Japanese tuner turns Suzuki Jimny into a kei-sized classic Ford Bronco
Japanese aftermarket company DAMD collaborated with tuner APIO to come up with two new body kits for the current Suzuki Jimny, both of which will debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon this weekend. The first one, dubbed “Dronco”, turns the boxy offroader into a 1966–77 Ford Bronco wannabe. The other, known as “ROOTS,” transforms the 2018 model into Suzuki LJ10 lookalike from the ’70s. These kits join the already-available Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen and vintage Land Rover Defender kits, named Little G and Little D.
Yes, we’re aware that a new grille, a pair of basic bumpers, and some extra two-tone paint won’t give the new Jimny the stance and presence of a restomod Bronco. But since a new one of those starts at $95,000, this pint-sized Japanese version remains a stylish budget alternative, retaining all of the tiny Suzuki’s off-road capability.
The same can be said about the ROOTS version, which is meant to remind us of Suzuki’s humble 4×4 beginnings.
The Suzuki Jimny originates from the Hope Motor Company’s air-cooled Mitsubishi-powered HopeStar ON360, which evolved into the Suzuki LJ10 by 1970. The LJ10 only got two years on the market before Suzuki upgraded to its FB-series two-stroke engine, renaming the 4×4 to LJ20. From 1972 on, these 26-horsepower beasts came with vertical grilles.
Today, the Jimny still boasts a boxy body, ladder frame, and solid axles but now offers either a 658cc three-cylinder turbo engine or a 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder to motivate the spritely little machine.
Yet if you feel that package is still not as old school as a Suzuki 4×4 should be, the “ROOTS” kit from DAMD, with its LJ20-style horizontal grille and two-tone paint job, turns the Jimny into a proper pint-sized mud whisker.
Which would you pick? Let us know in the comments section below.