This Unsuspecting Suzuki is Really a Pint-Sized Supercar
Sometimes big things come in small packages. In the case of this teensy Suzuki hatchback…really, really small packages. This is a 1990 Suzuki Alto Works RS/R. Despite the large name, at its core the Alto is a compact, efficient Japanese kei car—designed to meet specific tax and insurance regulations for small cars in Japan’s domestic market. The formula was simple: small dimensions, small engines. However in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, another side of the kei cars emerged…and they meant business. It was the performance-tuned kei movement, and featured turbochargers, all-wheel-drive, and alluring (if but ludicrous) body modifications. This Suzuki Alto Works RS/R is one of those kei supercars, and it recently turned up on eBay in North America. Pound-for-pound, cars don’t get much cooler than this. RELATED: Yes, Suzuki Built this Wild, Snail-Shaped Concept Car
Befitting the kei car regulations of the ‘90s, which limited engine displacement to a teeny 660cc, the Alto Works RS/R bares its diminutive teeth in the form of a twin-cam 660cc three-cylinder engine with an 8,500 rpm redline. The engine officially punches out only 64 horsepower, which may leave you reconsidering its kei supercar status, but it makes best use of those ponies thanks to a turbocharger and intercooler. That wild offset-grille and hood scoop are indeed very functional.
The Alto Works came available in both front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. This car’s “RS/R” designation indicates the latter, and it packs a five-speed manual gearbox in order to spin those ponies to the ground. However with less added weight, a two-wheel-drive Alto Works ought to be a blast to throw around as well.
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This imported Suzuki hails from Canada, and it would appear to be a mighty clean example showing only 84,200 kilometers (52,319 miles), which are said to be all original. Its styling is still just as grin-worthy as it was when new, and it hearkens back to the notion that horsepower and driving sensation are unrelated. Yes, supercars can be small, techy boxes on wheels.
With the United States' import rules that relax once cars are over 25 years old, you should be good to get this thing on the road in the U.S. You may want to check with a traffic/DMV lawyer on that, though.
You certainly won’t see another one of these on your block.
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