The Little Red Kei Car That Could

Here’s a little-known fact: I have an incredibly soft spot for Japanese kei cars.

I’m not talking about models like the four-time, back-to-back consecutive kei car bestseller, the Honda N-Box, but kei sports cars, like the Honda S660. Ever since I was handed the keys to Spoon’s demo version, I’ve spent countless hours online searching for the right one to pop up and tempt me into a silly purchase.


The biggest dilemma I have (besides barely physically fitting in the diminutive Honda) is the cost. It’s a bit difficult to justify spending ¥2million (a little under US$19,000 at current exchange rates) for an S660 – especially in light of the current global situation. Even used variations still fetch a pretty penny.

Regardless, my desire for something turbocharged, rear-wheel drive, and light as a feather is still strong.


And that’s where the Suzuki Cappuccino comes in. This kei sports coupe ticks all of my boxes at a fraction of the cost of the S660, and if I were to have one in my possession right now, I’d be going down the same path as the subject of this spotlight.


Representing the Hokkaido car dealership R Break, this Cappuccino has been transformed to crush the kei class competition, and it did pretty well in the recent 2020 Wako’s 7-Hour Endurance Race at Tokachi International Speedway.


Overfenders to house meatier Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R semi-slicks, canards, splitters, and of course the GT wing out back all helped the little kei machine hustle around the track.


The Suzuki’s 657cc three cylinder F6A engine still remains up front, but it’s been tweaked and modified to pump out much more than the stock 60hp rating. A large front-mount intercooler and thick-core radiator help combat the heat – something even more crucial when you’re entered in an endurance race.


Pounding around the circuit for hours on end with a respectable fastest lap time of 2:54.910, the little red Cappuccino placed well amongst the crowd of kei cars, only adding to my ownership desires.


Project Cappuccino? Yeah, I could get with that. Who’s with me?

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Absolutely fantastic idea for a project car. Do it! There have been some track weapons built with bike engines...


Hahah yah I've thought about that or a rotary


When you put a rotary in one of those little nuggets it will be seriously overpowered.
But with the linear power delivery and a rev limit which goes beyond the stars it should be ridicolusly funny.

Now you made it: I need to check google if a rotary kei exist...

The Frothy Coffee

One word. Rust. These things rot so badly (well outside of Japan anyway). Its the main downfall of them.


They probably do here as well seeing that most people don't have garages.. I'll definitely keep a look out for that


Excellent idea!
How much does the race-prepped Cappuccino weigh?

I'd strip it down, then replace the engine with a 1340 cc Suzuki Hyabusa (~200 HP stock, lots more if hot rodded) engine and appropriate gearing. :D

"Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere. " -Colin Chapman


I'm not exactly sure how much but I wouldn't be surprised if it was around 600kg. These things are dumb light stock let alone stripped out.

Engine swapping would be something I definitely would look at if I can be bothered to deal with the shaken inspection...


You can't go wrong with either motor, the F6A has an iron block and I think they still make bore up kits for it, The k6A may have slightly better aftermarket support . I've seen both motors make nearly 180hp on 2 bar of boost with the corresponding mods. Think Timely Auto Motorsports has both cappuccino and a alto works R that are stupid fast.


I'll definitely have to check that out now! 180 hp in one of these sounds more than enough to get into a lot of trouble haha


I've spent the last 2 years dreaming about it but I couldn't find a chassis. Being a 90's kid (early 90's) and it's a nightmare to import a 7+ years old cars here (middle east).
Sometimes I wish I'm a decade older so the 10 years older me could be able to purchase these cars but it might be a "dilemma" for all the generations with the same wish.


That's a copen those are Front wheel drive but great cars, really strong motors and semi close ratio gear box


I say go for it, I'd love to follow the build of one of these. It would be fun, a quaility not be dismissed. Anything titchy and "fast" is bound to make you smile.


I am in for it too. Get one of those and I will follow that for sure!


You know a car's small when 195s are considered "meaty." Do it. Sounds like cheap fun with wear items of that scale. That car would be such a blast in American traffic, just zig-zagging through our sea of SUVs and pickups.

Brennan McKissick

I've always wanted a Cappuccino! It's cool that we are starting to see them more in the US now, relatively speaking. I'm hoping that I can pick one up within the next year or two as a fun weekend car.


There's been a few Cappuccino bike engined projects over the years, but rarely a bike engined Copen