Home » Here’s Another Cheap Car For Malcolm Bricklin To Try To Sell To Americans: Comment Of The Day

Here’s Another Cheap Car For Malcolm Bricklin To Try To Sell To Americans: Comment Of The Day


SV-1, Yugo, Subaru 360, Subaru FF-1 Star, Proton Saga, Chery, Fiat X1/9; that random smattering of cars are just some of the vehicles that businessman Malcolm Bricklin either imported or tried to import. It seemed as if the car was cheap, Bricklin wanted to sell it to Americans. As other countries continue to get vehicles that we won’t see for at least 25 years, it gets some people thinking, can we get Bricklin to give us some forbidden fruit again?

I say this because the adorable off-road champ that is the Suzuki Jimny just got a five-door version. All of us at the Autopian are in love with it. Well, maybe not our professional designer Adrian, who put this new version on his “how the fuck does that move?” list. I think 103 horsepower from a 1.5-liter four is just fine! Just, never leave the right lane. Perhaps David said it best when he drove the two-door version: The 2018 Suzuki Jimny Is the Off-Road Bargain of Your Dreams, and the Highway Cruiser of Your Nightmares

Adding two doors can’t help that. But who cares, just look at this pint-sized rugged 4×4!

It’s a full two feet shorter than my Volkswagen Touareg. Heck, it’s two feet shorter than my Passat wagon. And you could probably score the wee little guy for under 30 large in some markets. I think Ranwhenparked has the right idea here with this COTD winner:

Malcolm Bricklin needs to get off his ass and set up a Jimny America import operation already. Yeah, it would be a total scam and collapse in a few years, leaving franchisees and investors in the lurch, but at least they’d sell some of them that would be here to kick around for years as used cars.

For some context, some of Bricklin’s ventures left a wake of pissed-off people around the world when they failed. Vehicles like the SV-1 and the Proton Saga came with big sales promises, but they never quite came to fruition. For an example of what I mean by pissed-off people, just read this article from WapCar, a Malaysian car news site. Wowza!

Believe it or not, Bricklin is still in the car industry even at 83 years old. Currently, he wants to sell you a Bricklin 3EV, a space pod-like EV with Tesla parts. Come on, Bricklin, give us a Jimny, too!

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21 Responses

  1. MPG of around 27?

    A turbo version might struggle less and do better with gas mileage, although the absolute brick shape will drive those numbers down severely above 55-65 mph. Safety regs? Europe allows the new Jimny to be sold, albeit in commercial LCV version due to the poor emissions performance. Suzuki would do well to put in some newer engine tech, like a 1.0 or 1.2 liter turbo and a 6 speed manual.

  2. I am no longer interested one iota in the newest Bronco, Bronco Sport or the over priced offerings at Jeep. Not at the upper 30’s to 100k for that over-fendered Bronco Raptor.

    The Suzuki Samurai and the Geo variants were every where back in the 80’s and 90’s and they’d certainly have a market right now. Please, somebody bring this new Jimny back to our shores. Why are we constantly denied vehicles like this in the USA?

  3. “The 2018 Suzuki Jimny Is the Off-Road Bargain of Your Dreams, and the Highway Cruiser of Your Nightmares”

    This sounds exactly like my Tacoma. Lifted, bigger tires, diffs re-geared, ARB lockers, pop up camper shell, dual battery system, armor and a 150hp 4 banger. A beast off road, but sucks on the highway!

  4. If I was running things at Mitsubishi North America I’d be calling up Suzuki and working on a deal to badge engineer these things. That would get some traffic in Mitsubishi dealers again.

  5. If anybody wants to learn more about Malcom Bricklin, I highly recommend Jason Vuic’s book “The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History.”

    Don’t let the title put you off, as it is not at all a take-down of the Yugo, which it immediately takes down the oft repeated trope that the Yugo was the worst car ever. In fact, the tale of all the work they did improving the car to try and make it good enough for the American market had me rooting for its success as I was reading about it, even though I already knew it had long since failed!

    Anyways, the book is if anything a takedown of Bricklin. I had always thought of Bricklin as a kind of wacky engineer/salesman whos eyes were just bigger than his stomach. Nope. Total friggin’ shyster. Should have been in jail before he even had a chance to bring Yugo to America.

    1. I find it perplexing that people keep giving him money, his only actual business success was selling some motor scooters in the mid ’60s, that’s almost 60 years ago, and, even then, he didn’t stick with it because he got distracted by the Subaru 360 shiny thing and switched his focus entirely to that.

      1. Actually what happened was Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru’s parent company) stopped production of the Rabbit Scooters and Bricklin threatened to sue them for breach of contract unless they sold him all the tooling to manufacture the scooters in America. Which he probably never really wanted. Then he got distracted by the 360. Which Subaru knew wasn’t an appropriate car for America, but to avoid the lawsuit, they agreed to sell him a bunch.

    2. I second this comment about Jason Vuic’s book. It’s a highly engaging read that I finished in a day. I have a Yugo so of course I have two copies that were given to me by different people.

    1. Its in this weird uncanny valley where it looks simultaneously very modern and extremely dated, and not in an intentionally retro way, more in a we really wanted to make something modern but have no idea what that really means way, so we did this.

    2. After sort of throwing up in my mouth at the sight of it, my next thought was OMG he is reinventing Pontiac. My 3rd thought was why the f would anyone do that?

    3. But.. it’s filled to the brim with luxurious details like “sumptuous materials” and a “ human-machine interface”. It also has “Innovative scissors doors”.
      “ Redefining the Price of Fabulous”?
      Oh bother…

      1. “The unique front-end ensures stability and smooth handling (it matches the width of the Lamborghini).”

        That’s not a bullet point, it’s a stoned executive.
        Which Lamborghini? What are you talking about?

        I sure hope they were less frugal in the design department than they are in the advertising department.

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