Suzuki is reportedly evaluating a successor to its tiny RWD sports car of the 1990s, the Cappuccino.
Built to comply with Japan’s Kei car rules, the Cappuccino measured just under 3.3 metres long and was less than 1.4 metres wide.
The Cappuccino’s powerplant was a 660cc three-cylinder turbo with just 47kW (the maximum allowable under Kei class rules), but with a kerb weight of just 725kg it was no slouch.
Its life was a short one though. The Cappuccino was only in production for six years with sales limited to Japan and the UK.
Now, however, if reports in the Japanese motoring media are to be believed, a revival of the name plate is around the corner.
It’s not clear if Suzuki‘s first roadster since 1997 will remain rear-wheel drive, nor indeed whether it will conform to Kei class rules governing size and engine output.
Some rumours say the Cappuccino’s successor will be based on an existing kei car chassis and be RWD, but despite having a robust lineup of Kei cars, the only ones Suzuki has that are capable of RWD are those of the Jimny and the Carry light commercial van/truck.
Both the Jimny (above) and Carry have a very un-sporty live axle rear end, which is a stark contrast to the sophisticated double-wishbone independent suspension of the original Cappuccino. A new unique platform would be a better bet.
The reports suggest that Suzuki may partner up with another manufacturer to help amortise the cost of developing its new sports car, which could see it being developed in a partnership similar to that forged between Subaru and Toyota with the 86/BRZ.
Caterham is also rumoured to be involved in the project, most likely as a result of its agreement with Suzuki for the supply of 660cc turbo inline threes for its new entry-level Seven – the same engine which is expected to see service in the new Cappuccino.
Whatever the case, it will likely be a while before we hear anything concrete. If the rumours are true, Suzuki’s lightweight RWD sports car won’t hit the market until 2016 at the earliest.