Escalating fury of competition has forced automobile manufacturers in India to embrace novel and innovative marketing strategies. Among these new tactics, targeting lucrative niches has become flavor of month with more and more organizations now designing their propositions to tap these specialized groups. Of late market leader Maruti-Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has treaded this path by launching limited edition of its best-selling Swift hatchback, especially to garner support of music buffs and aficionados. 2014 witnessed unveiling of facelift Swift and now with this Windsong edition, Maruti is hoping to pocket chunk of music lovers who are equally enthusiastic about cars. Available in limited numbers, Windsong edition comes in both petrol and diesel guises though only in middle variants VXi and VDi for Rs 5.14 lakh and Rs 6.10 lakh respectively (ex-showroom, Delhi). Mechanically Windsong edition features similar metal ware though cosmetically it has got considerable deviation from regular selling Swift. Weaved round the theme of music, this Windsong edition claims to add an extra zing to sporty nature of Swift. We drive new Swift Windsong extensively in city and on highway to find whether its driving appeal is as good as its visual appeal is.
Music Theme – Outside & Inside
True to its name, Windsong edition is centred on theme of music with new Swift featuring plenty of music cues on and inside its corporeal manifestation. Two black stripes, starting stretching from head to toe through the roof is primary distinction between regular and Windsong edition.
On sides there are sporty yellow-black graphics; aiding the excitement and overall zing of the Swift. Windsong badging has also got considerable attention as company has added these badging at both sides and rear pat of car.
At rear, there is spoiler that blends well with the overall music theme of Swift. High-mounted stop lamp is an important safety aspect in addition to aiding overall aesthetic appeal of the car. Shower type tail lamps looks as sport as before though overall rear feels a bit stubby in its overall aesthetics.
Inside the cabin, the most important change, apart from the new two-tone shade, is the brand new Sony music system that replaces the 2-DIN system of ordinary Swift. This Sony is more advances, features touch-screen function and is capable of playing variety of music formats. Additionally it has got Bluetooth, Mic, USB connectivity and reverse parking sensors arrangement.
Inside the colour combination of Black-Yellow dominates the proceedings; especially the way in which yellow shines against backdrop of black evokes very likable emotion. Maruti has used this dual combination in plenty as everything, from seats covers to steering, from gear lever cover to sills, is splashed with this combo.
Apart from these changes, rest of the cabin layout and console design remains unchanged. As dimensional integrity of Windsong is same as of regular Swift, there is no difference in rather claustrophobic feeling that one usually feels at back bench of Swift. Higher window line and blacked-out pillars do nothing to help this feeling either.
Heart & Pulse
There is no change in mechanical package as Windsong edition carries forward the legacy of regular Swift. Sporty handling and just above average ride quality is what Windsong edition comes equipped with. DDiS is still the best diesel enthusiasm hovering around in the market and despite of various inceptions in diesel segments over the years, Maruti’s tuning of Fiat owned multi-jet diesel is still the best in market. Swift has watered down its torquey nature in its last upgrade in 2014 and as a result, new iteration is more drivable than before. That said, there are still more drivable options around and Swift still lags behind the benchmark set by some of its compatriots.
Slick and snappy shift in Swift is among the best and chunky lever further augment this feel. Gear shifts are fun, positive and inspire confidence in way only some other are capable to do. Braking is via discs up front while at rear, drums braking are employed by Maruti-Suzuki. Coupled with ABS, Swift braking is absolute and positive. Clutch action is neither too light nor too heavy; its middle of the rung striking between being heavy and light.
Swift handling has always been its forte and Windsong edition lives to the legacy attached to its brand. Cornering is absolute fun as one can literally hurl Swift around with absolute confidence. Lane changes and sudden manoeuvres won’t inhibit your driving fun though potholes and undulations can spoil the overall experience.
Swift’s ride quality is just about average and even though it has improved over years, still this Maruti lags the cushion quality of some of the rivals like Liva and Indica. Slow speed ride is jittery and unnerve though some improvement registers itself once the whack rises. High speed stability is good though a bit wider track would have improved it further by considerable margin.
Swift Windsong edition is available in limited numbers and targeted to attract music buffs in country. Sporty appeal of the Swift is well complimented by music theme embraced by company. This limited edition is available in both petrol and diesel guises though only in middle variants i.e. VXi and VDi. Further on pricing front, not much has been changed as these variants costs marginally higher than their corresponding models of ordinary Swift. Maruti has done a decent task by equipping this limited edition with sporty graphics, racy stripes, and use of special edition badging all around the car. Inside the cabin, the yellow-black combo looks fabulous and integration of brand new touch-screen SONY music system has upped the overall ante of Swift. Swift Windsong edition is collectors’ edition for all those music enthusiasts who weave their each and every activity around music and sound.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3/5 Safety & Equipment 4/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 3/5