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Meet Suzuki’s very first car

1955 Suzulight - Suzuki's very first car

You’re looking at the Suzulight – the first car created by the Suzuki Motor Company in 1954.

Designed and developed by Michio Suzuki and his young engineering team, several European models were used for benchmarking, including the Austin 7.

The Suzulight was a compact and light vehicle weighing just over 500kg, powered by a 360cc, 15hp two-cylinder, two-stroke engine.

It was also way ahead of its time because it was fitted with independent coil spring suspension, and rack and pinion steering.

The Suzulight easily met the Japanese ‘Keijidosha’, or Kei light car legislation, and Michio Suzuki and his team quickly began road testing their creation.

It went into production in October 1955 and Michio made his first two deliveries to doctors who used the small and lightweight car on their daily rounds. Initial production was 3-4 cars per month but by early 1956 monthly volume had climbed to 30 units.

It’s believed that only two of the original Suzulight cars exist now, and both are in the Suzuki Plaza Museum in Hamamatsu City, Japan.

Suzuki Swift Sport 2018

Now, 64 years later, Suzuki remains globally renowned as the ‘small car experts’, producing more than three million cars per year.

Michio Suzuki’s original strategy of the design and production of lightweight vehicles lives on with the latest platforms introduced for Ignis, Swift and Baleno.

The next light new model to arrive from Suzuki will be the Swift Sport in June 2018, weighing in at just 970kg.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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