The 2020 Suzuki Swift Sport has adopted a new hybrid powertrain, Autocar reports. To go on sale in the UK next month, the hybrid SSS is part of the Japanese carmaker’s move to electrify its range and meet upcoming stricter emissions regulations.

It’ll be a mild hybrid set-up for the hot hatch, which will get a 48V system fitted to a reworked version of this SSS generation’s 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine. The battery boost will provide more low end torque, which stands at 235 Nm from under 2,000 rpm to 3,500 rpm. With 129 hp, the latest Swift Sport will do the 0-100 km/h sprint in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 210 km/h.

The pre-hybrid 1.4L Boosterjet engine was quoted at 138 hp at 5,500 rpm, and 230 Nm of torque from 2,500 to 3,500 rpm, so there’s a decrease in power in exchange for WLTP-certified CO2 emissions of 127 g/km and fuel economy of 17.7 km/l, a 6% improvement. The new “Smart Hybrid” system, which consists of an Integrated Starter Generator and lithium-ion battery under the passenger seat, will also find its way into the S-Cross and Vitara.

“It’s not about out-and-out power any more. We’re trying to make 48V work at a more efficient pace lower down the rev range. The Swift Sport has never been a hot hatch. The Swift Sport is a car to have fun in at good speeds, but safely and without getting into trouble,” a Suzuki spokesman told the UK mag.

The 2020 Swift Sport – which will cost slightly higher than the outgoing car’s £17,999 (RM90,921) starting price due to the new hardware – retains the same lightweight Heartect platform, and the new kerb weight is still a very low 1,025 kg (was from 970 kg). New standard kit for the UK-spec SSS includes adaptive cruise control and LED headlights.

Enthusiasts might bemoan the power drop and unnecessary (for a hot hatch) hybrid tech, but in today’s climate, electrification might be the only way to keep these sporty machines legal, and alive. With recent rumours of the Suzuki brand making a comeback in Malaysia via the Naza Group, perhaps there is a chance of the Swift Sport returning to our shores?

GALLERY: Suzuki Swift Sport at BIMS 2019

GALLERY: Suzuki Swift Sport Katana Edition at TAS 2020