Suzuki C2

I've always been fascinated with this car for one reason: its engine.

Shown at both the 1997 Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Shows, the Suzuki C2 was a look at how the company's tiny Cappuccino could grow up a bit into more of a BMW Z3-like sports car. Sadly, there's little information on the car: it's a power-folding hardtop convertible like the Cappuccino, Suzuki says it could offer either a manual or automatic transmission, and that it packed a front-mounted V8 engine.

That's right: a V8. Do I have your attention?

The C2 reminds me of Siata sports cars, which may have looked like AC Ace and Cobra models but were usually 3/4 the size. Not much larger than the kei-sized Cappuccino, the only V8 that fit under its tiny hood was a special 1.6-litre twin-turbocharged V8 with 250 horsepower.

The other day, I went looking for more information on the car. Thankfully, more information has been digitized: someone has taken the time to upload an old promotional video for the car, which I've embedded below.

It's watchable but insane: flashes of the car are set to dance music, with a moody couple trying to express their love for one another using props…a silk scarf included. I find it maddening that the video doesn't give any more information on the car, except from shots of the interior: the drivable prototype is fitted with an automatic transmission.

I've also embedded a video filmed at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show by Men & Motors (where Richard Hammond used to work) that covers the C2—the presenter even asks Suzuki's president if the car will be put into production and, obviously, no real answer was given.

So where is the C2 now? Did it even work? Is its V8 engine tucked away on a shelf somewhere?