The Suzuki Mighty Boy is a coupé utility vehicle sold by the Japanese automaker from 1983 through 1988. In fact, the Mighty Boy was the only coupé utility (or bonnet type pick up) sold by Suzuki during the 550cc era. It was part of the Kei class of vehicles, and evolved as a response to Japan’s strict regulations on cars. As a keijidōsha car, the Mighty Boy was able to bypass tax surcharges and inner-city parking fines imposed by the Japanese government on larger cars. This particular class of cars was exceedingly successful in Japan, but rarely found success in export markets. As a Kei class car, the Mighty Boy has certain advantages as well as a number of disadvantages.
The advantages of the Mighty Boy being specially designed to fit under Japanese regulations include its small size and unusual styling. The two-door two-seater Mighty Boy shouldn’t have a problem fitting into any parking spots, and looks very different from just about anything else on the road today. Based on the sporty Suzuki Cervo, the exterior profile of the Mighty Boy had the same look as the Cervo in the front, with a rear design all its own. In fact, Suzuki surprised the entire car industry by releasing the Mighty Boy, which was unlike anything on the market up until that point. Released in February of 1983, the MB featured a small flat bed in the back (roughly 600mm in length) and a low slung driving position that found favour among many Japanese drivers.
Disadvantages that resulted from the Japanese regulation on the Mighty Boy’s design included a small engine that accordingly did not have much power under the bonnet. In addition, the Mighty Boy never really found favour outside of Japan during its production run, perhaps due to its utterly unique look and name.
Despite this fact, the Mighty Boy has developed somewhat of a cult following since production ended. Originally regarded as strange and used mostly as a pizza delivery vehicle, the Mighty Boy is now thought of as a “lifestyle” vehicle, one of two markets to which it was ever exported (the other being Cyprus). A rare find, the Mighty Boy has gained credibility over the years for its one-of-a-kind combination of styling, interior space, and reliability. Potential Mighty Boy buyers should prepare themselves for the odd comment on their vehicles.
Because of the strict Japanese government regulations, the Mighty Boy’s engine had to stay below a certain power. This resulted in a relatively small engine, and the Mighty Boy is not exactly known as a high performance vehicle.
There were two generations of the car, but the powertrain stayed constant over the years. The Suzuki featured a 543cc SOHC transversely mounted 3-cylinder engine with 22kW of power at 6,000rpm and 43Nm of torque at 4000rpm. Those specifications, claimed by Suzuki, have been disputed in the past, with some car experts noting even lower power and torque on the Mighty Boy. Despite this fact, many MBs on the used car market have been retrofitted and modified with other engines to offer better power and torque.
Available with either a 4-speed manual or 2-speed gearbox, the Mighty Boy was never outfitted with what could be considered luxurious kit. In fact, when it first came on the market, the Suzuki Mighty Boy with a manual transmission was the cheapest new automobile available.
That being said, the Mighty Boy did feature a relatively spacious interior with load and luggage room behind the two reclining front seats. In addition, the Suzuki Mighty Boy featured a horizontal fin grille and seats embossed with the “Mighty Boy” logo. The Mighty Boy that was imported was a hybrid of the two Japanese generations and came with bucket seats, a chrome roof rack, and tray rails. The Mighty Boy was never available as a turbocharged version. Roughly 2,800 Mighty Boys were originally imported.
Being such a unique car, the Mighty Boy didn’t have that much competition during its time in production. As comparison, modern micro cars on offer today include the Nissan Micra and Honda Brio. The first features a 1.5-litre V4 engine with an output of 75kW and 136Nm while the latter features a 1.2-litre V4 with an output of 66kW. While these modern cars may trump the power found in the Mighty Boy, there’s no denying the attraction and appeal of the unique and rare Suzuki.