Home » These Photos Of A Suzuki Cappuccino Next To A Lucid Air Are Fantastic

These Photos Of A Suzuki Cappuccino Next To A Lucid Air Are Fantastic

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Gregory from the Oppositelock Facebook group posted a photo of his garage filled with incredible machines, along with the caption “Ever wanted to see how comically small a Cappuccino is next to a Lucid? Wonder no more.” The photos are awesome, and I just wanted to share them with you, dear readers. Because why not?

“We live in Gilbert, Arizona. Have always loved all cars, basically all cars,” Gregory told me over Facebook Messenger. “Like the unique ones, and then like customizing them to make them even more unique. I hate selling any of them once I get them where I want them, but kinda have to, to be able to change it up and experience different cars.”

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I feel you, Gregory.

“At the moment, I have 10 cars. None are cookie-cutter. They are all pretty unique cars in their own right.” Nice, a fellow car hoard … I mean, collector!

Anyway, look at the cute 1990s Japanese Kei-car roadster next to one of today’s most advanced electric sedans:

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I have to say: These photos make me realize just how much the world is leaving on the table with modern EVs. Yes, the Lucid Air is one of the highest-range electric cars you can buy today, but think about how much cheaper it could be (or how much more range it could offer with the given battery capacity) if it were just smaller.

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At least at Chrysler, where I worked as an engineer for two years, this type of discussion would fall under the umbrella term Vehicle Demand Energy, the amount of energy needed to move a vehicle down the street. Things that factor into VDE are rolling resistance, bearing drag, and — especially dominant at speeds above about 40 mph — aerodynamics. Aerodynamic performance is a function of a vehicle’s shape (represented by a drag coefficient) and its frontal area, and as you can see, the Lucid’s frontal area is way, way bigger than the Cappuccino.

Am I suggesting we all drive tiny cars the size of a 660cc Suzuki Cappuccino? No, nor do I want to downplay the challenges of getting a car that small past the U.S.’s rigorous safety standards. But it’s hard to look at those photos and wonder: “Man, look at that high-range EV. It’s got the latest in EV tech, a giant battery, and an extremely aerodynamic shape. I wonder how much farther it could go on a charge if it were smaller…”

Anyway, I really just wanted to share these images because I thought they were cool.

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[Editor’s Note: They ARE cool images; I wonder if part of why they appealed so much to David was due to his having flashbacks to our Berkely SE328 auction score (which you can watch me drive me drive right here).

Fordberkely

Microcars next to big cars! There’s no better formula for a fun image. – JT]

[Ed Note 2: While we’re talking about size juxtapositions, check out my full-size Jeep pickup truck next to modern full-size pickup trucks (a Ford Raptor and Ford Raptor R):

Screen Shot 2022 10 30 At 8.45.46 Pm

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And here I was thinking my J10 was big. -DT]

 

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Theotherotter
Theotherotter
2 months ago

Reminds me of when I came out to see a Rolls-Royce Cullinan parked next to my Saab:

https://imgur.com/a/KVjh9OG

Banpei
Banpei
2 months ago

I once found a first generation Honda civic parked next to a VW Touareg. They aren’t the same brand and don’t have ties, but they feature the same basic shape. The civic was comically small compared to the Touareg and it had the same effect as the cappuccino next to the lucid air. You can find the photo here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/banpei/18743839170

Chris D
Chris D
2 months ago

I’ll take the Cappuccino… in stock form, please. Lucid Airs are a dime a dozen in comparison.

Space
Space
2 months ago

Maybe there should be an exemption for microcars from all these mandated things, treat it like motorcycles if it seats 2 or less. It might actually be safer in dense urban populations.
Does it need a backup camera? No.
But then we would have to expect the government to treat us like rational beings that can weigh self risk vs reward.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
2 months ago

Nice! I love the Cappuccino…that’s basically my favorite car name…it’s just wonderful

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago

My honest sincere question is could you fit the battery in that small of car? I mean slap a big gas tank on a race car so you don’t need refueled. You can’t it won’t fit. But I am a supporter of making vehicles smaller and large ones for specific usage. Yes a building lot needs big cement mixers and bulldozers but the foreman who always shows up in Brand new looking carharts doesn’t need a block long f450.

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

My honest sincere question is could you fit the battery in that small of car?

Yes. I fit a 20.8 kWh pack of CALB CA100FI into a Triumph GT6. There’s room for 30 kWh of the same battery. Modern LiIon batteries are 2.5x as energy dense by volume and weight as my CALBs.

The Cappucino wasn’t made to be an EV, so perhaps 10 kWh of CALBs would fit in it, and maybe 25 kWh of modern LiIon batteries. The aero of that car isn’t so great, so maybe 80-100 miles per charge off of 25 kWh.

Imagine a small similar in size to the Cappucino, except built from the ground up to be an EV. You could have an electric motor drive the rear wheels with a single speed reduction ratio, and place the battery where a transmission tunnel and gasoline engine would have otherwise been, with a frunk up front and a small trunk in the rear. You could without great effort fit 50 kWh of modern batteries into a car of its size if the car is designed from the ground up and modern batteries are used(eg. Panasonic NCR21700 or something of similar energy density). But IMO, that would be excessive, since you want to keep mass down.

A Cappucino-sized EV sports car with good aero(0.20 Cd or less) and a weight of under 2,500 lbs could have efficiency approaching that of the Aptera. About 8-10 miles per kWh is possible cruising down the highway at 70 mph in a car of such efficiency. 30-35 kWh in such a thing would be enough.

A high-performance no-frills EV sports car would probably be almost as cheap to produce as a subcompact like the BYD Seagull if the production volume were high enough. I don’t think the auto industry is too fond of that idea, because it would cannibalize the sales of much more expensive cars that would also be slower, while being among the cheapest things possible to operate on the roads. Consider that for every dollar you don’t spend, some C-suite assholes aren’t getting that dollar.

Last edited 2 months ago by Toecutter
Phuzz
Phuzz
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

A big difference between batteries and fuel tanks is that it’s easier to have batteries in multiple locations, whereas having more than one fuel tank in a car is complicated at best. Electricity will flow in any direction, regardless of gravity, unlike petrol.
Many EV conversions have batteries in the original fuel tank location, and in the engine bay, (because electric motors are generally much smaller than the ICE engine they replace). So you can probably fit a bigger volume of batteries into an EV conversion than the original volume of the fuel tank.

Skmini
Skmini
2 months ago
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago

Oh wow, I didn’t imagine this pic I snapped the other day of my R4 next to a RAM 1500 would become comment section material! https://i.imgur.com/rz8z18i.jpeg

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago

Great R4
(thumbs up!)

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Thanks! I’d love to be able to take even better care of her, interiors definitely need some work, ainda it’s far from the cleanest looking one around from the outside either. But I like to think I take good care of that engine – keeping fluids in check, not delaying scheduled maintenance, tuning up the carb when the weather changes, etc – and will be able to keep the Quatrelle on the road for as long as possible. I’m realy lucky that parts are in no way scarce or expensive, and lots of stuff is still being produced (mine got a brand new hood and grille earlier this year after someone reared into me).

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

I like that Corvair.

Chronometric
Chronometric
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Me too. I just installed big valve heads, a hot cam, and reprofiled distributor. It’s sweet!

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Ever get it dyno’d? How fast does it accelerate?

Chronometric
Chronometric
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

No dyno yet. I just got it back together and I’m still tweaking the timing curves. I also installed dual exhaust and intake trumpets if my own design, plus dual Bluetooth-enabled air/fuel sensors so I can get the carb balance and mixture right. The practical limit for a streetable stockish 2.7L Corvair is probably about 200hp with 4 carbs (factory was 140, Don Yenko racecars got 225). I stayed with 2 carbs and the smaller exhaust headers so my limit is considerably lower. Right now I’d guess 130hp (up from 95). Acceleration is decent by 1964 standards and it will cruise easily at 80mph and top out over 100.

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
2 months ago

Is it just me, or does the Suzuki Cappuccino look an awful lot like a modified NB Miata?

Maymar
Maymar
2 months ago
Reply to  Thatmiataguy

If the Suzuki is the Espresso, the Miata is the Americano.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago

“Microcars next to big cars! There’s no better formula for a fun image.”

I may have been guilty of this on occasion.

Large (and color-coordinated):

https://live.staticflickr.com/3114/5716601092_8192732189_o.jpg

Medium:

https://live.staticflickr.com/1276/4707393028_2f92e771f5_c.jpg

Small:

https://live.staticflickr.com/5302/5600648065_1cce953440_c.jpg

OttosPhotos
OttosPhotos
2 months ago

Fat Americans (had to be said).

Chronometric
Chronometric
2 months ago
Reply to  OttosPhotos

So, will the success of Ozempic herald a new dawn of small cars?

OttosPhotos
OttosPhotos
2 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

We can only hope.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago
Reply to  OttosPhotos

Well Otto we did see who was the fatest in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? I think it was The German kid Otto?

Luxrage
Luxrage
2 months ago

My icon is my own Geo Tracker parked next to two massive pickups, their hoods line up with my roofline!

Luxrage
Luxrage
2 months ago
Reply to  Luxrage
Ben
Ben
2 months ago

think about how much cheaper it could be

Probably not much. One of the reasons automakers like selling big trucks is that they don’t cost that much more than a compact to build but they can charge much more for them.

(or how much more range it could offer with the given battery capacity) if it were just smaller.

Maybe, but aerodynamics are a funny thing. That’s why Smarts get kind of bad highway mileage for their size. Smaller (which would also necessitate a smaller battery) doesn’t always translate to more mileage.

Ben
Ben
2 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Good point. The battery is a bigger part of the cost of an EV than comparable parts on an ICE.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
2 months ago

All men like to think their J10s are big.

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
2 months ago

That lil’ Cap looks like a newborn baby Dodge Viper

DysLexus
DysLexus
2 months ago

YES!!
I think the word is Dodge Hatchling

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
2 months ago
Reply to  DysLexus

Dodge Snakelet, or maybe Neonate?

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  DysLexus

Vipers are ovoviviparous, with few exceptions.

DysLexus
DysLexus
2 months ago

Seems to me that the prevailing determinant of vehicle size is directly related to “resources” available in the automotive “biosphere” kind of like the animal kingdom.
Of course, there will always be exceptions for specific cars in every era.

Post-WWII: US had lots of manufacturing, labor, steel, fuel and cash so cars were huge. Europe didn’t have these so cars were small and bare.

60’s: cars became more varied as economies in Europe and US evened out with smaller and larger car options based largely on price

70’s: Oil embargo, steel costs, stagflation, etc. so cars were dramatically shrunk or many other cost savings introduced creating a shock to automotive world. Performance suffered.

80’s/90’s: cheap foreign steel and cheap fuel. Cheap labor overseas. Cars ballooned up and horsepower mushroomed.

Modern: limited battery resources for electric cars so they are expensive and by now people are used to large “have everything”vehicles. But fuel is still cheap historically and cars still big

Post-modern: probably take some external shock (war, environmental, other) again to limit a vital resources in the auto world before cars will again shrink as a general rule. I don’t believe that auto companies or government alone has enough clout to change the prevailing car biosphere.

Fjord
Fjord
2 months ago

There’s no way anyone could ever call a Cappuccino tall. You used to be able to order a short at Starbucks, and if anything fit that bill it’s the Suzuki.

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
2 months ago
Reply to  Fjord

I think it would be an espresso shot.

Tekamul
Tekamul
2 months ago

“…the challenges of getting a car that small past the U.S.’s rigorous safety standards”
And how much of this is due the the inflation of the average kerb weight? Crumple zones, crash bars, airbags, breakaway suspension to keep 80 pound wheels/tires from entering the cabin, roof structures to withstand 3x the inflated kerb weight, and on and on.
See also the war on windows (RIP Camaro).

Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago
Reply to  Tekamul

US Crash regs are based on the vehicles hitting static barriers, not other cars (ie, a new Versa is still going to get crushed by an Escalade, and an Escalade will still get flattened by a Semi truck)

And if anything, the ND Miata has shown that cars CAN be light and crash compliant, but it takes effort, but a fully modern, airbag, crumple zone and tech laden convertible can weigh within 200 pounds (or basically 10%!) of an identical car that came out before passenger airbags were even mandated, is darn impressive. The problem is Automakers (and normie consumers) continue to push for larger, bigger, flashier, and by extension, heavier vehicles

In fact, modern simulation tools used by engineers have made it easier than ever for vehicles to be able to do orders of magnitude more than they could even 25 years ago for the same or similar weight. The problem is automakers widely don’t care about small and light, just cheap and bigger than the competition in its class, which has ballooned size classes in absurd ways. Hence how a current 3-series is bigger than a standard E38 7-Series

Last edited 2 months ago by Alexk98
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

Nope

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago
Reply to  Tekamul

You are correct.

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago

The Lucid is a massive car. Consider that the Lucid only needs about 230 Wh/mile to cruise 70 mph on the highway, even though it weighs 5,000 lbs.

Imagine the Cappucino as an EV, with the same low frontal area that Cappucino has, yet with a body whose drag coefficient is slippery enough to match that of the Lucid. You wouldn’t need more than a 30 kWh pack for acceptable highway range, probably around 250 miles at 70 mph, and you’d be able to keep that car as an EV under 2,000 lbs. Considering the amount of powr that can be gotten out of even a small electric motor, 300+ peak horsepower also wouldn’t be out of the question.

Parsko
Parsko
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Yes please.

Aaron
Aaron
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I was listening to an interview with Lucid’s CEO from when they unveiled the Gravity at the LA Auto Show. He said in no uncertain terms, their goal is take the efficiency lessons they have learned with Air and Gravity, and apply it to a much smaller footprint vehicle. The sub 1-ton mark is probably impossible to reach in today’s world (consider the Mitsubishi Mirage weights 2084 lbs).

The current Air Pure is rated at 4.7 miles per kWh. If they could cut weight and reduce size to break the 5 mi/kWh barrier, they could easily get a battery sub 50 kWh and a range above 250 miles. Anything under 50 kWh would make it among the smallest batteries on the market, outside pure compliance or city-only models.

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

The Mirage is designed to seat 4 and has extra width to accommodate a manual transmission, whereas I’m proposing a two seater that may be more than 1 foot lower in ride height than a Mirage and lose an xtra 6 inches to 1 foot in width. It would likely be a Miata-sized car, or even slightly smaller.

Off the shelf battery tech that’s readily available is at about 280 Wh/kg. Including battery housing, cooling, BMS, ect., you could fit a complete 35 kWh pack in a 350 lb total assembly inside the car. The motor/controller combined could be around 150 lb for 300 peak horsepower. You don’t need a transmission/clutch/driveshaft, saving weight.

Using the ICE Mirage as an example, a smaller than Mirage car without a transmission made into an EV should be able to weigh the same as or less than the Mirage given the above. You’d easily be able to remove 300 lbs of ICE components from a Mirage, another 150-ish lbs for transmission and related parts, and by making a smaller car overall than th Mirage(since it’s a low-slung, narrow two-seater), shave off 150 lbs or so. This gets us to 1,984 lbs as an EV with a 35 kWh battery, using the ICE Mirage as a baseline.

Almost every EV available on the market either is a massive 2+ ton thing, and/or has aerodynamics that are mediocre. None of the streamlined cars with Cd values at or near 0.2 are small cars, and almost all the small city cars available have aerodynamics so bad that the large cars have significantly better efficiency on the highway.

What I’m proposing is a tiny sports car with excellent aerodynamics. This way, you can get a 200+ mile range on a pack appropriate for a 100 mile range city car.

Last edited 2 months ago by Toecutter
James Milton
James Milton
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

The original Honda Insight was similar to what you describe, but a hybrid.

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  James Milton

The Insight was front wheel drive, underpowered, tall, and not as slippery as what I describe. It compromised ultimate aero for more fad styling, just like everyone else does, and got a 0.25 Cd value(the most slippery for a production car at the time, but the bar was not very high to begin with). The average 2024 new car has a 0.27, which is also about the same as a 1921 Rumpler Tropfenwagen, to give you an idea of how behind the times the industry still is.

What I’m describing a rear-wheel drive, overpowered, low-slung sports car with a CdA value comparable to or better than a VW XL1, which has a CdA that could still be improved upon, but came out to a respectable 0.19 drag coefficient and overall CdA of 3.1 sq ft. This sort of CdA value should be the standard for small-ish and medium-sized ICE cars as well a EVs. This is how you get 40+ mpg highway with an LT6 V8 under the hood, or also a sub-150 Wh/mile EV.

A practical road-going car can get into the low 0.1X Cd range if the manufacturer really wanted. The Aptera has a Cd value of 0.13.

James Milton
James Milton
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

In the final analysis, it has to be marketable.

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago
Reply to  James Milton

Such a car has never been offered to the public. It would have to be marketed on its merits, which would be the following:

-inexpensive cost of purchase
-inexpensive overall cost of operation
-high performance to match or beat cars costing 2x as much or more
-environmentally friendly

If the Honda Insight were rear-wheel drive and had a K-series engine, while retaining a similar price point, I predict many more of them would have sold than the Insight we got. Two seaters tend to be RWD performance cars.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

but think about how much cheaper it could be (or how much more range it could offer with the given battery capacity) if it were just smaller

Ctrl+F: Toecutter

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