GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Suzuki Cappucino

Home
Here are the Reviews
GT2 Racing Guide
GT3 Racing Guide
GT4 Racing Guide
GT5 Racing Guide
GT6 Racing Guide
Links to other GT sites

91cappucino.jpg
my little toy car

------------------------SPEX------------------------

Years Represented: 1991-1995 ```````````````````````````````````````` Hosts: GT2, GT4, & GT5

Country: Japan
Class: Kei
Type: 2-door roadster


Price as Tested: $12,972 (GT2) /// $5,102 (GT4) // $14,580 (GT5)

GT5 Mileage: 18.1 (Premium car)

Length: 129." // Width: 54.9" // Height: 46.65"
Wheelbase: 81.1"
Overhang: @ 4 feet 1 inch
Track: 47.6" Front & Rear
Ground Clearance: 5.3"
Weight: 1,543 lbs.
Construction: steel w/ aluminum hood, fenders, & roof
Layout: Front Engine / Rear Drive
Tires: 165/65R-14
Suspension: double wishbone / coils / anti-roll bars / shox
Brakes: vented discs [F] solid discs [R]

Engine: 658cc DOHC inline-3 cylinder
Engine Construction: aluminum alloy block & heads
Aspiration: intercooled turbo
Fuel System: EFi
Valves per Cyl: 4
Bore x Stroke: 2.56 x 2.60"
Compression: 8.3:1

 
GT2 Tested HP:  62 @ 6,300 rpm
GT2 Tstd Trque:
76 @ 3,500
 
GT4 Tested HP: 62 @ 6,500 rpm
GT4 Tstd Trque:
63 @ 4,300

GT5 Tested HP: 60 @ 6,500 rpm
GT5 Tstd Trque: 60 @ 4,000

 
Lbs. per HP: 24.9 , 25.72 (GT5)
Hp per Liter: 94.2, 91.3 (GT5)
Credits per HP: $209.22 (GT2) // $24.89 (GT4) // $243.00 (GT5)
 

Idle Speed: 1,000 (GT4), 625 (GT5)

GT2 Redline: 6,500 // Rev Limit: 7,000
GT4 Redline: 8,500 // Rev Limit: 9,000
GT5 Redline: 8,250 // Rev Limit: 9,000

Transmission: 5-speed manual

0-60 mph: :
GT2: 15.0 seconds         
GT4: 16.300
GT5: 15.417

0-100 mph:
GT2: 49.3 seconds         
GT4: 50.383 seconds
GT5: not available
 
400 M:
GT2:
20.232 @ 68 mph     
GT4:
20.844 @ 70 mph
GT5: 20.598 @ 69 mph

1 KM
GT2:
36.901 @ 89 mph     
GT4:
37.353 @ 91 mph
GT5: 37.183 @ 89 mph

Test Track: 2:26.286 (GT2)   
                 N/A (GT4)
                   1:19.213 (GT5 {Daytona})

Top Speed at Redline
1st: 32 mph
2nd: 55 mph
3rd: 82 mph
4th: 111 mph
5th: 114.58
mph @ 7,000 rpm (GT2--rpm limited)
```````117.60
mph @ 7,250 rpm (GT4)

Top Speed at Redline (GT5)
1st: 31.8 mph
2nd: 53.7
3rd: 80.7
4th: 104.0 @ 8,100 rpm (would not redline in this gear)
5th: 115.3 @ 7,200 rpm

kyoto_cappy.jpg

 
----------------------------EXTERIOR----------------------

I'm almost tempted to type a Mini Me joke here, but I'll refrain. :-)

One of the cutest, most unique cars in the world of Gran Turismo is the Suzuki Cappucino. Can you resist a spin in one? I sure can't. It's like a little wind-up toy; doesn't it look as though the Cappucino should have a giant key sticking out its trunk? This car is unique because it is the only front-engine / rear-drive Kei car of GT2, and I believe in later games as well. Not only that, but it's a convertible!

It is cute, yes...but it's also rather hard to find since this model was built from 1991 to 1998 in real life, discontinued due to poor sales. Cappucinos can only be found in used car lots, no matter which game you've got. There are several years represented in GT2, GT4 and GT5, but not much difference between them so far as appearance goes. In comparison, the Cappucino's main competition of the mid-90s (Honda Beat and Mazda AZ-1) feature several models with distinct varieties between one another.

An archeological browse thru early posts on
www.GranTurismoForum.com's edit: ⿑website not longer in existense͸ GT2 bulletin board yields a good number of folks bitching about how frustrated and desperate they were to find a Cappucino, so they can wrap their 98.2% win ratio by finishing Suzuki's Cappucino Cup. Again and again, the question is posed: ‘Does this car actually exist?’. Yes it does, but sometimes you'll go 30 days or so without seeing one in the used car lot, so keep hunting. GT4 also has Suzuki mini-races, but one can enter several models (not just the Cappucino).

Some people hop in a Cappucino, polish the Cup, and move on. Others (like me) who are hopeless car fiends fall in love with the little bug.

To its credit, this roadster is very lightweight ... some 300 to 500 pounds lighter than a lot of other Kei vehicles. It's also a welcome change from other Keis, which are mostly top-heavy vans, MPVs, and a seemingly endless assortment of hatchbacks.

It's a fun little machine. Real life Cappucinos were available in only four colors, all represented in our games. One thing that really detracts from this car's appearance (in GT2) is the stupid glare PD added to it. One of Polyphony Digital's revolutionary concepts was that all the cars in the games reflect light, as if they're coated with Turtle Wax® or some other high-gloss product. But on the Cappucino in GT2, it is simply too much. The glare can be seen around the wheels, too; as if the entire car is covered by a sheet of  lexan.

In GT5, we get a rare treat to drive a Premium Kei car. The Cappucino is one of the original Standards that made the jump. Just look at that dashboard. Speedometer, tachometer, a fuel gauge, and temperature gauge are all included. Notice how hot the temperature is running, too. It's almost in the red!  Is this normal?

Weight reductions for a Cappucino aren't necessary right away. Yes, the pound to power ratio of (which is approximately 25 in all games) is high, but if you have to choose, spend your money on the engine first. You'll only be able to whack off (huh huh...) a total of 124 lbs. with Stage 3 weight reduction in GT2 (a few pounds more in GT4), so unless you want the racing body kit, I'd wait on these 1st three stages. Unless, of course, you're rich...then you can do whatever the #*@( you want.
 
 

yellow_cappucino.jpg

-------------- ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN ---------------

Like I said before, most of the Kei cars in Gran Turismo have either front or 4-wheel drive. The front-engine / rear-drive Cappucino is therefore a welcome departure.

It is also the only true sports car with less than 70 hp in GT2, besides the Honda Beat and Mazda AZ-1, of course. Maybe I'm forgetting another car, I kinda feel like I am. In GT4 and 5, there are a few more tiny sports cars & convertibles with low horses, like the Daihatsu Copen. There are also variety of ancient roadsters from the time Moses walked the earth, like the Honda S series, which can also be bought or won here and there. Still, the Cappy winds up being unique. There was no other vehicle like it during its time.

So far as power is concerned, the Cappucino doesn't offer anything new, thanks to Japan's strict Kei-car laws. This one has a 658 cc 3-cylinder engine that sounds like it's making popcorn at full steam in GT2, or a hairdryer in GT4 and 5. Even with the intercooled turbo that comes standard in all Cappucinos (the game doesn't tell us it's got an intercooler even before it's bought, but it's there), this car has almost no power below 4,000 rpms, really poor acceleration, and a 114 mph top speed around the Test Track in GT2.

We can get slightly more (117 mph) in GT4. And in GT5, my Premium Cappucino was tested and driven with a brand-new car; its engine still not broken-in, and this means there was slightly less power (60 hp vs. 63) in this car. Top speed rated at 115.3 in this game.  

Most of this baby's meager torque hits early, but even with full upgrades, the engine has obvious power issues, so you'll need to keep it spinning at higher ranges to get the best performance. Torque falls off quickly above 4,000 rpms, killing acceleration early on.

None of this is news to me. Personally, I'm surprised the Cappucino broke the 110 mph barrier at all, though. The difference between the Cappys of GT2 and GT4/5 is vast. GT4/5 Cappucinos have a much later redline than GT2's (2,000 rpms later!) As I drove a Cappucino around the Test Course trying to record its top redline speed in 4th gear, I actually had to shift up to 5th early, because in 4th the engine can't push any faster above 8,000 rpms while it's still stock in the GT4 & 5 cars.

BUT, this doesn't mean that you won't kick ass, it doesn't mean your little 2-seater won't OVEN-BAKE the competition. This is is one of the few cars that will happily compete against non-Keis, matter of fact, in some situations.

In GT2, almost all the B-license races and a fair amount of A's can be owned in a Cappucino. You may even conquer some rallies, too, although this can take some mad skillz. Even some enduros can be yours. It's nice to be able to take a Kei far outside the actual Lightweight/Kei-car races, after all.

  At best in GT2, the Cappucino engine boasts 190 bhp @ 6,900 rpms with a decent 149 ft-lbs. of torque at 6,100 rpms. The redline raises from 6,500 rpms to 6,750 with an 8,000 rpm rev limit when crank balancing is done, so automatic transmissions aren't the best choice here. Fully stripped of weight, the best power to pound ratio we can acheive is an amazingly low 7.23. Fuckin' A! How do you like that happy crappy? Don't tell me, I'll tell you!

Next: the transmission. Okay, it needs work. As soon as the car gets some serious engine parts (say, Stage 1 with all the add-ons) it'll also most likely need a full-custom gearbox, since the stock one redlines too early. This is truest in GT2, not so pertinent in later games. 
 
There are a few tracks for which the Cappucino won't need full-custom gears in GT2, and it shouldn't need them at all if you're only gonna race in the Lightweight Kei Car Series. But otherwise it's time to spill the credits. With full Stage 2 power, it's guaranteed you'll need to mess with those gears, making them taller to get more speed...unless you're doing time trials at Motorsports Land, that is (highly recommended, by the way!)  

In GT4, things are nowhere as sweet for Cappy-lovers. We can max out with a Stage 3 turbo at best, but this creates a disappointing 124 BHP @ 6,500 rpms with 111 foot-pounds at 3,500 rpms. And this means it is no longer possible to scare the hell out of some other larger cars in this game, not outside of Compact Car events, anyways. To get the engine ported and crank-balanced adds just four horsesyet costs a small fortune.
 
It makes me wonder which game is correct? GT2 with its mighty 190-hp Capps, or GT4 with its 124-hp weaklings?  I am guessing the latter (GT4/124), because in GT5 the best results are as follows:

                      Horsepower                Torque
NA Stage 1: 85 @ 7,100 rpm     77 @ 4,700  
NA Stage 2: 92 @ 7,300             82 @ 4,800
NA Stage 3: 96 @ 7,400             89 @ 4,900

Turbo Stage 1: 115 @ 6,700     111 @ 4,400
 Turbo Stage 2: 115 @ 6,700    99 @ 4,900
Turbo Stage 3: 123 @ 7,400      93 @ 5,400

* These results were from a low-mileage car which hasn't had its engine fully broken-in.

Notice how there's not a clear-cut advantage from buying Turbo Stages 1, 2, and 3. Stages 1 and 2 offer the same horsepower (but less torque), while Stage 3 offers more horsepower, but less overall torque!  There is a reason for this, I am sure, but I haven't truely found it yet. 

The fully-powered Cappucino allows us to relive some Gran Turismo 2 moments, and by this I mean it does become possible to skool some bigger cars with more power. Like at the Clubman Cup Route 246 race. It was like...

...Skyline?
...skooled!
 
...BMW 120i?
.... you are dismissed!
 
....Nissan Primera? 
...goodbye....

The little Cappucino zips around 'em all. Most of this happens in corners too. It's not really that the Cappy is lighter than they are (although lack of weight does help) it's also the fact that there are some times when the only cornering option is to cram beside some other car. In a GTO or an Eclipse, this would simply not be possible -- there wouldn't be enough space. But in the Suzuki Cappucino?  It's worth a shot! ... Often, the risk is worth the option. ...This is a very safe car to take risks in, actually, especially once its tuning and tires are dialed-in.         

Now, let's talk about drivetrain. Moving right along, folks....

Well the good news is, I find serious drivetrain upgrades to be unnecessary in GT2 or GT4, but tweaking in this area does become pertinent in GT5 (more on this later in the Handling section).

Anything more expensive a single-plate clutch with sports flywheel just adds to tire-smoking excess in GT2 during actual races, killing any benefits to acceleration, and the GT4 cars are so weak, I figure: why bother modding them much at all? For GT2, you may want a heavier clutch and lighter shaft / flywheel if you're doing time trials, but otherwise...you get the point.

In either GT2 or GT4, limited-slip differentials of any kind aren't fully necessary, but they do become needed in the 5th game, especially as power is placed towards Stage 3. The 2-way diff of GT2 and GT4 will create more understeer; which some might actually desire just to give some limits to this slippery roadster. In GT5 (where we no longer get fixed differentials) a fully-modifyable unit becomes a really good buy, after a near accident or two. :)  

....But most of all, don't listen to me. You can figure all this out on your own....the Cappucino isn't a very demanding car. And if you're (for some reason) having problems with this one, there's always a Minica or an Alto Works with your name on it.
 

95cappucino.jpg
'95 Cappucino battling for the Kei Car Cup


------------------ CHASSIS / HANDLING -------------------

Okay, here's where the fun is! Step right up.

Acceleration may be lacking, total power output wimpy (in a numerical sense, anyways), but boy does this 2-seater sure tear some tarmac. The Cappucino reminds me of some older lightweights (think Lotus Elans or Triumph Spitfires). The main difference is the Cappucino is BETTER, especially so far as racing in GT goes. Better... and way more confident.

GT2

In my opinion, the Capp is easier to control than the Elan, understeers less than a Miata, and is therefore a more precise-handling car. Matter of fact, I've won several B-license races with no suspension or tire upgrades, laws yes. Even with full engine tuning of 190 hp, this is a very forgiving car with stock tires and suspension.

The Cappucino is one healthy little drifting machine in this game. Like a sleepless insomniac, it can be tossed and turned; it'll perform stunts some other higher-powered sports cars would not agree with. This is all assuming that the Suzuki isn't being buffeted by other cars though; if it is getting bullied, ignore my words....this one is a micro-weight and doesn't do well in traffic that you can't slip by. The benefit is that the Cappucino is just 55" wide and just 46" tall: it'll squeeze thru plenty of competition. Its low center of gravity ensures little drama.

Your problems with this car (let's call them ‘Cappucino Concerns’...haha) will actually be too much grip. Before the engine is modified, the front-end is especially sticky, even with stock tires. This includes GT4 machines as well as GT2 ones. These issues disappear once power is up with Stage 1 or 2 turbos in place. In place of the stickiness, you'll get light understeer, which is fine in most long turns and chicanes, since there isn't much car being pushed around. However, the Krazy Glue front-end problem returns as soon as the suspension is lowered with sports parts. It can be plenty annoying to be ahead of a pack of Rover Minis at Trail Mountain, push the steering too hard, and find yourself hitting a rock wall on the inside of a turn, for instance.

The Cappucino's whiney, torqueless engine doesn't bounce back from accidents, and the 'too-much-grip' phenomenon will be its worst enemy during races...not under or oversteer. All this is assuming the driver is not a newb and understands how to find the best cornering lines.

For this reason, I tend to use stock tires up front and sports tires in the back...something I rarely do with FR cars in GT2. In the 1st game, I remember constantly putting softer tires in the back of various cars. But in GT2, I prefer more drift and a looser feel for most FRs. Not so with the Cappucino. 

GT4

For GT4, I often used road tires (N3) rather than sports, since the Cappucino in this game can't get much further than the Lightweight Kei Series and Compact Car Cups, anyways. With sport tires installed, these Cappys sometimes will overkill their competition, even with minimal power.  

GT5
In GT5, all the rules have been changed once again. This car comes stock with medium-grade radials, yet even with these cheapies in place, we've still got plenty of car to drive.

With power near-stock, and while using safe, delicate driving (appropriate brake-distances, appropriate cornering speeds, etc.) the '91 Cappucino I drove in some Seasonal Kei car races does nothing but grip in and out of turns. Steering is light but accurate, and the rear feels loose but not too loose. But (heh heh) all this begins to change during harder cornering.

Understeer is finally more of a factor in GT5, mostly because of those cheap-ass tires. Not that pushing becomes 100% of our troubles, but it can show up here and there. Pushing this car for all its worth around Route 246, for instance, I often found that "sweet spot". The sweet spot where sports cars with larger engines & frames reside.  Front tires squealing and just turning red, understeer just a couple more MPH away, yet the car manages to keep its line. Cornering is basically still excellent, even with these cheap tires, and damage control is easy to utilize.

The Cappy can also be flung into turns now, its rear starting to start swing outwards just slightly more than the front, making the entire car feel somewhat like a mild carnival ride. We might as well call the Cappucino "S2000 Junior" or "'Lil MX-5".  ...This car does all the cool things the bigger boys can do, basically. All it needs is more power. Tossability and fun? I'm rating a 10 out of 10 here.  

Everything I just mentioned above about GT5 assumes the car's power is near-stock. I have also driven this car fully powered at Tokyo Route 246; an attempt to see if 123 horsepower can make a difference during the Clubman Cup. ... With full power (but a stock chassis and soft comfort tires) the car now has the ability to move a lot faster!  And the Cappucino is now at its very limits, when it comes to cornering. The Cappucino can compete in the Clubman/Tokyo Route 246, even with 123 horses. But radial tires are no longer an option. The upgrade to sports now becomes a necessity. 

Braking can be late, much later than with many larger cars, and it can also sometimes be light. A full second a braking in a Sil80 into Tsukuba's final turn can become just a blip in the Cappucino. ...Braking can be light, but it must also be firm. One must remember when and where (precisely) to brake a Cappucino, especially when racing against fuller-sized cars. Civics, Imprezas, etc.  Bottom line: Once the driver learns the Cappy's braking zones well, let the pwning begin, folks.   

The real-life Cappucino came with ABS as an option, so I definitely got this option. :-)  Driving a car this light and flimsy must be a nightmare at higher speeds without ABS, during races anyways. But even with ABS on, the rest of car still needs work. Pushing to maximum speeds (with maximum power), the suspension now starts feeling flimsy and too loose, and the rear-end especially starts getting extremely sloppy. Imagine taking a wet noodle and flinging it about. This is what I mean!

Oversteer (in various forms) now starts to dominate this car's handling, with understeer less of a reality. It's really really fun and addicting, actually, getting a Cappucino to slide out and be bad!  But it also can be annoying and dangerous, especially when it's race time. To correct this, better parts are needed, pronto! 

I found the limited-slip device to be something that's not needed in GT2 and GT4, but in GT5 it really does make a difference. Limited-slip tuning is the best place to start. We can set those gears lightly or aggressively. Light tuning will keep the Cappy's amazing flexibility in place (while keeping wheelspin at bay). More aggressive LSD tuning will kill this car's "fun" factor further (adding understeer), but some drivers might not mind this. Some drivers out there might be looking for a more solid Cappucino overall, and it is possible to create this sort of roadster.   

At tighter tracks (like the Go-Kart ones) the rear can also start getting smokey with passion on occasion, especially without a limited-slip in place. On stock tires, with stock power, a limited-slip is not needed 100% of time. All it will do is kill some of the action, and when power is low this is a car that could use all the action it can get!  ...But again, with more power all the other stuff gets needed, and limited-slip tuning becomes even more of a necessity.

Summary
Overall, I give the Suzuki Cappucinos high marks in the handling department in either game. It's a fun, fun machine, man. A classic underdog. And if any Mini-Me jokes happen out on the tracks, our Cappy won't necessarily be the butt of them.

premium_cappy.jpg

PROS

1). Highly nimble.

2). Behaves like a sports car should: plenty of flexibility under power, and a bit of drifting/sliding fun as the power gets added (GT2 and 5 only).

3). Low price. GT4's cars are often several thousand credits cheaper than GT2's...as if real-life Cappucinos aren't in demand or something. GT5 offers Premium Cappucinos (from '91 and '95) yet these are still inexpensive.

4). Light weight. GT2 cars can be race-kitted, and GT5's will accept aero kit parts.

*I'm not sure if GT4's version can get a wing, if so there's not much use for it.

5). Cappys can possibly blow away a surprising number of cars in the amateur races, and some of the intermediates, too (GT2). In GT4, they're pretty much stuck to the slowest of slow races, but the Cappucino is among the cream of the crop for such events in this game.
 
6). Smallish dimensions.  You'll have as many opportunities to slip thru traffic as you can find.

7). GT5: the interior may seem cramped, but the mirrors on this baby are large and therefore very useful. 

8). Just as cute as can be!

 

CONS

1). Gran Turismo 2 put too much gloss on the Cappucino's bodywork! WHY?? It would look so good if they got it right.

2). Low power & torque right off the bat. It's a Kei car, after all.

3). Transmission limits top speed (GT2 only). Fully-modifyable gears are often needed once serious engine upgrades are in place. GT4 & 5 cars aren't so limited here, but in this game automatic transmission users will have serious disadvantages, as the redline is 2,000 rpms higher than the horsepower peak!
 
4). The front-end can be too grippy, leading to skittishness and lost races.

5). Doesn't do well with traffic & bumping.

6). Rare...especially in GT2. Not only this, but you'll need to hunt for it if you want to finish the game, which will annoy those who want to get GT2 over with so they can move on to more fruitful pursuits (like wasting your best friend in a game of Red Faction, for instance).
 

Originally published: February 14th, 2005
GT4 Content added: uhhh
GT5 Content added: October 6th, 2012
 
 

Back to Car Reviews