Classic Car Catalogue

Suzuki 1969


Fronte 360 (LC 10) (R3 cyl., 2 stroke, 356 cm³, 25 KM-SAE; wb: 1960 mm)
Fronte SS (LC 10) (R3 cyl., 2 stroke, 356 cm³, 36 KM-SAE; wb: 1960 mm)
Fronte 500 (LC 50) (R3 cyl, 2 stroke, 475 cc, 29 bhp; wb: 1960 mm)
Fronte Van (LS 10) (R3 cyl., 2 stroke, 356 cm³, 25 KM-SAE; wb: 1995 mm) – January
Fronte Estate (LS 11) (R3 cyl., 2 stroke, 356 cm³, 25 KM-SAE; wb: 1995 mm) – July
Fronte 800 – discontinued in April


Fronte 500 


In January 1969, the Suzulight Van FE was replaced by the conventionally laid out Suzuki Fronte Van (LS10). The LS10 features a conventional drivetrain layout (engine in front, rear wheel drive), a rear rigid axle with leaf springs and a wheelbase of 1,995 mm (78.5 in). Design is square in style, radically different from the Fronte sedan. The rear opening is a single unit, hinged at the top. The engine is the air-cooled 356 cc LC10 two-cycle three-cylinder unit detuned to 25 hp giving a top speed of 105 km/h. The Van (and its subsequent siblings) has MacPherson struts in front and semi-elliptic leaf springs in rear. Unusually for Japanese cars, the spare wheel is mounted in the engine compartment to help free up more space for luggage.
By July a three-door wagon version intended for private use arrived, the LS11 Suzuki Fronte Estate, to give passenger car buyers a model with more luggage room without the indignity of having to buy a commercial vehicle. The Estate has the same top-hinged rear opening, but features a more comfortable, while still folding, rear seat. There is also a folding luggage shelf in the trunk.

An export version introduced in January 1969, the Suzuki Fronte 500 with the engine enlarged to 475 cc only built in De Luxe trim. The 500 produces 29 PS at 6000 rpm.The tiny Fronte 500 measures just 3 meters and weights 425 kg, but provides 4 speed, all synchromesh gearbox and all independent suspension. In according to the advertisment leaflet:
“Power is supplied by a compact, lightweight engine with a hefty crankshaft supported by 7 bearings for smoothness amd long life. It's as smooth and vibrationless as a 6-cylinder 4-stroke engine. The intake system utilizes 3 carburettors to assure high efficiency and really tremendous power and torque over a wide rpm range.” “Fill the fuel tank with pure gasoline. The separate POSI-FORCE system takes care of all the 2-stroke engine's lubrication needs.”
In May the Fronte 360 received its first real facelift. The dashboard was modernized by two square gauges instead of a large oval one, the ignition key was moved from the dashboard to the steering column and the two-tone interior was changed to simply black. Externally, the decorative trim pieces in the front grille and on the air inlets at the rear were replaced by real grilles. First gear was also synchronized, unlike on earlier cars. In July 1969 the Fronte S appeared, which offered the SS equipment but with the more economical 25 PS engine.

The Suzuki 800 was discontinued in April. 2717 were built and 2612 sold.

Mr. Suzuki's world of micro cars was most fascinating. There were single seater, Group 6 midship engined coupe, long distance rally car and even a dune buggy in his hall, in addition to the production Fronte saloon range. The racing Suzuki 2-stroke transverse 3-cylinder engine is watercooled and puts out whopping 50 h.p. at 9,500 r.p.m. from 356 c.c. There was also a 500 c.c. version rated at over 60 h.p.! Suzuki's works monoposto scales only 250 kg. on the weighbridge, and it could reach 125 m.p.h. with ease. All from 360 c.c.! The production Fronte saloon is a pleasant and lively car with an aircooled 3-cylinder engine mounted in the rear. Soon the export 500 will join the catalogue.
Tokio Motor Show report