Common Tread

Suzuki loves the Katana so much, they made a car version

May 07, 2019

In North America, Suzuki is best known for its motorcycles, but their automotive division is strong in other parts of the world.

Suzuki cars never seemed to be big sellers here, though I still see a few rolling around. (If anyone has a Samurai or Kizashi AWD, bring it by! We'll get some lunch or something.)

In other markets, Suzuki’s still doing well with models like the Swift, which has developed a huge following. You might have known previous versions of this car as the Geo Metro, Chevrolet Swift, Pontiac Firefly, or Subaru Justy. Badge engineering at its finest.

Suzuki’s Netherlands branch decided to capitalize on the Swift’s popularity by making a rad special edition: the Swift Sport Katana. I don’t hate this at all.

Available exclusively through Suzuki Netherlands’ site, the Swift Sport Katana is limited to just 30 cars (15 Super Black Pearl, 15 Premium Silver Metallic). At around $32,500, I’ll take a pass on this one, personally.

Suzuki Katana Swift Sport
Like the new Katana, the Swift Sport Katana seems to be... hard on tires. Suzuki Netherlands photo.

Price aside, I'm glad this oddity exists. Back in 1981, Suzuki’s whole grey-silver-with-red-kanji look made the original bike stand out. Leaning into the look and legacy without completely ruining the name is a nice way to highlight Suzuki’s history, as well as the new model.

Suzuki Swift Sport Katana
The interior gets leather throughout, plus a sportier wheel. Suzuki Netherlands photo.

The Swift Sport Katana gets upgraded suspension, a Remus cat-back exhaust, lowered ride height, and 18-inch OZ wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4s. Under the hood is Suzuki's Boosterjet 1.4-liter engine, making around 138 horsepower with its tiny turbo.

Suzuki Swift Sport Katana
Not quite the same thing, but I like the effort. Suzuki Netherlands photo.

There are probably more than 30 people who would actually buy this, and the few who do will probably be very happy with their little silver and black rockets. They’d be even happier with matching Katana motorcycles, and I bet more than a few will have them.

Suzuki Swift Sport Katana
You know, it's really not a bad-looking car. I'd still rather have the bike. Suzuki Netherlands photo.

Keep it going, Suzuki. Cross a first-gen GSXR with a Jimny next, please? We’ll happily test one for you as our new shop runaround.