Moves like a ninja

2011-01-14 08:39

This Italian family has four generations of petrolheads to draw on, and, after five years out of the race, LupiniPower is back on track.

The Suzuki Swift is one of the three cars this tuning company has taken into their stable.

Michele Lupini and his father, Mario, opened their tuning shop in the mid-1980s, bringing LupiniPower to local shores.

Last year saw the relaunch of the brand with the supercharged Chevrolet Lumina SS dubbed the SuperUte.

The second project was the Suzuki 1.5-litre Swift. The Swift was launched in 2009 and the anticipated 1.6 litre VVT Sport model came to South Africa last year with only 100 units being made available. Needless to say they sold like hotcakes.

Suzuki is launching the new Swift in the next couple of months, but the LupiniPower version makes for a great option.

The standard 1.5-litre Swift has 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque, while the Lupini Swift brings with it 100kW and 155Nm of torque. The standard model sells for R163 900 while the Lupini Swift goes for R199 750. That’s more power than the Sport model and still R250 cheaper than its R200 000 price tag.

The Lupini Swift is like a baby ninja warrior masked in black paint. It’s agile and sweeps through any road. It looks the part too with big, black TSW twin-spoke 17-inch wheels snugly fitted under the wheel arches and lowered suspension. You might have to take it rather slow over speed bumps, but that just gives envious passers-by more time to ogle your wheels before you whizz off.

Having driven the Swift Sport model recently, I fell in love with the little car. I had high hopes for the Lupini model. I was expecting to blast off like a rocket.

Though it was fast off the line, I was disappointed. But to be fair the 41°C sizzling outside had a lot to do with it, which meant that the air-conditioner was on full blast at all times to counteract Western Cape’s scorching heatwave.

Helshoogte is one of the best short passes in the province and will have you screeching tyres no matter what kind of car you’re driving. The Swift handled the pass diligently – it sits tight on the bends and floats through the corners. The extra torque and power definitely add to the fun factor.

The Lupini Suzuki Swift 1.5 comes complete with a three-year unlimited kilometre LupiniPlan performance warranty, which is upgradable to five years. This little monster has stolen many hearts and if you want a little more under the hood, the LupiniPower version is well worth forking out an extra R40 000.

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