The fine line between insanity and genius is blurry in Osamu Kawashima’s world. You only have to look at his infamous oni-camber Toyota Celica to know his automotive creations spit in the face of practicality. His daily driver is no different. It’s a project he undertook while building the Celica, but the result wasn’t quite what many were expecting. For Kawashima-san normal is mundane, so he set out to create another insane creation for the daily commute.
At just 3295mm long, the pocket-sized Suzuki Cappuccino started out as a 660cc rev-happy roadster. The standard 14-inch wheels were quickly swapped for much larger, 18x7-inch BEO V-02s with 15mm spacers, and the one thing that punches you square in the face when you see the Cappuccino for the first time is the stance he has achieved. Kawashima-san modified a set of Kei Office BCNR33 coilovers with, as he puts it, “A tiny bit of modifying” for good measure.
Next on the list was a power upgrade, and instantly the Cappuccino went from single-shot to a much stauncher triple-shot strength with the help of a Monster Sport turbo kit, injectors, an HKS pod filter and an ECU swap. A host of other go-fast bits were injected into the engine bay, and an MR2 SW20 intercooler was fitted to keep intake temps regulated, and to give it a bark when you press the loud pedal — to assist, a straight-pipe Pal Sports exhaust system was fitted.
It’s certainly not the idea most have of a daily driver, especially when they already own a modified car. But as Kawashima-san told NZPC, “While the Celica was being built I still wanted something to have fun with, I couldn’t not have something to slide around in,” and so despite its super-low stance, it actually is a proper daily driver.
He is a car builder who likes to push tuning to the absolute limits of what a car is capable of.
“When I build I like to focus on three main areas, Onikyan, tsuraichi [tyres barely inside the guards], and hippari stretched tyres.”
The Suzuki allowed for two of those three — the only ingredient missing is a good dose of oni-camber, which could not be done on this without some serious modifications.
“I like it, there isn’t any other Cappuccino out there like this one,” Kawashima-san grins, then continues, “The Celica makes everyone stare in either horror or amazement, and I decided that there was no reason my daily driver couldn’t do the same.”
He is dead right on that point too, but there must be a lot of folk staring, because at the end of the day he drives it to work, the supermarket and anywhere else he needs to go.
“Even car fans look at me in this like I am insane — insane is good, it’s normal that’s overrated!”