Last week, Malaysian automaker Naza unveiled their new Sutera, a well-equipped bargain basement supermini that's a veritable 'We Are the World' on four wheels. Sutera employs a 65-horsepower 1.1-liter DOHC 16-valve engine from Daihatsu (Japan), boasts a shape penned by Pininfarina (Italy) and features NVH tuning and final suspension fiddling by Lotus Engineering (England). This is a rather ambitious move for the Naza , which has previously dealt largely in rebadged Kias. Exterior styling is standard supermini fare, albeit with a good bit of flare in the triangular details-- the rear brake/turn signal lamps dominate both the rear and side aspects, and the three-pointed door pulls are an unusual element. The most unusual/controversial design element, however, would be the front turn signals, which are located at the base of the windshield (near the base of the A-pillars). Wheels are of the 14" alloy variety, and they definitely look smallish, but should be a good bet for keeping replacement costs down for the tires.
Inside the five door, standard equipment includes power steering, dual airbags, power windows/locks/mirrors, 60/40 split fold rear seats, underseat storage and an MP3-compatible CD stereo. Gauges are of the love/hate center console capping variety, which should enable easier RHD/LHD configurations. As Naza expects to assemble about 30,000 Suteras a year, with plans to sell them everywhere from Malaysia to Malta, Cyprus, India, Brunei, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, and interestingly, the United Kingdom.
Learn more about the Sutera by checking out Naza's site here.
[Sources: Naza, Channel4 UK]