But this isn't just any Sprint. It's a TURBO Sprint, and that tiny little intercooled turbo makes all the difference. The Turbo Sprint was available in the US for only two years, 1987 and 1988. It came in red, white or blue and used a turbocharged 1.0 liter 3-cylinder engine making about 73 horsepower (up from 48 in the base model), hooked up to a 5-speed manual transmission. Thanks to a curb weight of roughly 1500 lbs and anecdotal evidence from current and previous owners, this little car can really scoot. Stock wheels were 12 or 13" pressed steel with exclusive white plastic hubcaps. This car has custom wheels resembling Watanabes (the last picture above is not the same car but has a stock hubcap on the back). The owner has also replaced several components of the body kit with parts from a white Turbo Sprint, and seems to be in the process of trying to convert it into a Suzuki Swift GTi. It's in generally rough condition, an aging city runabout punished by daily life in San Francisco. But it's an early and rare example of one of the first truly affordable turbocharged cars sold in the US, and for that reason I feel it is worthy of inclusion here.
|Here's another one spotted in traffic around the city!|