Lizzie PopeSee other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Lizzie Pope
THE ESPRIT RANGE of mid-market coachbuilts was launched in 2014 to replace the popular Sundance, which was starting to lose sales to rivals. To buck this trend, Swift made the new range available at a lower price than Sundance, a move facilitated by using a less expensive bodyshell. To attract buyers, the Esprit specification was enhanced above those of Sundance.
The strategy clearly worked, as sales of Esprit 'vans during 2014 were 35% higher than the Sundance in 2013. Yet with the introduction of the new Fiat cab, and the roll-out of the timber-free SMART bodyshell construction across Swift’s coachbuilt ranges, Swift saw an ideal opportunity to improve the product further, so the 2015 Esprit – and its sister Bessacarr range – have been rebuilt from the chassis up.
There are small changes to the line-up. Out go the rear fixed-bed 444 and rear lounge 464, to be replaced by two new layouts – the front dinette 424 and rear island-bed 494 – while the rear-garage 484 receives a significant modification. The Esprit range also benefits from Swift Group-wide spec bumps for the new season – including new cab chairs, a new wood grain finish, new locker handles and dimmable LED spotlights – plus other general improvements.
The 2015 Esprit ’vans get a new streamlined bodyshell, new overcab pods with a roof window and a curved GRP rear panel. Overall body width has been increased, and the height reduced, to give a sleeker look. The high-line roof models (424, 462 and 496) get a new lower curved roof-line (due, in the case of the 424 and 496, to the drop-down bed). Darkened windows, new graphics and new front marker lights complete the external look.
Inside, there are new cab chairs with an integrated headrest, a wider backrest and better side support. A gearshift indicator is a welcome addition to the improved instrument panel, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity are other boons. Two bottles can be accommodated in a new holder, mounted on the floor under the dashboard.
A new upholstery scheme teams silver-tinged grey weave fabric with chocolate-coloured ribbed seat cushions; these colour cues are picked up in the curtain fabric and scatter cushions. Swift’s new Aralie Sen cabinetwork finish carries hessian inlays in the overhead locker doors for a contemporary look.
Dimmable LED under-locker spotlights offer increased control, and there’s a new stepwell light. Other design refinements include chrome plug sockets, a new-style kitchen sink and illuminated splashback, and a new Thetford oven engineered to rattle less during transit. All fixed bed models continue with Duvalay Duvalite mattresses – exclusive to Swift motorhomes.
Truma Combi 4 heating and water heating systems are fitted to the Esprit 412 and 424; the 442, 454, 462, 484, 494 and 496 get Combi 6 boilers. All models get the Winter Pack as standard (fresh- and waste-water tank heaters, drain insulation and fridge vent covers) which helps the Esprit models achieve Grade 3 insulation standard.
All models are powered by the Fiat Ducato 2.3-litre 130bhp engine, with a six-speed manual gearbox. An automatic transmission is available as an option.
In a change to nomenclature, the final digit in the model numbers denotes the number of belted travel seats. Esprit 2015 prices will start at £42,289 – 2014’s starting price was £38,885.
2015 Swift Esprit range
Swift Esprit 412
Two berths, two travel seats – front parallel lounge, end kitchen and washroom. Low-line roof profile.
Swift Esprit 424
NEW LAYOUT. Four berths, four travel seats – front travelling dinette, side kitchen and rear transverse washroom. Low-line roof profile.
Swift Esprit 442
Two berths, two travel seats – front parallel lounge, centre kitchen and washroom, and large rear full width washroom. Low-line roof profile.
Swift Esprit 454
Four berths, four travel seats – front travelling dinette, centre kitchen, fixed bed, side washroom. Low-line roof profile.
Swift Esprit 462
Two berths, two travel seats – rear wrap-around seating, side kitchen and washroom. High-line roof profile.
Swift Esprit 484
MODIFIED LAYOUT. Four berths, four travel seats – front travelling dinette, centre kitchen and washroom, new lift-up fixed raised rear bed with garage storage beneath. Low-line roof profile.
Swift Esprit 494
NEW LAYOUT. Four berths, four travel seats, front travelling dinette, centre kitchen and washroom, transverse fixed rear island bed. Low-line roof profile.
Swift Esprit 496
Six berths, six travel seats – front dinette with four travelling seats, centre kitchen and washroom, rear wrap-around seating. High-line roof profile.
For details of the full 2015 Swift motorhomes range, please click here.
For full details of the new 2015 Swift Escape range, please click here.
For full details of the new 2015 Bessacarr range, please click here.
For full details of the new 2015 Swift Rio range, please click here.
For full details of the new 2015 Swift Bolero range, please click here.
For full details of the new 2015 Swift Kon-tiki range, please click here.
For full details of the new 2015 Autocruise range, please click here.