Rare Rides: Are You O-kei With This 1996 Suzuki Alto Works?
Back in May of 2017, we showcased our first Suzuki(s) in a mixed Crapwagon Collection not often seen in the wild. Suzuki was our discussion once more when we featured a kei trucklet called the Mighty Boy.
Now we talk Suzuki once again, with a Works version of the Alto.
The Alto name was initially developed for the basic cargo van version of Suzuki’s Fronte kei model, which was popular in the Japanese Domestic Market. When the time came to export the Fronte to other places, Suzuki decided to use the Alto name for every other market outside of Japan. The Fronte name would carry on in the Japanese market through the third-generation Alto in 1989.
The fourth-generation Alto is our subject today, on sale around the globe between 1995 and 1999. The third-generation Alto had morphed into many different body styles during its tenure, with multiple trim variants of each. Suzuki desired a more simplified offering in this generation, paring offerings down to a three- or five-door hatchback and a cargo van.
Always a fan of four-wheel drive, it was an option on the Alto, with standard models driving only the front wheels. An inline-three cylinder engine of 657 or 658 cc displacement was offered, with up-level offerings utilizing turbochargers for a few extra ponies.
According to the listing, this Alto has the mid-range F6A turbo engine, producing 61 horsepower. That’s okay when you have just 1,500 pounds to motivate.
The sportiest versions of the Alto wore the Works badge. Introduced in 1984 and lasting through the year 2000, Works vehicles had sport features not found on standard versions, and usually gained a bit more power.
Today’s example is a Works ie/s, well-equipped with power windows, locks, steering, air conditioning, and automatic transmission. This one appears to be a Limited trim, as it contains all those features.
In the kei class, pretty much everything is an optional extra unless you purchase a special version.
This Alto has been imported from Japan into the enlightened importation country of England, which is near France. With 67,000 miles on the odometer, the seller is asking around $3,800. Is that within what you’d pay for kei?
[Images via seller]
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