For those who can’t follow the crowd and desire more ‘distinctive’ features, Country Classic Cars are thrilled to offer the Kei car that is all about being unique, the Suzuki Cara. We pride ourselves on offering an honest ‘warts and all’ appraisal of every vehicle we offer for sale, this avoids buyer disappointment often resulting from a lack of detail within sales adverts.
The foundations of the Cara project were laid in the mid-80s when Suzuki developed their first all plastic mid-engine sports concept, the RS1. This was followed by the Tatsumi Fukunaga designed RS3 although this project was overtaken by the Suzuki Cappuccino a class leading Kei car that was to be sold overseas and not restricted to the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market). Meanwhile, Mazda designer Toshihiko Hirai, responsible for the MX5 became involved and concluded the RS project resulting in the gull-wing, plastic panelled, mid-engine sports car. Powered by the impressive (F6A) fuel injected 660cc three-cylinder turbo charged motor with 4 valves per cylinder that proved so successful in the Cappuccino. Mazda’s version was known as the AZ1 when it was released in 1992 and just under 4400 were produced over two years; by contrast the almost identical Suzuki version saw 531 hit the showrooms.
At only 10ft 8in long and 4ft 5 in wide the Cara is packed with features whilst punching above its weight in the performance department. On a run this Suzuki returns well over 50 mpg whilst offering 60mph in 10 seconds, the top speed was electronically governed to 87mph (although capable of 116mph) with 64bhp @ 6500rpm and 63ft lbs @ 4000rpm through a five-speed manual gearbox. The engine bay is clean, a stainless exhaust system looks recent as does the fuel filter and there is no evidence of any fluid leaks. Suspension features recently uprated adjustable coilovers, these are currently set for a firm ride and to the rear fresh wheel bearings, discs and pads have been fitted. The milometer displays in Kms and shows 98077, that’s under 61k miles and invoices confirm cambelt/water pump replacement just 3k miles ago in 2018 when it came into the UK. A service has also been carried out recently and a spares package includes new front brake discs and an engine gasket set. Original owners and service manuals (in Japanese) plus export/import documents and obviously the V5.
Visually the Cara enjoys a bright Classic Red over grey finish and the closest inspection revealed two stone chips to the bonnet plus a pair (small) on the o/s front wing. Also, the o/s lower panel presents a very light blemish that should polish out whilst the rear edge of the n/s front wing has a small chip. The centre plastic roof panel has had a small crack repaired and the aerial stalk is missing, an easy fix as the base is fine. Unmarked BWA (Benzoni Wheel Accessories) alloy wheels made in the Opera district of Milan are wrapped in 13-inch Bridgestone rubber. Lights and lenses are all damage free, door locks, bonnet and boot release cables all operated when tested. Gullwing doors stay vertical, and resistance can be felt closing, confirming the door struts are in good order and the ‘manual’ lower windows work correctly. Rust does not exist on the Cara, panels that will never corrode and the underside still offers factory protection that has been blessed with a milder climate.
The interior is best described as ‘cosy’ not ideal for enthusiasts over 6ft tall, that said they small Momo steering wheel makes extraction slightly easier. We noted the drivers seat side bolster has lost its proportions, but the blue/red covers are undamaged and similar to the carpets offer little wear. Air con and heating controls are cleverly mounted sideways within the centre console whilst any in car audio is courtesy of a Pioneer unit with USB facility. The Suzuki Cara offers a unique experience both to admire and behind the wheel where one scribe noted a feeling of being in a small Group C racer. There is no denying the pilot enjoys a wide view of the oncoming road and this sportster goes exactly where you point it.
The Suzuki Cara was built for a specific market, a project that over time has become more relative in modern cities worldwide. This is an excellent example, rare and ready for the road and therefore is expected to attract a lot of attention; early contact is recommended. For additional information please message with your email address for multiple detailed images and walk-round video; we will forward the file via ‘We Transfer’ a free to use and safe service or Whats Ap. Country Classic Cars operate by appointment only and within current Government guidelines and whilst inspections are encouraged, please bear in mind the changing situation especially with regards to test drives.
- Air Conditioning
- CDR Audio
- Direct Fuel Injection
- Floor Mats
- Gullwing doors
- Manual Transmission
Engine: 657cc/3 cylinder/DOHC
Torque: 63ft lbs@ 4000rpm
Maximum speed: 87mph (governed)
0-60mph: 10.2 seconds
Fuel Consumption: 46mpg
Transmission: RWD/5 speed manual