This 1989 Suzuki Swift Has Hayabusa Motorcycle Power
A sport bike engine makes this Swift live up to its name.
The Suzuki Swift was certainly not swift at all. The little hatchback was made with affordability and fuel economy in mind, not speed. But one genius decided that what this car needed was the engine from another Suzuki model—a Hayabusa sport bike.
The Swift's standard 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine produced an underwhelming 60 horsepower. The Hayabusa, on the other hand, has a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 197 horsepower and revs to 11,000 RPM. The Hayabusa was the world's fastest production motorcycle when it was introduced in 1999, so putting this engine in Suzuki's slowest car makes perfect sense if you're a madman.
The seller calls this car, named the Swiftabusa, an "open checkbook build." The car was completely stripped and rebuilt, with new paint, plastic, and weatherstripping. The interior features the original motorcycle's gauge cluster in front of the driver, with a switch box for lights and other functions on the floor next to the seat. The shift lever moves only forward and backward and has only a single linkage, indicating that the motorcycle's sequential shifter has been retained.
The Swift was front-wheel-drive, but the engine's fore-aft orientation and the lack of visible half-shafts connecting to the front wheels back up the ad's claim that this car is rear-wheel-drive. The ad does state that it is "a fun drift or track car," and handbrake turns, while fun, is not drifting. The ad also states that the engine only has 5,000 miles on it.
The Swiftabusa also has custom suspension with adjustable dampening and alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan tires. It's street legal and currently registered in Florida. Of course, Florida is known for having somewhat lax requirements of roadworthiness, but only your local government bureaucracy would keep this car off the road, not the car's construction or safety.
The $9,900 asking price is even higher than its original $7,495 selling price new, according to AutoTrader. But this is no ordinary Swift, and actually quite a deal considering the additional cost of the extensive customizations and the Hayabusa that donated its heart to the engine bay.
"This car was built for one purpose at the end of the day and that is to provide lots of fun. It does this very well!" Of that, we have no doubt at all.