Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Suzuki Fronte Coupe - The Sensible Hoonmobile

Designed by Giugiaro and first launched in 1971, the Fronte Coupe was a sporty Kei class car equipped with a rear-mounted, water-cooled 360 cc two stroke triple.  With only 35 HP, they were never quick, but a revvy nature in conjunction with sports tuned expansion chamber made sure they sounded like it.  Handling was said to be very good within certain limits, as much like contemporary Porsche 911's, the extreme rearward weight bias and primitive tires made for very snappy oversteer approaching the limits of adhesion.

While researching this piece, I stumbled across quite a few examples with wild superbike drivetrain swaps.  I'll admit the idea of approximately 150 HP, a five figure redline and sequential shifting in a car roughly the size and weight of a large loveseat certainly has its appeal, but I also can't help but think it's missing the point.  

Imagine driving the nuts off of one - shifting at 8,000, throwing it hard into curves, tires squealing, dabs of oppo.  Blue smoke and a chain saw massacre exhaust note belching out of the tailpipe, popping and echoing off of everything - kids in a school zone, pedestrians, parked cars on a residential side street - all safely under 30 MPH.

Yeah, best to leave it as Suzuki originally intended it to be - a noise machine for pragmatic hoons.




6 comments:

  1. Maybe the extremely limited power is a bit much, but this sort of fun really is my style: craziness without breaking the law.

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    1. The old 'slow car fast or fast car slow' argument.

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  2. Your review about Suzuki Fronte Coupe is informative. It is really great work. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I have bought Suzuki . Suzuki has good combination for space and power. It has high quality driving, good mileage, interior and exterior looks good. We really enjoyed driving this car .

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    1. Thank you, Sierra. What kind of Suzuki do you drive?

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  3. It fascinates me how the japanese manage to develop cars like this that don't seem to be powerful enough to be road-worthy (or just equipped with motorcycle engines that are not enough to power a regular car), yet still manage to gain a cult following even long after production ended. I guess that's just how their vehicle culture goes.

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    1. The fascination, for me, anyway, is in the miniaturization. Never mind that many are probably pretty miserable to drive, it's the quality of engineering I admire.

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