What happens when you take a Suzuki Swift (aka Geo Metro) and inject a larger, twin-cam engine, a few suspension tweaks and some ... fun? You get the Suzuki Swift GT.
Offered in the U.S. from 1989-1994, the Suzuki Swift GT took what was a fairly mundane mode of transportation and made it a great little pocket rocket. The GT (or GTi in '89) featured a 1.3 liter, 100 hp engine (the G13B) and a 7,400 rpm redline. Although it still sounds like a small mill, it was bigger than the standard 1.0 liter, three-cylinder powerplant found in the Geo Metro, and more powerful than the 1.3 liter single-overhead cam engine in the standard Suzuki Swifts. The 0-60 times were usually measured just under 10 seconds; EPA fuel economy was 28/35.
All Swifts had four-wheel independent strut suspensions, although the GT variants had a firmer suspension and a rear sway bar. Motor Trend was able to get a .80 skidpad rating from its Swift GT (August, 1991 issue) with the standard 14x5 steel wheels. The GTs also got different body moldings, better front bucket seats, and disc brakes front and rear.
The Swift GT was a scrappy little vehicle with a lot of bang for the buck. It's still got a cult following, as evidenced by Web sites such as www.ssgti.net, www.teamswift.net, and Redlinegti.com to name a few. There are companies still making aftermarket parts for the vehicle, and people still modify them, sometimes extensively. There are a number of turbocharged Swifts that are petty darn fast, as evidenced by videos on YouTube.com.
The Swift GTs can still be found, and they're pretty inexpensive. There were a couple of them on craigslist just the other day. Kelley Blue Book places values from about $800 for a 1989 Swift GTI to $1,600 for a 1994 Swift GT. (This is private-party value, 100,000 miles, "good" condition with a manual transmission in Portland, OR.)
The Swift GT died with the introduction of a new bodystyle in 1995. The Swift name disappeared from the U.S. altogether in 2001. An all-new Swift is allegedly reappearing in the U.S. in 2010, which will be great, since this new model has been highly praised by the automotive press.
Edmunds.com Suzuki Swift Review
Suzuki Racing Development
Suzuki Swift Wikipedia Page