The seconding generation Suzuki Jimny (SJ40) was sold as the Samurai at dealers in the United States, and featured a mix of economical city driving and (surprisingly good) light off-roading for the weekends. It featured a simple and durable 1.3 liter 4-banger, and many have been swapped out for domestic V8s for more low end grunt…however…I can’t say I’ve seen on powered by a rotary before today. Find this 1987 Suzuki Samurai 12A Powered offered for $3,000 in Buffalo, NY via craigslist.
The Samurai was good for offroading because of its light weight, short wheelbase, approach/departure angles, and adequate torque from the original engine, but swapping in a rotary is a gamble. Sure, the weight might actually be improved, and power should be doubled (if not more) but rotaries aren’t known for low end torque, and a carburetor isn’t what you want for radical vehicle angles.
Regardless, you can’t deny that this car won’t be a hoot to hoon around town or out in the country — it should make a terrible racket and with the 100-150 horsepower that is easily available from a modified 12A; it should also be “fast”.
See another 12A powered oddball? firstname.lastname@example.org