Suzuki Alto – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

8 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki Alto – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First generation (1979–1984) [ edit ]

1979 Alto SS30V (van)

The first generation ( SS30V/40V ), introduced in May 1979, was a three-door cargo version of the Fronte passenger car, equipped with a folding rear seat. On introduction, the Alto received the T5B two-stroke 539#160;cc (SS30) three-cylinder engine, producing 28#160;PS (21#160;kW) at 5,500#160;rpm. The Alto was a micro sensation when introduced, largely due to its rock bottom price of ¥470,000 (circa $1,900 in 1979, at a time when the cheapest Ford Pinto cost $4,999 in the US).

This bargain price was made possible by a number of Japanese special concessions for commercial vehicles: The engine did not require twin catalysts, unlike in the Fronte. Two less doors provided another saving, as did the exemption from commodity tax. The Alto was a sensation, and other producers such as Subaru (with the Family Rex ) quickly followed suit with cut-priced commercial vehicles really intended for private use. [ 3 ] The Alto propelled Suzuki into seventh place in Japanese production (cars and trucks). [ 4 ]

In January 1981, the F5A four-stroke 543#160;cc known from the Fronte was also installed (though with only a single-barrel carburettor), it too put out 28#160;PS (21#160;kW) but at 6,000#160;rpm. Torque was considerably lower, down from 5.3#160;to#160;4.2#160;kg·m (52#160;to#160;41#160;N·m; 38#160;to#160;30#160;lb·ft). [ 5 ] 1981 saw also the year that it became available on the United Kingdom market, as Suzuki began selling cars there that year.

In export markets, the Alto name was used for the passenger car versions (chassis codes with trailing letter S) as well as on commercials (ending inV), while the van was marketed as the Suzuki Hatch in Australia. The four-doors were not proper hatchbacks, only featuring an opening rear window.

Export cars were also available with twelve-inch wheels, unlike the domestic versions which only used ten-inch units until the introduction of the 4WD version in October 1983. The 4WD Snow Liner thus gained an extra 2.5#160;cm (1#160;in) of ground clearance. [ 6 ]

Most export Altos were passenger car versions (which used the Fronte badge in the Japanese domestic markets), and usually received the 0.8#160;litre F8B engine and the SS80 chassis code. The SS80 was also built in New Zealand. by South Pacific Suzuki Assemblers at a rate of six per day. It was introduced in New Zealand in March 1980. [ 2 ]

While Suzuki held on to the two-stroke engine concept for a half decade longer than any of its Japanese competitors, eventually market pressures and ever tightening emissions regulations spelled its end in the Alto by September 1981. The Jimny. however, did use the same 539#160;cc engine (called LJ50 in the Jimny) as late as 1987.

Second generation (1984–1988) [ edit ]

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