Rare Rides: A Suzuki SC100, Delightfully Tiny

Rear-engine, rear-drive cars are few and far between, limited mostly to excellent things like the Porsche 911, and terrible things like the VW Karmann Ghia and Chevrolet Corvair. But there’s another car with an “RR” configuration that’s a bit more obscure. Presenting the Suzuki SC100.

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Digestible Collectible: 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino

I’m a glutton, and a glutton for punishment. I’m larger than most men, at around six-feet-four-inches tall and weighing between 260 and 280 pounds depending on the time of day, moon phase, and proximity to the nearest good buffet.

And yet, I love small cars.

I own, and once daily-drove, an early Miata. Mind you, I carved foam out of the seat and equipped it with a smaller steering wheel so I could steer without removal of my legs or other sensitive bits — but I do fit. My win-the-lottery wish list has just as many four-cylinder cars as bigger-engined vehicles combined.

So, when looking at models that are becoming eligible for import under the 25-year-rule, naturally, I looked East.

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Toyota Previews Sporty S-FR, Steampunk Dune Buggy Before Tokyo Motor Show

Toyota on Thursday released a preview of what to expect on its stand at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month and it’s all sorts of steampunk and futuristic weirdness, but more on that in a moment.

While the Scion FR-S isn’t flying off dealer lots here in North America, the Japanese seem to like their compact sports coupes. The S-FR, according to Toyota is ” a lightweight, sporty concept offering a fun, responsive driving experience” and slots below the Toyobaru twins and go head-to-head with the Honda S660 kei sports that America won’t get because of course we won’t.

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Honda Reportedly Considering S660 for America, but Will Any of Us Fit in It?

Honda may bring its small, two-seater S660 to the United States, Edmunds is reporting.

The car, which is much smaller than Mazda’s MX-5 Miata and categorized in Japan in the “kei” class, is powered there by a small, 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder.

In case you’re not picking up what I’m putting down: the S660 would be fantastically tiny on American roads.

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Honda S660, The Mid-Engine Honda We've Been Waiting For

While the whole world waited for the next Acura NSX, Honda quietly went about preparing an entirely different kind of mid-engine sports car for its home market.

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Your First Look At The Honda S660

Japan’s Mag-X got their first look at the new Honda S660, successor to the Beat sports car, at an event in Hokkaido. Also spied in the background, a camo’d Civic Type-R.

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Daihatsu Revives The Copen

Daihatsu’s diminutive sports car is back after a two year absence, with a new look, but the same 660 cc displacement.

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Caterham Using Three-Cylinder Suzuki Engine In Entry-Level Seven

The newest entry-level variant of the Caterham Seven range will be getting a powertrain from an unlikely source; a 660cc three-cylinder Suzuki engine.

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Big Rollout For Small Car: Nissan Launches DAYZ Kei (You've Seen It Already.)

Nissan and Mitsubishi today presented their jointly developed, but separately badged and marketed kei car to an amazingly large contingent of the Japanese press. TTAC readers are quite familiar with the car(s). They have watched the Nissan DAYZ and its Mitsubishi siblings, the eK Wagon and eK Custom on its first day of production at Mitsubishi’s plant in Mizushima, near Hiroshima, more than two weeks ago. Today, the car arrived in Tokyo.

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What Keis And Big Pickups Have In Common: A Galapagosization

Today’s Nikkei [sub] puts forth an interesting thought: Dependence on big pick-ups distracts the Detroit 3 on a global basis. Now, tiny kei cars could do the same to the Japanese. Writes the Nikkei:

“Part of the reason the Big Three U.S. automakers lost their international dominance is because they lagged foreign carmakers in implementing global strategies by clinging to large pickup trucks, which only do well in the U.S.”

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Nikkei: Honda's Future Hinges On A Kei Car

We have been saying for quite a while that Honda looks a bit pale around the nose. The Nikkei [sub] agrees. According to the Tokyo business paper, Honda blew it by relying too much on the U.S. market, by ignoring the emerging markets, and by disregarding the fact that Japan has a love affair with 0.6 liter midget-mobiles, a.k.a. kei cars. All of this has to change in a hurry, and Honda’s turn-around hinges on the success of a new kei car, the N Box. Says The Nikkei:

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And The Honda Beat Goes On

There is no replacement for displacement? How about a roadster “powered” by a 0.66 liter engine (yes, 40 ci, give or take a thimble) that is not allowed to make more than 63 hp?

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Junkyard Find: Mitsubishi Minicab Dump Truck

Sometimes I wonder how it’s even possible for some vehicles to slip through all the steps that should stop them from washing ashore on Crusher Island. Something as useful as a kei-sized dump truck, for example.

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Japanese Mini Car Makers Fight Battle Of The Bulge

Subminiature, or „kei“ cars ( from kei-jidosha – subcompact cars) have been a Japanese phenomenon. At one time, their combined share was 1/3 of Japan’s market. Unlike anime and Pokemon, the 660 cc vehicles never much made it beyond Japan’s shores. And recently, the sales of the pocket monsters on wheels had been flagging. Last February, the little critters had recorded their first rise rise after 15 months of going down – by a hair of 0.7 percent.

According to today’s Nikkei [sub], “improvements in hybrid and electric technology are dulling the fuel-efficiency edge that minivehicles have long had over larger cars. To maintain their advantage, makers of minis are putting their autos on diets, shaving weight wherever they can to eke out better gas mileage.”

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  • ToolGuy Make the hood taller, and I'm in. 😉
  • El scotto It leaves the loading dock/loading are in the morning. It gets parked in the same place. Bubba/Bubbette plugs in and it charges overnight. Driver forgot to plug in?First time a warning, second time no pay while their vehicle is recharging. That problem will correct itself.
  • El scotto Hmmm, because it would take ohh another 20 minutes; if you rent an EV on the company dime stay at a hotel on the company dime that has EV chargers. I know crazy talk.Common sense would dictate don't rent an EV where there aren't chargers. No, I'm not downloading a find a charger app for a business trip either. People who don't like EVs won't rent them. Some do like EVs and will rent them. However most EV research on here consists of: I bought a dozen eggs, four large dill pickles, and a loaf of bread; therefore I have egg salad."
  • 28-Cars-Later Here's another thing you can't buy; and another, and another!
  • JREwing It suffered the same small back seat problem that the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique did. 2 more inches in wheelbase or a taller roof would've helped a lot.But the biggest issue was that it wasn't a SUV/crossover/soft-roader with 3 rows in a market that couldn't get enough of them.