Suzuki Cappuccino

Zaheer July 25, 2011 0

Suzuki Motor Corporation has introduced Suzuki Cappuccino that comes with a hardtop roadster that is 2-seater demountable and a small 2 door system as well. This vehicle was specially designed in order to meet Kei car special factors for lower insurance and tax in Japan. Cappuccino just weighing about 725 kg (1,598 lb), is powered by a three-cylinder, turbocharged, DOHC engine of 657cc that is just below the normal 660cc which is the highest displacement for a Kei car that is being allowed. The dimensions of this vehicle is also very conformed to the regulations of Kei Car’s width and length, being just right 1,395 mm (54.9 in) wide and 3,295 mm (129.7 in) long respectively.

When both seats are occupied, the weight distribution of front rear is said to be 50/50%. The layout of this vehicle is the rear-wheel drive and front mid-engine likewise. Its roof, hood, lower front guard panels and roll bar are made of aluminum.

When the three roof panels are removable it means that you can use the car as a closed coupé; targa; T-top; or full convertible by retracting roll bar and the rear window. The roll cage assembly/ rear window gets retracted behind the seats into the body and the roof panels get stowed in the trunk (though it is better to say the it will take 90 percent of the modest space already). It is unlike the various convertibles of the time, with demisting elements where the rear window is wraparound and glass.

Initially it was equipped with a F6A engine and then the later models came with a K6A engine that was much lighter and was chain driven instead of the belt driven torque in more and camshafts. Both the types were with the inline 3-cylinder engines which are intercooled and turbocharged along with DOHC 12-valve. It was claimed that the power output was 63 hp (47 kW; 64 PS) @ 6500 rpm in order to match under the maximum power being allowed for Kei cars.

Rear wheel drive and 4 wheel disc brakes were the features in Cappuccino. Later versions were produced in the year 1991 and stopped in 1997 in Japan that had power-assisted steering with speed sensing electric and double wishbone suspension of aluminum as an iteration of early production. Honda Beat, Autozam AZ-1 and Daihatsu Leeza Spyder were meant to be the closest competitor of Cappuccino at that time. (Sporty K-Car’s ABC was the name kept for Autozam AZ-1, Honda Beat and Suzuki Cappuccino together.)

The early days

In the year 1987, it was a dream to create a sporting image of Suzuki and within the time of two years its “project car” was displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show for the first time. Cappuccino was intentionally designed by Suzuki especially for the Japanese market, just to save on the tax of the Kei class: which had a body length of less than 3.3 meters (129.9 in), body with within 1.4 meters (55.1 in) and the engine size below 0.66 liter and was never thought to be exported. In October 1991, the manufacturing of Cappuccino had started at the Kosai Plant, giving the designation of SX306, and the identification of the model EA11R that was incorporated in the VIN likewise. In Japan, it was November 1991, when the Cappuccino sales were launched by keeping the advertising theme: “fulfilling one’s dream of owning a stylish and very affordable 2 seater sports car”. The initial two years from 1991-92 was recorded of producing 15,113 cars and the sales were 13,318 in Japan which is 88 percent of the production.

The UK (European) version

In order to meet the needs of the British National Type Approval and thus launching a car in the parts of United Kingdom, Suzuki GB started discussions with Suzuki Motor Corporation in the year 1991. The whole of technical co-operation and complete negotiation between the SMC and SGB took around 18 months to approve and homologate the Suzuki Cappuccino. Around 23 adaptations took place to the Japanese Cappuccino in order to conform to British NTA as per the work done at the Kosai plant and also the Suzuki Import Centre as well. Cappuccino was first displayed for public in October 1992 outside Japan at British International Motor Show. During this show, Cappuccino had won two prestigious design awards for itself of IBCAM known as the “best car of the show” and “best sports car under £20,000″. Finally, around October 1993, there was an official launching of Cappuccino in UK with a price of £11,995. As per the cars’ success in Japan at the initial stage and even the import quota of the Japanese products to UK being tight, the allocation of 1,500 cars in original was brought down to 1,182 cars respectively. As the quantity was on a limited side, there was a limited choice of colors of red and silver for the same in the 80:20 ratios relatively. During the period of 1993-95, around 1,110 cars in total were registered in the parts of UK and the balance numbers were sold to the various Suzuki distributors placed in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands respectively.

[edit] The revised Cappuccino – EA21R

As the emission controls got tougher by the European Commission in 1995, all the unsold cars were suppose to get registered by the deadline of 30 September 1995, and any of the car not registered by the said date was to be re-homologated. In order to meet these new emission levels, a lot of discussions were going on in Europe between the SMC and Suzuki distributors, to “value” and access the required changes for Cappuccino. Finally a corporate decision was declared which stated that there will be no proceedings with the revised version of Europe because of the huge amount of expense involved and limited economy of scale due to the minimum run in production.

Later in 1995, specified (EA21R) was introduced with a lighter engine along with chain-driven camshafts, lighter wheels, torque being slightly increased and power steering automatic transmission with an optional 3 speed. Both the version of MT namely EA21R and EA11R came with optional BA variants with high specification, along with an airbag for a driver, all four wheels with ABS, limited-slip differential, and door mirrors being power operated in some cases. EA11R had three limited editions coming with different trim and colors, and the later two came with a power steering.

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