Take Off EA11R Suzuki Cappuccino Race Car

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I’m sure when Suzuki named their lightweight convertible sports car “Cappuccino” they never envisioned it’d be tuned quite like this. Take Off are renowned throughout Japan as the go to place for Kei car tuning and parts and all their know-how has culminated in this crazy Suzuki Cappuccino race car. Let’s take a look at this not-so-lightweight Kei circuit special…

Why All The Interest?
“Konnichiwa”, an middle aged Japanese man said to me while I was leaning over trying to see the custom manifold supporting the IHI RX3 turbo on his Cappuccino race car. It was none other than Yoneda-san, the owner of Take Off. “Why are you here?” he asked in Japanese, not sure what to make of an Australian and an American taking an interest in his car. I told him that some Kei cars were indeed sold in Western markets although they’re still a novelty, especially in big countries where Kei cars don’t make much sense. Yoneda-san had a little trouble believing our enthusiasm at first, but soon gave in to our incessant questions about his cars, in particular his Suzuki Cappuccino. No sooner had we finished swapping meishi (business cards) when Yoneda-san opened the door to his EA11R Cappuccino and pushed me to sit in the tiny cabin. Was it tiny! There were some jokes from the mechanics about me squeezing into the little Suzuki reminding them of putting a shoe on that was two sizes too small. Once inside though, everything seemed to fall within easy arms reach and didn’t feel as cramped as what I first thought.

Interior Redecorating
Yoneda-san points to the dashboard and tells me it’s all custom work with only the bare necessities. Even the large LCD replacing the stock gauge cluster was removed from its original housing and flush fitted to the dash insert, along with a row of buttons and a couple of shift lights. The Sparco Rev bucket seat and Takata harnesses do look kind of over sized in the tiny cabin and you are well aware that the rear wheels are almost right underneath you. Other additions to the dashboard are minimal, only a GReddy 2.0bar boost gauge, a Defi exhaust temperature gauge, an HKS A/F Knock Amp and HKS EVC IV fill in the carbon panels added to the center console. Look up and you can see one of Take Off’s original carbon fiber roof panels which fortunately has only a reinforcing layer of FRP and still allows adequate headroom… well, once you almost smash your forehead on the steering while trying to duck under the padded roll cage! It also helps having the fixed Sparco bucket seat virtually sitting flat on the floor. Having said all that it’s safe to say that this car would be off limits to anyone who has above average height and weight, it’d just be too cramped to drive for any period of time.

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One-off Engine Components
One of the first questions I had was about how much power the little 660cc 3 cylinder turbo produced. One of the mechanics informed us that it puts out 200PS (147Kw) at 1.8kg/㎠ boost! They’ve seen higher power figures with K6A engines before but have limited it to improve reliability. What’s the recipe? Well they started with a stock K6A 660cc 3 cylinder engine from an Alto Works R and rebuilt it using forged Works R pistons and stock connecting rods and crankshaft. They then added custom grind camshafts with Take Off original valve springs, a custom intake manifold and the previously mentioned custom exhaust manifold supporting a IHI RX3 turbo. Boost pressure is released by a Blitz Super Sound Blow Off Valve DD and exhaust gases are expelled via a custom side exit exhaust. Three 400cc fuel injectors are pressurized by a Bosch high flow (3.6L/min) fuel pump with engine management handled by a HKS F-CON V Pro. Cooling of the intake charge is taken care of by a custom intercooler and engine cooling is kept under control by a 19-row Type S oil cooler and custom aluminum radiator. Power is transmitted through a standard Cappuccino 5-speed gearbox with a 350Kg heavy duty metal clutch and a Suzuki Sport LSD. All this makes for a 135PS increase in power over the standard 64PS which only has to move a car that weighs less than 690Kg. Sounds like a lot of fun!

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Suspension and Braking Tricks
It’s under the car where a few interesting modifications have been carried out. Ohlins adjustable coil over suspension from a R32 NissanSkyline have been used front and rear and some Nissan fans will have noticed that the front brake calipers have also been sourced from the same model R32 Skyline. The Skyline calipers bite down on DC2 Honda Integra front disks which have necessitated the use of custom 100 PCD front hubs from R-Mechanical. At the rear, standard Cappuccino calipers are used with Take Off original brake disks. The wheels are changed regularly but at the moment 14×7 RAYS TE37s  wearing Yokohama Advan Y801 185/525/14 racing slicks are used up front and Hayashi Type CR 14×8 alloys with 225/525/14 Yokomama Advan Y801 slicks at the rear. I only got to see the Take Off Cappuccino do one flying lap and it looked a little biased towards oversteer through the medium left hander before going under the bridge at Central Circuit. Ishikawa-san the head mechanic tells me its short wheelbase and ample power make it a real handful in the wet.

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Outward Appearance
Some people have mentioned how the silhouette of the Take Off Cappuccino reminds them of a mini Dodge Viper. I couldn’t really see it myself but the full Take Off body kit does do wonders to its overall appearance. “Cross” is one of Take Off’s brand names and the Cappuccino is adorned with the full Cross Style GT Aero Kit including FRP front and rear bumpers and side skirts. Additional parts such as the over fenders, racing type front fenders, adjustable carbon rear wing and carbon hood don’t add very much to the Cappuccino’s already low curb weight. Another weight saver is the carbon roof panel which seems to be the most popular modification for Cappuccinos by far; out of the 10 or more Cappuccinos that were present at the recent K-Car Special Meeting, most of them were running carbon roof panels by Take Off.

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Tsukuba Time
So how fast is it? The Take Off Cappuccino has managed a 1’02″560 around Tsukuba Circuit which is a fraction slower than the 1’02″143 Car Top Magazine did with a stock R35 Nissan GT-R… not bad for a car with just over half the power, half the cylinders and just under a sixth of the capacity! Throw in some tricky handling and you have a very demanding, albeit small, “monster K-car”. After having seen the car in action and had time to examine it first hand, the Cappuccino really does look like the ultimate Kei car tuning platform not least because of the extensive support it has with aftermarket performance parts. For the first time I could see myself actually owning one of these pint sized sports cars as it would make a fantastic weekend racer. That’s if I could only lose a few pounds (and maybe shrink an inch or two)! Now where did my gym membership card go…

Take Off EA11R Suzuki Cappuccino

Engine
K6A 660cc 3 cylinder 12 valve DOHC turbo
Works R forged pistons
Standard conrods
Standard crankshaft
Custom grind camshafts
Take Off original valve springs
IHI RX3 Turbo (1.8kg/㎠ boost)
Custom intercooler
Custom exhaust manifold
Custom intake manifold
Custom aluminum radiator
Take Off 19 row oil cooler kit
3x 400cc injectors
Bosch high flow fuel pump (3.6L/min)
Aero Tec Laboratories Fuel Cell
HKS F-Con V Pro
Custom side exit exhaust

Driveline
Standard EA11R Cappuccino 5-speed gearbox
Heavy duty metal clutch (350Kg pressure)
Take Off original quick shift kit
Suzuki Sport LSD

Suspension and Braking
R32 Nissan Skyline Ohlins adjustable coil overs (front/rear)
DC2 Honda Integra brake disks (front)
R32 Nissan Skyline 4-pot calipers (front)
R Mechanical original 100PCD hubs (front)
Take Off original brake disks (rear)
Standard brake calipers (rear)

Interior
Sparco Rev fixed bucket seat
MOMO Veloce Racing steering wheel
Original steering wheel quick release
Takata 4 point harness (2-seater type)
Take Off custom digital dash display
HKS EVC IV boost controller
HKS A/F Knock Amp
Defi exhaust temperature gauge
GReddy 2.0bar boost gauge

Aero
Cross Style full FRP body kit
Cross carbon hood
Cross carbon adjustable rear wing
Cross normal FRP front fenders
Cross FRP over fenders (front/rear)
Cross carbon roof panel

Wheels and Tires
RAYS TE37 14x7J (front)
Yokohama Advan Y801 185/525/14 slicks (front)
Hayashi Type CR 14x8J (rear)
Yokohama Advan Y801 225/525/14 slicks (rear)

Special thanks
Yoneda-san and Ishikawa-san from Take Off

http://www.k-takeoff.com/index2.html

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Words: Justin Karow

Images: Justin Karow

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11 thoughts on “Take Off EA11R Suzuki Cappuccino Race Car”

  1. Love this car… it’s small but Im sure it could beat many bigger cars around the track. What’s the torque figure Justin?

  2. Great coverage!!!

    Being a luck sob and own a cappa myself any Idea on how they got the skyline coilovers to fit? Just find it very interesting. Considering the springs/shocks arent that big lol. Also the amount of power that think is pushing definitely inspiration!

    Although mine does have an F6A I would love to have that amount of power =( lol

  3. Will: All I was told about the Ohlins coil overs is that they were “revised”, how much so I don’t know. Take Off make their own springs in-house so they could be extensively modified. I’ll get some more info on them.

  4. I didnt think they would be a straight swap…Just find it interesting thats all. If you can get more info that would be great but if you can’t don’t stress about it lol…its more for my curiousty than anything else.

    Keep up the good work as well…loving the Kei Class stuff!

  5. Ok apparently the Take Off Cappuccino was dynoed on a pretty old Bosch dyno so it only gave a power figure. That’s what I was told.

    Oh and Will, yes the BNR32 GT-R coil overs were extensively modified to fit but it’s all one-off work and as Ishikawa-san didn’t do any of it, he isn’t completely sure what was done. They do use Take Off brand springs though.

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