So after my long saga of buying and crashing my first car, then buying and selling my second car, I came to the conclusion I needed something better than those two prior kei cars… it was time to upgrade to a “white plate” car, which means a regular car by the standards of most other countries. Third times a charm! This means a lot higher cost for the car, gas, maintenance and upkeep, taxes, and aftermarket parts, as I’ll discover shortly. So I picked up a 2008 Suzuki Swift Sport ZC31S in 2017 which I reviewed a few months ago.
Even for the uninformed, at first glance the car comes with a few changes that do not come from the factory. The gorgeous carbon fiber hood is the most obvious change, perhaps followed by the large GReddy carbon fiber roof spoiler. The wheels are aftermarket which are taller and wider than stock ZC31S wheels. These are WORK 17x7 +42 Kiwami Wheels (compared to stock 16x6.5 +45) bolted on with Suzuki Sport aftermarket heptagon (7-sided) lug nuts.
Looking further at the back of the car, you can see the exhaust is aftermarket that I later discovered was a Fujitsubo. It looks quite lovely and has a slightly deeper idling note than the other stock ones I’ve heard. Not super loud and not very intrusive in the cabin.
In the interior, the car is virtually stock, with the exception of the aftermarket 2-DIN Pioneer DVD Head unit, which has a rear USB input and can play DVDs! Perfect distraction while driving. The only factory package I am aware for the Swift Sport offered is the Recaro Seat package (grey or red, depending on interior colors), which this doesn’t have.
A quick glance at the engine bay reveals a Top Fuel 1000 carbon fiber intake. The stock Suzuki cover was removed as is typical to fit such aftermarket intakes. Wiring for PIAA HID front headlights are also quite obvious, connecting directly to the battery. This design is an older HID setup, so there’s a mess of wires that I would eventually clean up. Nothing else of note here. Fairly nice condition otherwise.
After driving it home, I brought it to my mechanic’s garage. I poked around and discovered my pre-loved car had a few additional bolt-on modifications made by the previous owner(s). The suspension is an aftermarket Suzuki Sport adjustable coilover setup. This might explain why the whole car feels sharper and slightly harsher than a similar year base model Swift, though I have not ridden in a stock Swift Sport for comparison.
So, altogether, the car came with these mods:
GReddy CF Spoiler
PIAA HID H4 Headlights
17x7 +45 WORK CR Kiwami Wheels
Not long after, the desire to modify and further customize the car became unbearable, like an addiction that keeps itching in the back of my mind. There were a few things I needed to “remedy” more quickly than others. While I haven’t done much in terms of custom modifications, what I have done I documented a bit on my Instagram.
As with my Alto, the Man Machine Interface needed to be immediately addressed. One of the first few aftermarket purchases I made were the steering wheel and the shift knob. The stock shift knob already had a few surface cracks so that was probably the greater need. The fat steering wheel, though functionally acceptable, was not my cup of tea. I prefer thinner-rimmed and smaller diameter steering wheels. I ordered an HKB Sports steering hub with airbag resistor to install a Nardi 330mm Deep Dish Steering Wheel. Both of which were not remotely cheap.
For purely cosmetic reasons, I found a deal on a second-hand Laile Beatrush Alumimum Floor Plate. This replaced the partially worn stock mat with a gorgeous rust-resistant plate that really adds a nice look to the interior. Unfortunately, it is a bit slippery when wet.
Scouring around used shops and the internet, I came across a solid deal on the aforementioned Recaro factory option seats. These two seats were grey instead of the red the rest of the interior is in, but I think it looks much more “mature” and less aftermarket than red would have been. Either way, the bolstering on these seats feel supremely supportive during spirited drives.
As a necessity, I picked up some winter tires on a generic set of 16x7 wheels. The wheels were a bit taller than I expected, as the tires should be about 45 with 17s or 50 series with 16s, but these are 55. I figured they would be just fine if I raised the suspension a bit. That was a purchase I soon regretted...