Toyota, Daihatsu, and Suzuki are reportedly teaming up to build a 1.0-liter sports car. There hasn’t been a real compact sports car from Japan since the Honda S660, and that was discontinued last year. A one-liter car would exceed kei car specs, but there is still room in the market for a niche performance car. The segment once teemed with offerings like the Honda Beat, Mazda AZ-1, and Suzuki Cappuccino, not to mention hot hatch kei cars like the Suzuki Alto Works.
According to Forbes, Toyota would donate the platform while Suzuki would contribute a turbo 1.0-liter engine. The car would be built on Toyota’s GA-B platform that underpins the GR Yaris, while the engine would be the one powering the Suzuki Swift. When combined, the article says, they would form a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout. Horsepower is expected to sit at around 150, passed through a Suzuki 6-speed auto. No mention of a manual transmission has been made.
Toyota owns Daihatsu outright, and owns about 5 percent of Suzuki. The effort would help strengthen the tie-ups as when Toyota and Subaru jointly created the 86/BRZ. For years, Suzuki has supplied Nissan the kei cars (and getting rebadged larger vehicles from Nissan in return) but since Nissan took over Mitsubishi, those two have been growing closer. It was announced today that Suzuki would no longer be getting a rebadged version of the Nissan Serena; future vans would be badge-engineered versions of the Toyota Noah.
The Forbes story says that the sports car will go on sale in 2025 in Japan, with a price of about $20,000.