Suzuki Cappuccino Coming Back to Take on the Miata With Toyota’s Help: Report

While the Mazda MX-5 goes electrified, the revived Suzuki Cappuccino will stay gas-only.
1993 Suzuki Cappuccino
Suzuki via

Knowing your 1990s Japanese legends means knowing your ABCs; the Autozam AZ-1, Honda Beat, and of course, the Suzuki Cappuccino. This tiny, lightweight roadster made even the Mazda Miata look big and heavy, and it was a surprisingly close match when it came to performance. It could soon be that once again, as Japanese media reports the Suzuki Cappuccino is coming back—and that it’ll directly take on the Mazda MX-5.

This rumor comes via Best Car, which links the Cappuccino’s comeback to Toyota’s alleged project to confront Mazda with the S-FR roadster. Suzuki and Toyota (along with Daihatsu) have been reported to be collaborating on a sports car as far back as 2019, with the project supposedly evolving from a mid-engined car to a conventional front-engined model. Or rather, three models, one for each marque, a la how Toyota handled the GR86 and GR Supra. The Toyota model would be the S-FR, the Daihatsu a new Copen roadster, and the Suzuki, a hot, fresh new Cappuccino. Consider this one a double shot though, because size is one of the big changes that would supposedly come to this classic Suzuki.

1993 Suzuki Cappuccino
1993 Suzuki Cappuccino. Suzuki via

Because the S-FR is rumored to be a direct competitor to the MX-5, including size-wise, that means the Cappuccino will no longer be a kei car. It’s also expected to get the downsized, 1.3-liter version of the GR Corolla‘s turbo three-cylinder, making around 150 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. Though this engine is also expected to power the alleged GR Starlet hot hatch, it’d power the Cappuccino’s rear wheels instead of the fronts, as rumored for the hatchback. No transmission info has solidified, but it seems safe to expect a six-speed manual alongside some flavor of automatic.

This renewed Suzuki icon is reportedly expected on a similar timeline to its fraternal triplets, with an ETA of 2027. If it arrives as foretold, it’d be less powerful than the current, 181-hp Mazda MX-5, never mind the next-gen model, which will almost certainly be a hybrid. But its combustion-only powertrain might make it more appealing to some consumers than the MX-5, especially if the engine is as boost-hungry as the GR Corolla’s 1.6-liter. Obviously, with Suzuki absent from the U.S. market, the only version we’d get would be the equivalent Toyota. Even so, it’d be exciting to see this historic nameplate revived.

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