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As someone who grew up surrounded by full-sized American automobiles, I admit I chuckled a little when I first came to Japan and saw the country’s kei cars. As time went by though, I began to see how these super subcompact cars meshed with Japan’s transportation needs, as they sipped gas and slid easily down the country’s narrow roads.

But it turns out that kei – meaning “light” – cars aren’t just practical. The right one might even get you out of a jam, as this video of a heroic Suzuki saving a truck stranded in the snowstorm that hit the Tokyo area last week.

Snow fell nonstop on February 14, leaving some parts of Tokyo covered in 27 centimeters (10.6 inches) of the stuff. One man who was making his way through the city peered down from the pedestrian overpass he was crossing and spied a big rig stuck in the snow, its tires unable to find the traction needed to pull it out of the slush.

Fortunately, another motorist was on the scene to help. We doubt he inspired that much confidence though, considering his ride–a tiny kei from Suzuki called the Jimny.

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On paper, Suzuki’s cute-ute definitely leans more towards the cute side of the equation, with a tiny 659-cc motor spitting out just 62 horsepower. For non-gearheads, that’s around one-third of the power of Honda’s plain vanilla Accord, and just one-fourth the engine size.

Of course, if you could tell everything about a car just from looking at its spec sheet, we wouldn’t need car magazines or test drives. Inside the Jimny’s less than intimidating sheet metal beats the heart of a champion, with the strength to match, as proven by what happened once the kei’s driver hooked it to the truck and hit the gas.

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▼ For proper effect, we’ve taken the liberty of selecting the appropriate background music to open in another tab as you watch the video.

Apparently saving trucks is a proud family tradition for the Jimny, as documented in yet another video of such from November 8, a few days prior to the above incident. It’s not as astounding a display of power, as it merely gets the truck out of its rut as opposed to towing it down the street, but it’s still an impressive feat, especially considering how much older this particular Jimny is.

So thanks, Jimny, for being there to bail us out in our time of need, and for reminding us that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog, that matters. You’ve got our respect, even if your own president says you’re just a car for poor people.

Top image: YouTube
Insert images: Car Sensor, YouTube
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