Niall HamptonSee other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Niall Hampton
There's lots to get stuck into with the 2017 line-up of Swift motorhomes. From the all-new Autocruise range to the Black Edition Swift Rios and much more, including a major revamp for the Swift Escape – read on to find out more!
Hull-based Swift Group is the UK’s largest producer of motorhomes, building van conversions, low-profiles and overcab coachbuilts. A mainstay of the British industry, Swift is also an active exporter, with a presence in a variety of overseas markets including Scandinavia, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.
Swift Group’s range of Autocruise van conversions is much-changed for 2017. The four models from 2016 are carried forward, but with new names and a basic standard spec for just over £36,000 OTR. The idea is that buyers can start from scratch and build their own bespoke Autocruise motorhome from options packs covering base vehicle and living area upgrades.
This new Select line-up is based on the Fiat Ducato with the latest 2.3-litre, 115bhp Euro 6 engines. There are two 5.99m-long units, on 3300kg chassis – the rear lounge two-berth 122 and rear lounge/front dinette two-berth 144. The two-berth French bed 164 and two-berth twin-lounge 184 both measure 6.36m long and are 3500kg. Extra berths and travel seats can be specified in the 144, 164 and 184.
The base specification includes swivelling cab seats, electric cab windows, a radio/MP3 player and key fob locking. The living areas get vinyl floor coverings, soft furnishings, and 4kW Truma Combi space and water heating. Kitchens are fitted with two-burner hobs and sinks, plus 50-litre Waeco compressor fridges. Washrooms have all the necessities, and the Swift Command digital control panel is standard kit.
Prices for the Select upgrade packs had yet to be confirmed at the time of going to press, but we understand they will cost approximately £2000 each. Further individual options, for example engine and transmission upgrades, will also be available.
Swift’s biggest revamp for 2017 is reserved for its wildly popular entry-level Escape line-up. For 2017, there are six new models, making the range eight-strong.
All eight Escapes are low line-profiles with a new GRP overcab pod design – 2016’s overcab coachbuilts have been dropped. They all ride on Fiat Ducato chassis with Euro 6 130bhp engines as standard.
Last season’s two-berth 622 and four-berth 664 are carried forward. Joining them for 2017 are four four-berths – the front lounge/end washroom 614, end lounge/front dinette 674, front lounge/rear twin single beds 684 and front lounge/island bed 694. Families are well catered for by six-berths 685 (front dinette/rear lounge) and 695 (front lounge/rear bunks). Manually operated drop-down beds are offered as options to boost sleeping spaces in the 674, 684 and 694.
The new-look Escape has smart blue side graphics, interior and exterior walls in GRP plus a new one-piece full-height GRP back panel. Interiors get a boost with a new overhead locker design and finish with white cupboard doors. New Nova soft furnishings and the provision of LED lighting throughout ramps up lounging and sleeping comfort.
Equipment includes an oven/grill, three-burner hob and model-specific Dometic slimline fridge freezer. Swift’s Command control panel is included and the standard specification can be boosted by the optional Comfort Pack, which adds an overcab sunroof, TV aerial, cab air con and cruise control.
Models-wise, Swift’s compact range is unchanged, with only detail improvements taking it into 2017. There are three two-berths – the front dinette/end washroom 310, rear lounge cum tailgate 320 and the front dinette/elevating rear transverse bed 325 – and one four-berth, the front dinette/rear lounge cum tailgate 340. All models ride on the Fiat Ducato with 130bhp Euro 6 engines, on 3500kg chassis.
In common with Bolero and Kon-Tiki, Rio is bumped up to Black Edition status, with metallic black cabs and new graphics. Black Edition has been a massive success for Swift, and Rio is now getting in on the act.
Enhanced SMART Plus construction continues its roll-out, and Swift Command also features in the new Rio. As elsewhere in Swift’s coachbuilt portfolio, Rio bodyshells are now full GRP, thanks to new sidewalls with inner and outer GRP skins.
Inside, soft furnishings are upgraded to Cordone, while curtains are ditched in favour of contemporary looking window surrounds with a honeycomb design. Drop-down beds in Rio models are now manually operated, as is now standard across Swift Group ’vans. Kitchens benefit from the Dometic CU600 oven, which offers better performance and less noise during transit, and which debuted in last year’s Bolero and Kon-Tiki.
Under the ’vans, Rio models also benefit from electronic fresh and waste water tank drain valves. As before, the optional Lux Pack brings cab air con, cruise control and a TV aerial into the Rio.
The same eight models roll over for 2017, but there are several upgrades and improvements. The Fiat Ducato’s new Euro 6 engines lead the changes, supported by a full GRP roof. Interiors get new Moonlight soft furnishings and Dometic CU600 ovens for improved efficiency, but the standout addition is the arrival of Alde wet central heating in Bessacarr ’vans. The optional Lux Pack adds cab air con, cruise control and a TV aerial.
The range comprises three two-berths – the front parallel lounge/end kitchen 412, the front lounge/end washroom 442, and the end-lounge 462. Four four-berths are offered: the front dinette/end washroom 424, front dinette/French bed 454, front dinette/elevating rear bed over garage 484 and front dinette/rear transverse island bed 494. With the exception of the 494, which rides on a 3700kg chassis, and the six-berth, 4250kg chassis 496 (front dinette with drop-down bed/rear lounge), all Bessacarr motorhomes are based on 3500kg chassis.
If not required, buyers can specify parallel lounge seating in lieu of the dinette in the 454, 484 and 494 models, making them two-berth, two-travel-seat motorhomes.
Following major surgery last year, there are limited changes to Swift’s upper mid-market range. The Fiat cabs get Euro 6 engines, there’s a new Ritz soft furnishings scheme inside, and the optional Vogue Pack is retained – it adds air con, cruise control, a twin-view reversing camera and a TV aerial.
Last season’s debutant, the two-berth 612EK, has been deleted so four Boleros make the cut for 2017 – all offering four berths and four travel seats on chassis heavier than 3500kg. These are the 684FB (front dinette/rear French bed; 3700kg chassis), the 714SB (front dinette/fixed twin single beds; 4250kg chassis), the 724FB (front dinette/rear French bed/end washroom; 4250kg chassis) and the 744PR (front dinette/rear lounge; 4250kg chassis). The 684FB comes with a 130bhp power output as standard; for the other three models, 150bhp is preferred. As last year, parallel lounges are available in lieu of dinettes in the 684FB, 714SB and 724FB, making them two-berth ’vans with two travel seats.
Swift Group’s iconic flagship line-up also goes forward unchanged, with six models. Fiat’s Euro 6 engines feature throughout, with 150bhp outputs as standard.
There are four Kon-Tiki four-berths – the 625 (front dinette/rear island bed), the 635 (front dinette/fixed twin single beds), the 669 (tag-axle, front dinette/rear island bed) and the 679 (tag-axle, front dinette/transverse rear bed) – and one six-berth: the tag-axle overcab 649, which sports a front dinette and rear lounge. Although low-line coachbuilts, the 669 and 679 can be ordered as high-lines with overcab beds offering two extra berths.
For 2017, Swift Kon-Tiki interiors benefit from a new Carabu soft furnishings scheme, which references oyster and dusk tones. A leather upholstery option, called Winchester Stone, is also available. With a high standard specification, the only items on the Kon-Tiki options list comprise an engine output upgrade (from 150bhp to 180bhp), Fiat’s ComfortMatic robotised gearbox, the fitment of a tow bar and electrics, plus a roof rack.
The 2017 range of Swift motorhomes at a glance
- Autocruise Select 122 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, parallel lounge, 3500kg MTPLM, 5.99m-long, £36,490 OTR
- Autocruise Select 144 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, front dinette, rear lounge, 3500kg MTPLM, 5.99m-long, £36,490 OTR
- Autocruise Select 164 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, front dinette, rear fixed bed, 3500kg MTPLM, 6.36m-long, £38,490 OTR
- Autocruise Select 184 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, front dinette, rear lounge, 3500kg MTPLM, 6.36m-long, £38,490 OTR
- NEW! Swift Escape 614 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette with drop-down bed, rear garage, 3500kg MTPLM, length TBC, £43,690 OTR
- Swift Escape 622 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, rear parallel lounge, 3500kg MTPLM, 6.3m-long, £40,745 OTR
- Swift Escape 664 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette, rear fixed bed, 3500kg MTPLM, 6.72m-long, £43,060 OTR
- NEW! Swift Escape 674 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette, rear parallel lounge, 3500kg MTPLM, length TBC, £44,990 OTR
- NEW! Swift Escape 684 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette with optional drop-down bed, twin fixed single beds over rear garage, 3500kg MTPLM, length TBC, £44,875 OTR
- NEW! Swift Escape 685 – 6-berth, 5 travel seats, front dinette, rear lounge, 3500kg MTPLM, length TBC, £45,990 OTR
- NEW! Swift Escape 694 – 6-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette with optional drop-down bed, rear island bed, 3500kg MTPLM, length TBC, £44,875 OTR
- NEW! Swift Escape 695 – 6-berth, 5 travel seats, four dinette, front dinette with drop-down bed, rear bunks, 3500kg MTPLM, length TBC, £45,490 OTR
- Swift Rio 310 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, front lounge, end washroom, 3500kg MTPLM, 5.99m-long
- Swift Rio 320 – 2-berths, 2 travel seats, rear lounge with opening tailgate, 3500kg MTPLM, 6.4m-long
- Swift Rio 325 – 2-berth, 4 travel seats, front lounge, elevating transverse rear bed, 3500kg MTPLM, 5.99m-long
- Swift Rio 340 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette, rear lounge with opening tailgate, 3500kg MTPLM, 6.4m-long
- Bessacarr 412 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, front parallel lounge, end kitchen, 3500kg MTPLM, 5.98m-long, £47,455 OTR
- Bessacarr 424 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette, rear transverse washroom, 3500kg MTPLM, 5.99m-long, £50,565 OTR
- Bessacarr 442 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, front parallel lounge, and washroom, 3500kg MTPLM, 7.36m-long, £51,980 OTR
- Bessacarr 454 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette, rear fixed bed, 3500kg MTPLM, 7.08m-long, £51,980 OTR
- Bessacarr 462 – 2-berth, 2 travel seats, rear lounge, offside washroom, 3500kg MTPLM, 6.53m-long, £49,245 OTR
- Bessacarr 484 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette, elevating rear fixed bed above garage, 3500kg MTPLM, 7.08m-long, £52,925 OTR
- Bessacarr 494 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front dinette, transverse rear island bed, 3700kg MTPLM, 7.75m-long, £52,920 OTR
- Bessacarr 496 – 6-berth, 6 travel seats, front dinette with drop-down bed and four travelling seats, rear lounge, 4250kg MTPLM, 7.75m-long, £55,490 OTR
- Swift Bolero 684FB – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, rear French bed, 3700kg MTPLM, 7.09m-long
- Swift Bolero 714SB – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, fixed twin singles, 4250kg MTPLM, 7.77m-long
- Swift Bolero 724FB – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, rear French bed/end washroom 4250kg MTPLM, 7.77m-long
- Swift Bolero 744PR – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, end lounge, 4250kg MTPLM, 8.07m-long
- Swift Kon-Tiki 625 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front lounge, rear island fixed bed, 4250kg MTPLM, 8.06m-long
- Swift Kon-Tiki 635 – 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front lounge, rear fixed single beds above garage storage, 4250kg MTPLM, 8.06m-long
- Swift Kon-Tiki 669 – tag-axle, 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front lounge, rear island fixed bed, 5000kg MTPLM, 8.56m-long
- Swift Kon-Tiki 679 – tag-axle, 4-berth, 4 travel seats, front lounge, rear transverse raised fixed above garage storage, 5000kg MTPLM, 8.56m-long
- Swift Kon-Tiki 649 – tag-axle, 6-berth, 6 travel seats, front dinette, rear parallel lounge, 5000kg MTPLM, 8.56m-long
- Swift Kon-Tiki 669 (‘high-line’ option) – tag-axle, 6-berth, 4 travel seats, front lounge, rear island fixed bed, 5000kg MTPLM, 8.56m-long
- Swift Kon-Tiki 679 (‘high-line’ option) – tag-axle, 6-berth, 4 travel seats, front lounge, rear transverse raised fixed above garage storage, 5000kg MTPLM, 8.56m-long