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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Autozam AZ-1 Buyers Guide

Autozam AZ-1 legal for import to the USA starting September 2017.


The Autozam AZ-1, known as the framecode PG6SA, is a mid-engined sports kei car, designed and manufactured by Suzuki but sold by Mazda under its Autozam brand. It was produced from October 1992 to 1994, and was perhaps most noted for its gullwing doors. Power came from the same Suzuki-sourced 657 cc turbocharged engine used by the Mazda Carol that produced 64 PS (47 kW) at 6500 rpm and 85 N·m (63 lb·ft) at 4000 rpm. Suzuki produced its own badge engineered version named the Suzuki Cara (PG6SS). 
The car was made available to the buying public on September 1992, with two color options, Siberia Blue and Classic Red. Both colors came with Venetian Gray lower panels. Each car was sold through the Autozam dealer network in Japan.
Unfortunately by the time car came into production, the recession in Japan had just come into force. Selling for 1,498 million ¥ (the equivalent of $12,400), it was slightly less than a Eunos Roadster, but marginally higher than its competitor, the Honda Beat selling at 1,388 million ¥ and the Suzuki Cappuccino at 1,458 million ¥, the AZ-1 was considered to be both too expensive and too cramped for a kei car. The car failed to sell within its target of 800 per month, in the midst of an economic recession. Production of the car ended after the following year, but Mazda had plenty of stock to sell off.

Suzuki Cara

With the total production of 4,392 over a year, plus 531 for the Cara version (mentioned later in the article) to 28,010 to the Cappuccino and 33,600 for the Beat, both with production reaching into the latter half of the 1990s, this makes the AZ-1 the rarest of the kei sports cars.

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