"This is the Suzuki Cappuccino and its handlebars are on purpose." We forever associate that advertising slogan with the little thunder. There importer Nimag brought 25 to the Netherlands. Actually there is no crack of the naming. Because the rear-wheel drive turbo bomb has everything, despite its miniscule size, to give you a strong caffeine shot. Right, like espresso.
Text & photography: Aart van der Haagen
Dutch Suzuki importer Nimag saw his chance to turn the AutoRAI audience into a head in early 1993 with a Suzuki Cappuccino shipped from England. Slight madness broke out. The spontaneously born fans could not agree with the grim message that the taste maker would pass them by. The management in Heinenoord yielded and reserved 25 cars from the British fleet, which were distributed to selected dealers. Nimag engineers had to manually adjust the headlights to shine them to the right of center. Furthermore, customers only had to comply with the typical Japanese specifications. And that for a spicy price of a hair after 48.000 guilders.
If you think on a different scale, you can achieve excellent things with this Suzuki Cappuccino. The engineers behind this mini sports car prove this like no other. A super compact size naturally means less mass. Especially if you also have the bonnet, boot lid and roof construction in aluminum. Then you do not have to install bulky, heavy-duty suspension and you get enough propulsion potential from a three-cylinder engine of 657 cm3. Provided you tickle it a bit.
Well, those Japanese are entrusted with that. The specific power even exceeds 100 hp per liter. Thanks to four valves per cylinder, a turbocharger and an intercooler. 64 hp on 700 kg, very healthy. Via a five-speed gearbox and a cardan shaft, all this ends up at the rear wheels. Together with the engine placement of the Suzuki Cappuccino behind the front axle, this contributes to the perfect weight balance of fifty to fifty. Provided you occupy the cabin with two men. Add to this a wheel suspension with double wishbones at the front and multi-link at the rear. Then you know that - at least on paper - you have a winner in your hands.
Subtly breaks out
Not everyone's friend, the tiny Suzuki Cappuccino. But who fits into it, an experience is unparalleled. That starts with the super tight shifting gearbox and especially the wonderfully whining turbo engine, which climbs up in a bizarre speed and is only at the foot of the red zone at 8000 rpm. For your feeling, it is going alien fast. Because you skim your buttocks over the asphalt, where your rib cage does not miss a ledge. Speaking of butt, it breaks out as soon as you venture halfway to even look at the accelerator, even on bone-dry surfaces. With its equally balanced and entertaining handling, this Soes offers the highest imaginable fun guarantee and at the same time always keeps you on the ball, as if you had just swallowed an espresso in one gulp.
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