently underwent a series of price cuts towards the end of its life, and a facelift in July 2004. The facelift consisted of new lights and bumpers, as well as the addition of a spoiler, and were borrowed from the Chinese "Changan Suzuki Lingyang" (Antelope) version of the Swift sedan.[12]

The Esteem was also available with a 1.5 L (1527 cc) Peugeot TUD5 diesel engine as well, at a slightly higher price. The models offered in the mid-2000s were:

  • LX (base model/manual-steering)
  • LXi (power steering, from April 2002)[13]
  • VXi (sportier, with 6 more horsepower)
  • AX (automatic transmission)
  • D (diesel base model, equivalent to LX)
  • Di (diesel with power-steering)

The 1.3 L (74 mm (2.9 in) bore by 75.5 mm (3 in) stroke) 16-valve SOHC engine has a compression ratio of 9.0:1 and makes 85 hp at 6000 rpm and 105 Nm (77.4 ft·lbf) of torque at 3000 rpm. The same engine was later used by the then upgraded Maruti Gypsy King, Maruti Versa and the Maruti Suzuki Swift. The Peugeot-sourced TUD5 1.5 L (77 mm (3 in) bore by 82 mm (3.2 in) stroke) eight-valve engine had a compression ratio of 23.0:1 and made 57 hp (43 kW) at 5000 rpm and 96 Nm (70.8 ft·lbf) of torque at 2500 rpm. The Esteem received a minor facelift in 2004 and production ended in November 2007, with the car being replaced by the new Suzuki Swift DZire.

Motorsport[edit]

2004-2007 Maruti Esteem at a rally in Bangalore

Starting from 1995 the Maruti Esteem dominated India's Rallying scene (INRC) until it was replaced by the faster Honda City, Mitsubishi Cedia, and Ford Fiesta. The Maruti Esteem remains a sought after Rally car for its comparatively high power to weight ratio and low running costs.

In Track Racing the Maruti Esteem had its own Stock Saloon class and ran in a single make series till 2005. Apart from Saloon car racing the Maruti Esteem 1.3 Litre engines also powered the Formula LGB cars. In 1989, it was launched in the Indian market as the Maruti 1000, and later replaced by an improvised version called the Esteem, which was 20mm longer, and bore a 1298cc, initially with a 1.3L 8 valve engine pumping out 65 hp (around 20 bhp more than the 1000), and a few years later with a 16 valve head and 85 hp. The car was offered in four trims, LX, LXi, VXi and the high end AX. The Esteem competed with Hyundai's Accent, Ford Ikon, Opel Corsa, Honda City and in-house Baleno. It received a minor facelift in early 2004, and was replaced by the Swift Dzire in April 2008. In 2002, a diesel version was launched in two trims, D (basically the LX version) and Di (diesel LXi version), bearing a Peugeot derived TUD5, 1.5 Litre, 1527 cc engine with an output of 57 bhp.

North America[edit]

Swift[edit]

Following 1985–1988 sales of the Forsa, the nameplate was changed to Suzuki Swift. The Swift was available as a three-door GTi and five-door GLX hatchback. A four-door sedan followed in 1990 – imported from Japan. For Swifts in North America, the 1.0 liter three-cylinder was only available in Canada where it was sold from 1992 to 1994. In 1990, the GLX was dropped; an inexpensive GA 3-door was added as were GA, GL and GS four-door sedan. At the same time, the GTi name was changed to GT because of an out-of-court settlement with Volkswagen of America over their similarly named GTI. The Swift nameplate moved on to separate from the Cultus, eventually being placed on the North American "third generation" model.

The Swift featured a 993 cc inline three cylinder engine producing 50 hp (37 kW). The G10 engine weighed 63 kg (139 lb) and the suspension derived from the Suzuki Alto. Other engine configurations included a carbureted 1.0 litre, 3 cylinder (G10) engine and a carbureted or fuel injected SOHC eight-valve 1.3 litre G13. Trim levels included the 1.0 GA and the 1.0 GL. The GA model included plastic wheelcovers, four-speed gearbox and cloth trim. The GL model included more equipment such as a five-speed gearbox, alloy wheels, a sunroof, and air conditioning in some markets.

With the first generation, Suzuki marketed the Swift GTi with the G13B engine – a DOHC 16 valve, 1.3 L, in-line 4-cylinder engine with an aluminum block and cylinder head, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and cast aluminum high compression pistons (10:1 compression ratio). Its power output is 101 hp (75 kW).

The second generation received a modest restyle and other production changes in 1992, including changes to the bumpers, tail lights and interior. GT/GTi versions were equipped with larger sway-bars, and the camshafts were now solid. Production for the North American market ended in 1994.

GM-badged[edit]

The second generation Cultus was sold as the Geo Metro in the US and Canada, and as the Pontiac Firefly in Canada (and the Middle East), and as the Chevrolet Sprint in Canada. Unlike the four-cylinder Swifts, General Motors-badged units usually featured the 1-litre G10 engine, with a turbocharged version and a larger 1.3 available in some Canadian market versions. In 1990, production began at CAMI Automotive, where all remaining Metro models with the exception of convertibles would be produced.

G10: 1.0 L3
In the United States a single engine was available from 1989 through 1994: a 1.0 L I3 engine. Rated at 60 hp (39 kW), the engine achieved 38 city, 45 highway mpg[citation needed] per the revised 2007 EPA mileage standards. The detuned 49 hp (37 kW) engine in the XFi, introduced in 1990, is optimized for high mileage. It combines a shorter duration cam, leaner fuel map, two ring pistons, and a higher final drive gear model to achieve 43 city, 51 highway per the revised 2007 EPA mileage standards.

As per the first generation, a turbocharged variant of G10 was also available in the Canadian Pontiac Firefly from 1989 to 1991. It was no longer available in the US market, however.

G13: 1.3 L I4
Canadian Metros had the 1.3 L engine available as an option beginning in 1993 in the three-door GSi model, and as standard equipment in the sedan (exclusive to the Canadian market at the time: American market Metros were not available in a sedan bodystyle until 1995).

Geo Metro

Only available as a hatchback (later also a convertible) in the United States, the Canadian market also received Japanese-built four-door sedans. Canadian sales of the Geo Metro only began in 1992, after the demise of the Asüna brand. For 1990, the Metro's second model year, Geo introduced the Metro LSi models, which included an automatic transmission, air conditioning and a stereo with cassette player. Geo also introduced the frugal XFi model, featuring a lower powered economy-tuned version of the three-cylinder engine, a higher final drive gear ratio, and certain deleted interior amenities (e.g., the passenger mirror). It thereby achieved 43 city, 51 highway per the revised 2007 EPA mileage standards. XFi made up less than 10% of Metro sales.[14] A little bit later, the Japanese-built convertible model debuted, available in LSi trim. In 1991, GM increased convertible production and added paint options. In 1992, the Metro received a facelift with new hubcaps, exterior modification and new interior controls.

In 1993, both LSi hatchbacks and the convertible were discontinued. Automatic door locks, which deploy after the car reaches a speed of approximately 8 mph (13 km/h) were introduced this year. In 1994, five-door hatchback production ended. In 1994, Geo dropped the XFi model.[15]

Chevrolet Sprint

The Sprint badge continued to be used in the Canadian market until the Geo brand was introduced in 1992. Unlike its American counterparts, the Canadian Sprint remained available with the 1.0 liter turbo engine.

Canadian Chevrolet Sprint three-door, circa 1990
Pontiac Firefly

Introduced for 1989, the Firefly was also available as a convertible and as a four-door sedan from 1990 until 1991. All hatchbacks were manufactured at CAMI, while convertibles and sedans were sourced from Japanese production. The Firefly was not marketed for the 1992 and 1993 model years when the 1993-only "Asüna" brand introduced the larger 1992 LeMans to replace the Passport Optima and the pre-facelift Firefly.

In 1994, the Firefly returned with a facelift following the demise of the Asüna brand, available as a hatchback and a sedan. It was short-lived, being replaced by the third generation for the next year.

Safety
US second generation models received the following NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program ratings:

  • Front Impact, Driver: 3/5 stars Safety Concern: High likelihood of thigh injury
  • Front Impact, Passenger: 3/5 stars

See NHTSA Test Results: 1994 Geo Metro

Gallery[edit]

1989–1991 model year Suzuki Swift 3-door (US) 
1990–1991 Holden Barina 3-door (Australia) 
1989–1991 Pontiac Firefly 3dr hatchback 
1994 Pontiac Firefly 3dr hatchback 
1991–1998 Suzuki Cultus 3-door, 1.0-liter (Japan) 
1991–1998 Suzuki Cultus 3-door, 1.0-liter (Japan) 
Suzuki Swift 1.6 sedan (Europe) 
1994 Suzuki Swift Cino (Australia) 
1994 Suzuki Swift Cino (Australia) 
Subaru Justy, circa 2000, a second generation Cultus derivative manufactured at Magyar Suzuki, Hungary. 
1992–1994 Geo Metro sedan 
Geo Metro 5-door, 1992–1994 
1992 Geo Metro convertible 

Marketing[edit]

Japan[edit]

The Suzuki Cultus developed through generation two in Japan, and was superseded by the Cultus Crescent — a larger offspring of the Cultus.

Cultus[edit]

The first Cultus was introduced to the JDM initially under the nameplate SA-310 in 1983 as either a 3 or 5-door hatchback with two possible petrol engines from the G efamily: a three cylinder powerplant with 993 cc, and a four cylinder version with 1324 cc. Power ranged from 60 PS (44 kW) JIS to 75 PS (55 kW). Manual and automatic transmissions were available. A turbocharged version of the smaller engine was later introduced, with power raised to 80 PS (59 kW), and 165/70 HR12 tyres.

The Cultus was slightly restyled in 1986, adopting a new front end, with redesigned grille, headlights and bumper. Engine power was slightly detuned on the 1.0 L and 1.3 L model, and the Cultus Turbo was joined by a more powerful sports version, the Cultus GTi. This featured a new Twin Cam 16v variant of the 1.3 L engine, with 1298 cc, thanks to a shorter stroke (75.5 mm, down from the previous 77 mm), fuel injection and 97 PS (71 kW) . Production of the Cultus' first generation stopped in 1988.

The second generation was introduced in 1988 with similar dimensions and but redesigned to make better use of the cargo area and cabin space. Like its predecessor, the new Cultus was available as a 3- or 5-door hatchback, and was powered by G-series engines from 1.0 L to 1.3 L. However, this last one had adopted an SOHC 16-valve arrangement, with standard fuel injection. Power was 58 PS (43 kW) and 82 PS (60 kW), respectively. For the first time, 4WD was optional on the larger engine.

The Cultus GTi was now much more powerful, reaching 115 PS JIS (85 kW) with updated version of the previous GTi engine: the G13B engine that had higher compression pistons (11.5:1 compression ratio), tubular exhaust headers, a tubular intake manifold, larger camshafts and a reprogrammed ECU. Some models of the Cultus GTi were also available with all-wheel drive.

More well outfitted versions were the Cultus Ellesse (which included automatic air conditioning, central locking, power windows and adjustable steering wheel) and the Esteem, a sedan version. The Esteem featured a larger 1.5 L engine, capable of reaching 91 PS (67 kW), and it was available with optional 4WD. The equipment was the same as the Cultus Ellesse.

In 1992, Suzuki introduced a two-seat convertible, based on the hatchback body – and dropped shortly thereafter.

Suzuki Cultus has common gear noise problem which is corrected in new models.

Japanese Domestic Market Internal Designations

  • 1983~1988 AA41S
  • 1986~1988 A43S,AB43S,AA53S,AB53S,AA33S,AB33S,AA43V
  • 1988~1998 AA34S,AA44S,AB34S,AB44S
  • 1992~1993 AK34S, Cultus Convertible

Cultus Crescent[edit]

The Suzuki Cultus and Cultus Crescent were two distinct but related models sold in Japan by Suzuki – with the Cultus Crescent eventually superseding the Cultus. The Cultus Crescent was introduced in the Japanese market in 1995 sharing the same platform and many components from the Cultus – although with a chassis stretched by 10 cm (4 in) and featuring completely different styling.

The Cultus Crescent was available initially in two body variants, a three-door hatchback and a four-door saloon. In 1996 Suzuki introduced the Cultus Crescent Wagon, Suzuki's first station wagon (excluding kei cars). In 1998, the base Cultus/Swift was taken off the market in Japan, and Suzuki consequently dropped the "Crescent" name. The larger model was now simply called Cultus, and received new front end styling. The 1.6 L 4WD variant was extended to the rest of the lineup, but not the 1.8 L engine, which was only available in the other bodies other than the wagon in export markets. The Cultus remained in production in Japan until 2002, after a year of overlapping with its replacement, the larger and entirely new Aerio.

Production of the Cultus began in other countries and was available in developing markets such as India as the Maruti Suzuki Baleno till production ceased in 2007 to make way for the Suzuki SX4. Elsewhere internationally, the larger Cultus Crescent was marketed as the Suzuki Baleno and Esteem.

See also: Suzuki History of Cultus

North America[edit]

See also: Suzuki Swift

Third generation Swift From 1995 onward, the North American-exclusive Suzuki Swift was built at CAMI Automotive, receiving all the modifications of its Pontiac and Geo/Chevrolet siblings – only in the 3-dr body style, however.

Production[edit]

1997-2003 European market "Subaru Justy", built in Hungary

Assembly also commenced in India (Maruti Suzuki), Hungary (Magyar Suzuki), Pakistan (Pak Suzuki), and China (Chang'an Suzuki). When production began at Magyar Suzuki of the Suzuki Swift in 1992, Suzuki invested $230 million in capital for the new company and flew each of its Hungarian workers to Japan for training in its production methods.[16] Notably, 5-door models of the second generation (under the nameplate Cultus) are manufactured today in Pakistan and 4-door sedans of second generation are manufactured today in China.

"Mk" nomenclature[edit]

Mk nomenclature varies by region, emphasizing local marketing distinctions, restylings, and market adaptations

North America:
Mk1 – 85–88 (Boxy body) — Corresponds to First generation
Mk2 – 89–91 (Round body + Boxy dash) — Corresponds to Second generation
Mk3 – 92–94 (Round body + Round dash)— Corresponds to Second generation (first restyle)
Mk4 – 95–97 (Guppy mouth) — Corresponds to Third generation Metro/Firefly/Swift
Mk5 – 98-01 (Razor mouth) — Corresponds to Third generation Metro/Firefly/Swift (first restyle)

Europe:
Mk1 – '86 to '88 — Corresponds to First generation
Mk2 – '88 to '92 — Corresponds to Second generation
Mk3 – '92 to '96 — Corresponds to Second generation (first restyle)
Mk4 – '96 to '01 — Corresponds to Second generation (second restyle)
Mk5 – '01 to '02 — Corresponds to Second generation (third restyle)

Australia:
MK1 – SA310 / SA413 (1984–86).[17]Corresponds to First generation
MK2 – SF310 / SF413 / SF416 (1989–92)[17]Corresponds to Second generation
MK3 – SF310 / SF413 / SF416 (1993–99)[17]Corresponds to Second generation (first restyle)

MK1 Introduced March 1984, the SA Swift was front wheel drive, with a solid axle and drum brakes on the rear, with front disc brakes.

  • Models: GA, GL, GC, GLS and GTI.

MK2 New rounder body shape with mechanicals similar to the SA model and the solid rear axle replaced by a trailing arm setup.

  • Models: GA, GL, GTi 3-door hatchbacks; GL and GLX Sedans, with 4WD available between 1990–91.

MK3 Remodeled interior, revised front and rear bumper fascias. New rounded dashboard.

  • Models: GA, (later replaced with the City Car), the Cino, GL and GLX Sedans, and the GTi

Motorsport[edit]

In 1992, Nobuhiro Tajima used a heavily modified twin engined Cultus in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

A Suzuki Swift GTi driven by Mark Brame and Henry Draper won the 1992 Yokohama 6-Hour for Production Cars at the Winton circuit in Victoria, Australia on 29 November 1992.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Renin Paul (7 March 2006). "GM reduces Suzuki alliance by 17.4 percent to raise $2bn". Earthtimes.com. 
  2. ^ a b Webster, Mark (2002), Assembly: New Zealand Car Production 1921-98, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand: Reed, p. 164, ISBN 0-7900-0846-7 
  3. ^ Modern Motor, November 1986
  4. ^ Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1985). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1985 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. p. 225. ISBN 88-7212-012-8. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Historia del Chevrolet Sprint" (in Spanish). Carrosyclasicos.com. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  6. ^ Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1990). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1990 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. p. 984. 
  7. ^ "1992 Suzuki Swift Hatchback". Edmunds. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Bill Russ. "1995 Geo Metro LSi Sedan". The Auto Channel. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Chrysler, Mack (March 1991). "See a Maruti 1000? Buy it, quick!". Ward's Auto World 27 (3) (Penton Media). pp. 82–83. ISSN 0043-0315. 
  10. ^ a b Thomas, J. W. (13 January 1990). "No Place for This Project". Economic and Political Weekly (Mumbai, India: Sameeksha Trust) 25 (2): 67. 
  11. ^ Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1992 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. 1992. pp. 458–459. 
  12. ^ Rathore, Deepesh; Swarup, Tilak (6 July 2004). "Exclusive: India: Maruti updates the Esteem". just-auto.com. Arog Ltd. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "New Esteem model launched". India Business Insight (Informatics (India) Ltd.). 12 April 2002. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  14. ^ J.J. Gertler. "Little Big Man, First Look: 1995 Geo Metro". Hardrive.com. Retrieved 10 June 2008. 
  15. ^ Matthew L. Wald (12 November 1995). "Economy Champs Get the Cold Shoulder". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ "Company History: Suzuki Motor Corporation". Answer.com. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  17. ^ a b c "Suzuki Swift History In Australia". RedlineGTi.com. Retrieved 1 August 2008. 
  18. ^ Paul Ellis, Big effort from little men, Australian Auto Action, 11 December 1992, page 34

External links[edit]