The History Of Suzuki Cultus

The Suzuki Cultus is a supermini first presented at the 25th Tokyo Motor Show, formally introduced to the Japanese domestic market in 1983 and ultimately manufactured in seven countries across three generations and marketed worldwide under more than a dozen nameplates — prominently as the Geo Metro and Suzuki Swift.

Offered across its lifespan in four body-style variations with engines from the Suzuki G engine family, the Cultus remains in production both in China and Pakistan.

The name Cultus derives from the Latin cultus, meaning "care" or "adoration."

Generation I

The first generation of the Cultus was designed and developed by Suzuki for the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) and introduced as the 1983 SA310, the name shortly thereafter changed to Cultus. After GM and Suzuki formed an alliance in 1981, GM imported the Cultus as a captive import, introducing it to the North American market as the 1985 Chevrolet/ Geo Sprint.

Suzuki Cultus Generation I:

3= 3-dr hatchback 5= 5-dr hatchback a. Initially marketed as the SA-310 b. Also Hawaii, Guam, N. Marianas and test marketing USA 48 states. c. Canada's "Chevrolet" Sprint model ran through 1991 d. Manufactured at GM Colmotores, Bogotá, Colombia

Generation II

The second generation, introduced in 1989, had been designed at GM's Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, and was designated the GM M platform. Equipped with engines and drivetrains developed by Suzuki, The second generation offered new styling and four wheel independent strut suspension.

The first European Generation II model was a "Suzuki Swift" manufactured in September 1992 in Esztergom, Hungary. Updates in 1996 followed, and model year 2000 modifications included a version fitted with a Suzuki 4 wheel drive system and badged as the Subaru Justy. The last modifications were made on the European Gen II from model year 2002 but only for the Hungarian market. The production of the 3-dr models ended in September 2002. In the same year, in December, the 4dr sedan version was also discontinued. The last variation was a 5dr version in March 2003.

Generation II of the Cultus remains in production today in China and Pakistan.

Suzuki Cultus Generation II, GM M platform:

2= 2-dr convertible 3= 3-dr hatchback 4= 4-dr sedan 5= 5-dr hatchback un = unknown a. Manufactured at Magyar Suzuki b. Imported to Colombia c. Geo branded models in US after 1989, in Canada after 1992 d. MF, MH: only generations of 'Cultus-derived' Barina e. Justy JMA/ MS, manufactured at Magyar Suzuki f. Manufactured at Paksuzuki

Safety US Generation II models received the following NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program ratings:

  • Front Impact, Driver: Safety Concern: High likelihood of thigh injury
  • Front Impact, Passenger:

See NHTSA Test Results: 1994 Geo Metro See Video: 1993 Geo Metro Canadian Crash Test

Generation III

The third generation of the Cultus was introduced in 1995 as a 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedan — using an adaptation of the longer wheelbase platform from Generation II for both body configurations. Also designed at GM's Technical Center and built on the GM M platform with drivetrains developed by Suzuki, Generation III models were marketed only in North America, carrying the nameplates Geo Metro (later re-branded the Chevrolet Metro), Pontiac Firefly and Suzuki Swift — and sourced only from CAMI Automotive. Production ended after model year 2001.

Comparison of Generation III/ II 3-door hatchback interior dimensions:

The third generation featured two engines, a revised 1.3L 4-cylinder engine (with hydraulic lifters and lash adjusters, and a 30,000-mile service interval) and a 1.0L 3-cylinder engine. Suzuki Swifts were available with only the revised 4-cylinder. The hatchback body configuration featured a three-inch lower liftover height compared to the Generation II model, more in keeping with the liftover height of the Generation I models. Safety equipment included optional anti-lock brakes, safety cage construction with deformable front and rear crush zones and five structural crossbars engineered to spread side impact loads throughout the car's structure, steel side impact door safety beams, and daytime running lights (the Generation III Metro was the first GM car to offer DRLs), and dual frontal airbags. A new, one-piece instrument panel was mounted to one of the five crossmembers (internally called the "bazooka bar") with a new, full seal filling the gap between the instrument panel and the dash. The sedan and coupe chassis were 20% and 5% stiffer respectively than the previous generation 5-door and coupe Metros, and at the time of its introduction, the Metro was the smallest car in the world to meet the impending 1997 North American side impact standards. The revised sedan was also introduced in the United States, replacing the 5-door hatchback. The Generation III featured a coefficient of drag of .32.

At the time of the Generation III introduction, 41% of Metro buyers are first-car buyers, 62% of the buyers were female, and the median age of a Metro buyer was 37.

Suzuki Cultus Generation III, GM M platform:

3= 3-dr hatchback 4= 4-dr sedan


US Generation III models received the following NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program ratings:

  • Front Impact, Driver:
  • Front Impact, Passenger:

Test numbers indicate the chance of serious injury: 4 = 10-20% See NHTSA Test Results: 1996 Geo Metro See Video: 1998 Canadian Geo Metro Crash Test


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named the Generation III Chevrolet Metro and Suzuki Swift as the top two gasoline-fueled vehicles within their Top 12 Greenest Vehicles in 1998 and 1999. ACEEE assigns a Green Score to each vehicle make and model sold in the US, based on the vehicles’ exhaust emissions, fuel economy and other specifications.

Generation IV (non-Cultus)

Main article: Suzuki Swift

The fourth generation, marketed solely as the Suzuki Swift, differs substantially from the previous Cultus-based generations. Generation IV debuted at the Paris Auto Salon in September 2004 to compete in the European B segment with the Peugeot 206, Opel Corsa and the Fiat Punto. This generation of the Swift marked a significant departure with the previous Cultus-based models, with Suzuki re-designing the vehicle from an entry level subcompact to a "sporty" subcompact.

Suzuki Swift Generation IV:

The Suzuki Cultus developed through Generation II in Japan, and was superseded by the Cultus Crescent — a larger offspring of the Cultus.


The first Cultus was introduced to the JDM initially under the nameplate SA-310 in 1983 as either a 3 or 5-door hatchback with two possible petrol engines from the G family: a three cylinder powerplant with 993cc, and a four cylinder version with 1324cc. Power ranged from 60PS JIS (44kW) to 75PS (55kW). Manual and automatic transmissions were available. A turbocharged version of the smaller engine was later introduced, with power raised to 80PS (59kW), and 165/ 70 HR12 tyres.

The Cultus was slightly restyled in 1986, adopting a new front end, with redesigned grille, headlights and bumper. Engine power was slightly detuned on the 1.0L and 1.3L model, and the Cultus Turbo was joined by a more powerful sports version, the Cultus GTi. This featured a new Twin Cam 16v variant of the 1.3L engine, with 1298cc, thanks to a shorter stroke (75.5mm, down from the previous 77mm), fuel injection and 97PS (71kW). Production of the Cultus' first generation stopped in 1988.

The Generation II was introduced in 1988 with similar dimensions and but redesigned to make better use of the cargo area and cabin space. Like its predecessor, the new Cultus was available as a 3- or 5-door hatchback, and was powered by G-series engines from 1.0L to 1.3L. However, this last one had adopted an SOHC 16-valve arrangement, with standard fuel injection. Power was 58PS (43kW) and 82PS (60kW) arrangement. For the first time, 4WD was optional on the larger engine.

The Cultus GTi was now much more powerful, reaching 115PS JIS (85kW) with updated version of the previous GTi engine: the G13B engine that had higher compression pistons (11.5:1 compression ratio), tubular exhaust headers, a tubular intake manifold, larger camshafts and a reprogrammed ECU. Some models of the Cultus GTi were also available with all-wheel drive.

More well outfitted versions were the Cultus Ellesse (which included automatic air conditioning, central locking, power windows and adjustable steering wheel) and the Esteem, a sedan version. The Esteem featured a larger 1.5L engine, capable of reaching 91PS (67kW), and it was available with optional 4WD. The equipment was the same as the Cultus Ellesse.

In 1992, Suzuki introduced a two-seat convertible, based on the hatchback body — and dropped shortly thereafter.

Japanese Domestic Market Internal Designations

  • 1983~1988 AA41S
  • 1986~1988 A43S,AB43S,AA53S,AB53S,AA33S,AB33S,AA43V
  • 1988~1998 AA34S,AA44S,AB34S,AB44S
  • 1992~1993 AK34S, Cultus Convertible

Cultus Crescent

See also: Suzuki Esteem

The Suzuki Cultus and Cultus Crescent were two distinct but related models sold in Japan by Suzuki — with the Cultus Crescent eventually superseding the Cultus.

The Cultus Crescent was introduced in the Japanese market in 1995 sharing the same platform and many components from the Cultus — with a chassis stretched by 10cm (4in) and completely different styling.

The Cultus Crescent was available initially in two body variants, a 3-door hatchback and a 4-door saloon. Suzuki continued to use the SOHC 16-valve G-family engines, in 1.3L and 1.5L form, with power ranging from 85PS (63kW) to 97PS (71kW). The larger engine was the only one available in the sedan. In 1996, with the introduction of the Cultus Crescent Wagon, Suzuki's first station wagon, the 1.5L remained base model, and 4WD was offered with the 1.6L variant, basically the same engine as found in the Suzuki Escudo, with power raised to 115PS (85kW). A sports variant, dubbed GT, used Mazda's 1840cc BP engine, with 135PS (99kW).

In 1998, the base Cultus/ Swift was no longer marketed in Japan, and Suzuki dropped the "Crescent" name. The larger model was now simply called Cultus, and received new front end styling. The 1.6L 4WD variant was extended to the rest of the lineup, but not the 1.8L engine, which was only available in the other bodies other than the wagon in export markets. The Cultus remained in production in Japan until 2002, after a year of overlapping with its replacement, the larger and entirely new Aerio.

Production of the Cultus began in other countries and was available in developing markets such as India as the Maruti Suzuki Baleno til production ceased in 2007 to make way for the Suzuki SX4. Elsewhere internationally, the larger Cultus Crescent was marketed as the Suzuki Baleno and Esteem.

See also: Suzuki History of Cultus

The Cultus grouping of vehicles has been marketed in Asia, North America, South America, Australia, and Europe. Vehicles from the Cultus family were never formally markted in New Zealand but were imported and sold on the secondary market.

Suzuki Forsa

The Suzuki Forsa was a version of the Generation I Suzuki Cultus — marketed in Ecuador, Chile, Canada and the USA (minimally) from 1985 to 1988 — with Suzuki offering the supermini with either a carbureted 1.0 L inline-3 cylinder or fuel injected 1.0 L inline 3 cylinder turbocharged engine. The Forsa was virtually identical to the vehicles marketed in North America as the Chevrolet Sprint and the Pontiac Firefly.

Suzuki did not initially market the Forsa on the US mainland, but rather only in Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Marianas. An undetermined number of Forsa models were imported to the U.S. mainland to test the commercial viability of a supermini in the US.

As a record of US marketing of the Forsa, listings at the EPA Fuel Mileage Site carry the 1985 model as the Suzuki SA310 (the original JDM name for the Cultus, Forsa and Swift), no listing for 1986 — and both the Forsa and Forsa Turbo for 1987 and 1988. Suzuki then changed the name from Forsa to Swift with 1989 North American sales.

Suzuki Swift (North America)

Cars of three distinct derivations have carried the Swift nameplate:
  • Generations I, II, III: a supermini that began as an export nameplate of the Japanese domestic market Suzuki Cultus. (This article)
  • Generation IV: the current JDM, Europe and Oceana generation, a significant departure from the previous models, marketed solely under the nameplate "Swift". See: Suzuki Swift Generation IV
  • Canadian Swift+: the current Canada-only generation marketed under the Swift+ nameplate — a sibling of the Daewoo Kalos family. See: Daewoo Kalos

Generation I Swift Following 1985-1988 sales of the Forsa, Suzuki changed the nameplate to Suzuki Swift. The Swift was available as a GTi and GLX hatchback with a 4-door sedan following in 1990 — imported from Japan. The Swift nameplate evolved through the three Cultus generations. After production of the North American Metro, Swift and Firefly ended, Suzuki developed the Generation IV Swift, a distinctly new model, currently for Japan, Europe and Oceana.

The Swift featured a 993cc inline three cylinder engine producing 50hp (37kW). The G10 engine weighed 63kg (139lb) and the suspension derived from the Suzuki Alto. Other engine configurations included a carbureted or fuel injected turbocharged 1.0litre, 3 cylinder (G10) engine and a carbureted or fuel injected 1.3litre G13. Trim levels included the 1.0 GA and the 1.0 GL. The GA model included plastic wheelcovers, 5-speed gearbox and cloth trim. The GL model included more equipment such as a 5-speed gearbox, alloy wheels, a sunroof, and air conditioning in some markets.

With Generation I, Suzuki marketed the Swift GTi with the G13B engine — a DOHC 16 valve, 1.3 L, in-line 4-cylinder engine with an aluminum block and cylinder head, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and cast aluminum high compression pistons (10:1 compression ratio). Its power output is 101hp (70kW). The Generation I Swift GTi was available in European and Asia-Pacific markets.

Generation II Swift The Generation II (AA44S series) was available with a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder with a power output of 53 hp (39 kW), 1.3 liter 4-cylinder, and 1.6 liter 4-cylinder engines. The higher powered Swift GTi had an improved G13B engine which featured hollow camshafts, stronger web casting on the engine block, a better flowing intake manifold (the prior generation intake manifold had its shape compromised to fit into the engine bay), and its ECU now had electronic control over ignition timing. It now put out 100hp (74kW) of power. The Swift GTi also featured all wheel disc brakes.

The Generation II Swift was first marketed in North America in two trim levels in 1989; 3-door GTi and 5-door GLX. The GTi name was changed to GT in 1990 because of an out-of-court settlement with Volkswagen of America over their similarly named GTI. The GTi/ GT had a 1.3 liter, twin cam 100hp (70kW) 16-valve 4-cylinder engine while the GLX had a single cam 8-valve version of the same engine. The 1.0 liter 3-cylinder was never available in North America in the Swift except for Canada where it was sold from 1992 to 1994. In 1990, the GLX was dropped; an inexpensive GA 3-door was added as were a GA, GL and GS 4-door sedan.

The Generation II received a modest restyle and other production changes in 1992, including changes to the bumpers, tail lights and interior. GT/ GTi versions were equipped with larger sway-bars, and the camshafts were now solid. Power output remained the same at 100hp (70kW). Production for the North American market ended in 1994.

Generation III Swift From 1995 onward, the North American-exclusive Suzuki Swift was built at CAMI Automotive, receiving all the modifications of its Pontiac and Geo/ Chevrolet siblings — only in the 3-dr body style, however.

For Generation IV, see Suzuki Swift For the current Canadian Suzuki Swift+, see Daewoo Kalos

Chevrolet Sprint

The Chevrolet Sprint was sold in the United States and Canada, with GM continuing to market the Chevette until 1987 alongside the Sprint. In the 1988 model year, the naturally-aspirated hatchback was named the Chevrolet Sprint Metro.

The "Sprint" and "Sprint Metro" differed in their engines, though both were computer controlled carb systems. From 1985 to 1988, the carbureted 1.0L 3-cylinder engine used a hemispherical head design. Later, fuel injection required the cylinder head for 1989 be redesigned to add the additional cooling required, reducing gas mileage.

The Sprint was originally offered in parts of the western US for the 1985 model year; subsequently Chevrolet marketed the Sprint across North America. All models were initially 3-dr hatchbacks. Starting in 1986, a five-door hatchback version was offered, called the Sprint Plus. That year, another model called the Sprint ER was offered that included a few extra features, such as an "upshift" light to indicate the ideal speed to shift to the next highest gear on manual transmission models. Although air conditioning was offered in all years, the three-speed automatic transmission wasn't offered until 1986. All models featured front-wheel drive and 12-inch tires.

Turbocharged versions of the 1.0L 3-cylinder engine were available in the Turbo Sprint from 1987 to 1990 (1987-1988 in U.S.). Colors were limited to red, white and blue for the Turbo Sprint. The corresponding Suzuki was not turbocharged; instead, it used a 1.3L 4-cylinder engine.

Colombia The name "Chevette Sprint" was considered before calling the Colombia model (Generation I) the "Chevrolet Sprint" — to distinguish it from the Opel knock down kits imported to Brazil. When presented on 7 October 1986, the Sprint caused a sensation. Slight modifications were made in 1987, including increasing the wheel sizes from 12" to 13" and the Sprint remained in production virtually unchanged til 2004 — with a production of 70,848. Import models of Generation II models were imported from 1991 til 2004 and called the Chevrolet Swift.

See: 1985 US Chevrolet Sprint commercial See: 1988 Colombia Chevrolet Sprint commercial

Geo Metro

Not to be confused with Rover Metro.

The Geo Metro was a marketing and manufacturing variation of the Suzuki Cultus available in North America from 1989 through 2001 as a joint effort of GM and Suzuki. The Metro, which (in the US) carried a Geo nameplate from 1989 through 1997, and a Chevrolet nameplate from 1998 to 2001, evolved with the Cultus and its siblings over 13 years, three generations and four body styles: 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback and 2-door convertible — and was ultimately replaced by a family of vehicles based on the Daewoo Kalos. The Metro sedan was only sold in Canada, since the American Geo sedan that time was the Prizm.

Following the Chevrolet Sprint, which was based on the Generation I Cultus, the Geo Metro was based first on the Generation II Cultus and then on the Generation III platform — a new platform dedicated solely to the North American market. Generations II and III, appearing in 1989 and 1995 respectively, were designed at GM's Technical Center in Warren, Michigan and were designated the GM M platform, and shared engines and drivetrains developed by Suzuki. Production was Japan-sourced until 1990 manufacture commenced at CAMI Automotive — with Japanese production continuing to source Canadian sedan models.

Solectria, a Massachusetts company, converted examples of the Generation I and Generation II Geo Metro to electric operation. Approximately 500 examples of 1996 and 1997 models were converted to electric operation — the bare vehicles were provided by GM without engines. Called the Solectria Force and Solectria EV, the converted vehicles featured 3 phase AC induction motors and regenerative braking. The battery pack consists of 13 Group 27 Decca Dominator Sealed Gel Lead Acid modules.

The Metro enjoyed increased interest as a used car in 2008, by virtue of its fuel mileage and rising fuel costs .

Metro engines

Engines for the Metro were from the Suzuki G engine family:

G10: 1.0 L3 In the United States a single engine was available from 1989 through 1994: a 1.0L I3 engine. Rated at 55hp (39kW), the engine achieved 38 city, 45 highway mpg per the revised 2007 EPA mileage standards.

The detuned 49hp (37kW) engine in the XFi combined a shorter duration cam, leaner fuel map, two ring pistons, and a higher final drive gear model to achieve 43 city, 51 highway per the revised 2007 EPA mileage standards.

G13: 1.3L I4 In 1995, with the third generation Metro came the 1.3L I4 with 70hp (52kW). The engine was the same engine that had been in use in the Suzuki Swift (except for the GT models) in prior years. LSi models produced from 1995 onward featured the 4-cylinder engine tuned to produce 79hp, with the 3-cylinder still used on base models and becoming an option for non-LSi models in 1997.

Canadian Metros had the 1.3L engine available as an option beginning in 1993 in the 3-door GSi model, and as standard equipment in the sedan (exclusive to the Canadian market at the time: as noted in the previous paragraph, American market Metros were not available in a sedan bodystyle until 1995).

Metro history

Generation I Metro

  • 1984 - Suzuki and General Motors announced they would sell rebadged models of the Suzuki Cultus in North America as Chevrolets and Pontiacs, with Suzuki selling their own version as the Forsa.
  • 1985 - GM began marketing in North America as the Chevrolet Sprint. The car is also sold as Suzuki Forsa and Pontiac Firefly in Canada. The Chevrolet Sprint was sold only in the Western United States until 1986.
  • 1986 - Chevrolet Sprint began nationwide sales in the US. Sprint consumers had a choice of ER, Base, and Turbo models. Firefly marketed in FE, Turbo, and Base models.
  • 1987 - The Metro name first appeared on a model of the naturally-aspirated Chevrolet Sprint: the "Chevrolet Sprint Metro."
  • 1988 - Production began on the first Geo Metro models at Suzuki's plant in Hamamatsu, Japan.

Generation II Metro

  • 1989 - The Geo Metro debuted in the United States, replacing the Sprint. Canadian models continued with the Chevrolet Sprint and Pontiac Firefly nameplates, while the second generation Suzuki Swift replaced the Forsa nameplate. Suzuki begins marketing the Swift in the United States.
  • 1990 - Geo introduced Metro LSi models, which included an automatic transmission, air conditioning and a stereo with cassette player. Geo introduced the XFi model optimized for mileage, featuring the three-cylinder engine with a shorter duration cam, leaner fuel map, two ring pistons, and a higher final drive gear ratio and deleting interior amenities (e.g., the passenger mirror), thereby achieving 43 city, 51 highway per the revised 2007 EPA mileage standards. XFi made up less than 10% of Metro sales. Production began at CAMI Automotive, where all remaining Metro models with the exception of convertibles would be produced. The convertible model debuted, available in LSi trim. As with the Metro, the Firefly is offered in sedan and convertible models.
  • 1991 - GM increases convertible production and adds paint options.
  • 1992 - The Metro received a facelift with new hubcaps, exterior modification and new interior controls. The Pontiac Firefly is dropped.
  • 1993 - Convertible production ended. Automatic door locks, which deploy after the car reaches a speed of 10mph (16km/ h) are introduced this year.
  • 1994 - 5-door hatchback production ended. There was also a slight but barely noticeable change in the headlights, as well. Canadian Pontiac dealers began selling the Firefly (first generation) again, but with a facelift. The Convertible is dropped from the Firefly lineup, but Suzuki still produced Firefly and Metro sedans for Canada this year. Geo drops the Xfi model .

Generation III Metro

  • 1995 - The third generation Metro was introduced with a revised 4-cylinder engine for LSi models with hydraulic lifters and lash adjusters, and a 30,000-mile service interval — supplementing the 3 cylinder models. The hatchback featured a three-inch lower liftover height compared to the Generation II , and safety equipment included optional anti-lock brakes, safety cage construction with deformable front and rear crush zones, and steel side impact door safety beams and new daytime running lights — the Metro was the first GM car to get DRLs as standard equipment), as well as dual frontal airbags. The sedan and coupe chassis were 20% and 5% stiffer respectively than the previous generation Metros, and at the time of its introduction, the Metro was the smallest car in the world to meet the impending 1997 side impact standards . The revised sedan was also introduced in the United States, replacing the 5-door hatchback. Its twins, Pontiac Firefly and Suzuki Swift featured the same redesign. The Metro now featured a coefficient of drag of .32 . At the introduction of the Generation III, GM arranged for a car carrier with 1995 Metros to drive to college campuses across the country. Local writers took a half-day seminar at "Metro University" with the head product planner and senior members of the engineering, assembly, and marketing teams .
  • 1996 - OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics, Second generation) was added to Metro models, at a cost of some fuel efficiency.
  • 1997 - The last year for the Geo brand. The Metro returned in 1998 as with a Chevrolet nameplate.
  • 1998 - The Metro now carried the Chevrolet nameplate, along with new front and rear fascias and a SOHC 16v design I-4 1.3L engine with a horsepower increase of 12%. Electronic ignition replaced the distributor, and MPFI (Multiport Fuel Injection) replaced the TBI (Throttle Body Injection). The new motor offered more HP, torque, and higher fuel economy. This I-4 engine replaced the older 8v 4 cylinder, but the 3 cylinder engine remained unchanged.
  • 2000 - Metro and Firefly sales to the general public ceased, with fleet sales only returning in 2001.
  • 2001 - The Metro's final year. The only model available this year is the 4-door LSi sedan. The Metro continued on sale in Canada. General Motors announces that the Metro would not be included in the 2002 Chevrolet model lineup. CAMI Automotive manufactures the last Metro, a red sedan, in April, 2001.

Beginning in late 2003 as a model year 2004 model, the Daewoo Kalos, marketed variously as the Chevrolet Aveo, Pontiac Wave and Suzuki Swift+, effectively replaced the Metro.

Pontiac Firefly

The Pontiac Firefly was a marketing and manufacturing variation of the Suzuki Cultus available in Canada and the Middle East from 1985 to 1991, and again from 1994 to 2001 — as a joint effort of GM and Suzuki.

The Firefly received redesigns in 1989 and 1995, following the product cycle of the Geo/ Chevrolet Metro. Solely the G10 engine was available from 1989 through 1994, the 1.0 L 3-cylinder. A turbocharged variant of G10 was also available from 1987 to 1991. The Firefly was not marketed for the 1992 and 1993 model years when the 1993-only Asuna brand introduced the larger 1992 LeMans to replace the Passport Optima and the pre-facelift Firefly.

In 1994, the Firefly returned with a facelift following the demise of the Asuna brand. With the Generation III 1995 redesign, the G13 1.3 L 4-cylinder engine also became available. The Firefly was phased out of production after the 2000 model year with its Chevrolet and Suzuki siblings.

From 1991 to 1992, the Firefly was sold in a convertible and in a 4-door sedan. All hatchbacks were manufactured at CAMI, while convertibles and sedans were from sourced from Japanese production.

With model year 2005, the Pontiac Wave, a rebadged Daewoo Kalos, replaced the Firefly.

From 1985 through 1989, Cultus-derived models sold in North America — under the nameplates Suzuki Forsa, Suzuki Swift, Chevrolet Sprint, Geo Metro and Pontiac Firefly — were sourced from Suzuki's facilities in Japan. Beginning in 1990, all North American M-cars were produced at CAMI Automotive, a 50-50 joint venture between General Motors and Suzuki in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. Japanese production continued to source Canadian sedan models. CAMI never reached its intended Metro/ Firefly/ Swift capacity. While at its peak, Canadian Swift/ Metro/ Firefly production reached more than 100,000 vehicles a year, the number fell to just 32,000 in 2000. In response to the waning popularity of smaller automobiles in the North American markets, Chevrolet/ Geo sold only 55,600 Metros in 1997, off from 88,700 the year before. In a 2004 Autoweek article, Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki, called CAMI "a fishbone in my throat" because of its low production.

Assembly also commenced in India (Maruti Suzuki), Hungary (Magyar Suzuki), Pakistan (Pak Suzuki), and China (Chang'an Suzuki). When production began at Magyar Suzuki of the Suzuki Swift in 1992, Suzuki invested $230 million in capital for the new company and flew each of its Hungarian workers to Japan for training in its production methods. Notably, 5-door models of the Generation II (under the nameplate Cultus) are manufactured today in Pakistan and 4-door sedans of Generation II are manufactured today in China.

See photos of Subaru Justy (JMA/ MS) "Cultus" at Wikipedia Deutsch

Mk nomenclature varies by region, emphasizing local marketing distinctions, restylings, and market adaptations

North America

NA Mk: Mk1 - 85-88 (Boxy body) — Corresponds to Generation I MK2 - 89-91 (Round body + Boxy dash) — Corresponds to Generation II MK3 - 92-94 (Round body + Round dash)— Corresponds to Generation II (first restyle) Mk4 - 95-97 (Guppy mouth) — Corresponds to Generation III Mk5 - 98-01 (Razor mouth) — Corresponds to Generation III (first restyle)


Euro Mk: MK1 - '86 to '88 — Corresponds to Generation I MK2 - '88 to '92 — Corresponds to Generation II MK3 - '92 to '96 — Corresponds to Generation II (first restyle) MK4 - '96 to '01 — Corresponds to Generation II (second restyle) MK5 - '01 to '02 — Corresponds to Generation II (third restyle) MK6 - '05 onward — Corresponds to Generation IV


Australia Mk: MK1 - SA310 / SA413 (1984-86). — Corresponds to Generation I MK2 - SF310 / SF413 / SF416 (1989-92) — Corresponds to Generation II MK3 - SF310 / SF413 / SF416 (1993-99) — Corresponds to Generation II (first restyle)

MK1 Introduced March 1984, the SA Swift was front wheel drive, with a solid axle and drum brakes on the rear, with front disc brakes.

  • Models: GA, GL, GC and GLS.

MK2 New rounder body shape with mechanicals similar to the SA model and the solid rear axle replaced by a trailing arm setup.

  • Models: GA, GL, GTi 3-door hatchbacks; GL and GLX Sedans, with 4WD available between 1990-91.

MK3 Remodeled interior, revised front and rear bumper fascias. New rounded dashboard.

  • Models: GA, (later replaced with the City Car), the Cino, GL and GLX Sedans, and the GTi

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