If we were to pick a ride for the daily Metro Manila commute, the Suzuki S-Presso is definitely on our favorites list. The small size, peppy 1.0-liter engine and extra ground clearance would never have us worried about tight parking spots, weaving in and out of traffic and navigating through potholed (and puddled) roads.
However, as much as we like how the little raised hatchback is, there's still something we wish Suzuki had for the S-Presso's local variants: an automatic.
The S-Presso doesn't technically have an automatic variant abroad per se, but there is the Auto Gear Shift (AGS) variant; the automated manual transmission. It's the one thing that would definitely make it more practical as a city car.
That wish may soon be granted by Suzuki. We have spotted that Suzuki Philippines (SPH) received an approval for a passenger car that has a maximum weight of 1170 kg and an engine capacity of 998cc. Upon a quick check with the specifications of Suzuki models, we found out those figures very closely match that of the S-Presso.
So why are they applying for another certification when the S-Presso is already an existing model? Well, automakers do it when they need to introduce changes to a current model's engine, its control system, and its transmission.
We also checked when the S-Presso was launched in 2019 with the manual transmission, and Suzuki stated that the reference mass of the vehicle was 850 to 863 kilograms. The reference mass of the model that Suzuki had applied for is 871 kilograms. Models that have an automatic or automated manual tend to be slightly heavier than models with a manual transmission.
As far as we can remember, Suzuki PH is promoting AGS when they brought in the all-new Celerio earlier in the year. And if they are to continue with that trend, then indeed the signs point out to a possibility for the local S-Presso to finally have an AGS variant.
Just recently, Maruti Suzuki India (where Suzuki Philippines sources the S-Presso) introduced updates to the 2022 S-Presso, and that includes the addition of electronic stability program, hill hold assist and the idle start/stop technology exclusive for AGS models.
Now to the other question – if Suzuki PH does bring in the S-Presso AGS, when will they launch it? Well, the Philippine International Motor Show is only a month away, so we could be looking at PIMS 2022 launch for an S-Presso that has two pedals.