Suzuki Alto Lives on in JDM as a Kei Car

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

It turns out we were wrong about the Suzuki Alto. We thought that the new Suzuki Celerio we saw earlier this month would replace the Alto (along with the Splash) in all of Suzuki’s current markets. However, it turns out that the Alto will live on in both India and Japan, albeit as two completely different cars. The facelifted Alto you’ll learn about below has just gone on sale in Japan.

2016 JDM Suzuki Alto Kei Car

2015 Suzuki Alto Kei Car in

Suzuki will continue selling the Alto as a kei car in the Japanese Domestic Market. However, it won’t look anything like the Alto that most of us are used to seeing. The image above shows us a fairly simple design with a few retro flairs to draw in the hipsters. The boxy body and the grille in particular have give it a very “retro” look – the grille is asymmetrical with absolutely no chrome or metallic accents… Something you won’t find in very many cars today.

That retro design theme continues into the cabin with flat, simple seats and a minimalist center console. You’ll find cool features like a center-mounted gear lever, and a mixture of analog and digital read-outs on the dash. Otherwise, the color-scheme is fairly plain – neutral tones all over, with the most exciting color being the beige on the A/C vents and center dash.

2015 Suzuki Alto kei car interior

Under the hood, you’ll find a microscopic 660cc three-cylinder engine that runs on gas and outputs a conservative 54bhp – just enough to navigate the tight city streets of Japan. Don’t expect to haul any concrete or lumber though; the car only outputs 63Nm of torque at optimal rev-ranges. Of course, this small engine is what allows the JDM Alto to give its drivers the financial benefits of owning a kei car, which is well-rewarded in Japan.

2015 Suzuki Alto JDM interior

Even though we don’t have images of it at this time, Suzuki has also stated that there will be a slightly sportier version of the JDM Alto coming later next year. It’ll be called the Alto Turbo RS, and it’ll get a two-tone color-scheme on the outisde, a bit more vibrancy on the inside, and unspecified modifications to the powertrain. It’ll be tough to make any really significant performance improvements if Suzuki wants to keep the Turbo RS version in the kei car category, but we’ll just have to wait and see what they can do. Until then…

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2014 Suzuki Lapin

2014 Suzuki Alto auction find

You can clearly where the new JDM Alto gets its looks from – the older Japanese models, like this Lapin, also have a very boxy look about them, unlike the curvier variants on sale in other parts of the world.

2014 Suzuki Alto interior

The 2014 model Lapin is still a kei car, so it has the same small 660cc engine and minimalist feature set. However, this Japanese car auction find is in very good condition, and if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car that does exactly what you need it to for comfortable and convenient city driving, this is the car for you. Get a more specific translation below the auction sheet:

2014 Suzuki Alto auction sheet

“Grade 6, interior A, exterior condition A, first registered July 2014, AT, AC, keyless entry, push button starter, CD player, power steering, power windows, ABS, airbag, minor scratches, odometer reading 4KM, marks as per map”

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