The Suzuki Alto is a small car (kei car) designed by Suzuki. Its selling points have long included a low price and good fuel economy. The model, currently in its seventh generation, was first introduced in 1979 and has been built in many countries worldwide. The Alto badge has often been used on different cars in Japan and in export markets. The first generation (SS30V/40V), introduced in May 1979, was a 3-door cargo version of the Fronte passenger car, equipped with a folding rear seat. On introduction, the Alto received the T5B two-stroke 539 cc (SS30) three-cylinder engine, producing 28 PS (21 kW) at 5,500 rpm. The Alto was a 'micro sensation' when introduced, largely due to its rock bottom price of 470,000 (circa $1,900 in 1979, at a time when the cheapest Ford Pinto cost $4,999). This bargain price was made possible by a number of Japanese special concessions for commercial vehicles: The engine did not require twin catalysts, unlike in the Fronte.
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