Kei cars are the most popular vehicle segment in Japan. These curious small cars, usually with angular shapes, are very popular with Japanese drivers due to their small size, versatility and considerable tax advantages.

One of the strangest kei cars of all time was certainly the Suzuki LC (short for "light car"). A concept car introduced in 2005 with a retro design vaguely reminiscent of the Fiat 850 or a Mini, but which was actually intended as a homage to a completely different model.

The strange resemblance

In reality, the Japanese designers were by no means interested in copying the Italian small car or even a British cult model. Rather, the LC sought its points of reference in the so-called Suzulight, the first Suzuki, which was launched in 1955.

Suzuki LC Concept (2005)

Suzuki LC Concept (2005)

With a length of just 3.2 metres, the LC offers space for two adults, and the interior is just as extravagant as the exterior. The interior seems to be straight out of the 1950s, although the styling and upholstery are modern. The red leather and chequered fabric on the seats and backrests certainly don't let this Suzuki go unnoticed.

Only 660 cc

Small on the outside and small on the inside. Yes, because this LC has a really tiny engine: a three-cylinder with 660 cc and unspecified power. But those are the rules in the kei car segment. All we know about the Suzuki is that the powerplant transmits power to the front wheels alone via a 4-speed automatic transmission. 

Suzuki LC Concept (2005)

Suzuki LC Concept – das Interieur

We don't think the performance is sporty, but considering the small proportions of the body, it's safe to assume that the little engine can still provide a modicum of oomph on the busy streets of Tokyo. Unfortunately, the LC has not become a production model, but it is not impossible that Suzuki will take up the concept again in the future. Perhaps as an electrified version.

Gallery: Suzuki LC Concept (2005)