News Culture

Suzuki Jimny Cosplays as Rally Hot Hatches for Tokyo Auto Salon

Aftermarket company DAMD has done up the little SUV as tributes to the Renault 5 Turbo and Lancia Delta Integrale.
DAMD

Prepare for yet another reason to be upset that the Suzuki Jimny isn’t legally available for purchase on these shores. Everyone knows the Jimny is cute, yet capable—like a Jeep Renegade that got the assignment—but Japanese aftermarket specialists DAMD have found a way to increase the little-Suzuki-that-could’s cuteness quotient by a factor of twelve, by restyling it to resemble rallying legends of the 1980s and ’90s.

See, DAMD has built Renault 5 Turbo and Lancia Delta Integrale bodykits for the Jimny to coincide with the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon, which kicks off January 12. The thing is, they actually look great. Both builds actually use many of the same exterior components, from bumpers to flared fenders. But the fascia—the space between the leading edge of the hood and the front bumper—is different on each, and instantly evocative of these rallying titans.

For the “Little 5,” we get rectangular sealed beams in a plastic housing joined by a slim grille. The “Not” modifier above the 5’s iconic “Turbo” decal is a truly genius touch. And for the “Little Δ” (that’s Delta,), DAMD has opted for four circular lights, with the inner beams being smaller than the outer ones, as was the case on many earlier-run high-performance Deltas. While later Integrale Evo models in Europe used projectors for dipped beams, Japanese-market cars kept the original cluster design until the end, and I think it looks better. It even works on a Jimny. Of course, the thin racing stripes, seemingly inspired by the final-edition Delta Collezione, only enhance the overall tribute, as do the O.Z. Racing turbofans fitted to both cars.

DAMD has described these as concepts, and it has a history of doing up the mini off-roader for the Tokyo Auto Salon every year since the debut of the latest generation in 2019. For example, the company has previously reimagined the Jimny in the image of the Mercedes G-Class and Ford Bronco. These transformations typically only go skin-deep, however, so don’t expect any of the firm’s creations to perform like the machines that inspired them.

One of the mission statements for the project, per DAMD’s own website run through Google Translate, is to “relive those days when you were in love again.” Personally, I wasn’t alive for the Group B era, nor was I old enough to watch Lancia take home all the hardware in the early ’90s. But the love for rallying’s finest hot hatches spans generations, and never, ever dies.

Got tips? Send ’em to tips@thedrive.com