Tokyo '09: Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid with a Volt-like Drivetrain

Attending the Tokyo Motor Show, or any international auto show for that matter, without having at least one hybrid prototype model at your stand is almost unthinkable nowadays for any mainstream automaker. The Suzuki brand will display a plug-in hybrid concept version of its successful MINI Swift supermini that features a drive system that works in a similar way to the one used on GM's Chevy Volt.

The hybrid drivetrain of the Suzuki Swift Concept combines a small displacement gasoline engine with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. The concept car is designed primarily to be driven only on electric power.

For short distances, the electric motor is powered by the battery that's charged from a household mains socket. If the battery runs low, then the gasoline engine kicks in not to move the vehicle but to power a generator that in turn charges the battery.

Being a concept an all, Suzuki touched up the Swift Plug-in Hybrid with a different headlight treatment and new wheels on the outside, and a set of lightweight front seats with net-like surfacing and special trim on the inside.