Daihatsu Copen Looks Great as a Shooting Brake or Coupe
30 December 2015 - Autoblog
The new Daihatsu Copen, introduced just last year, is already near the top of our list of favorite JDM models that we can only admire from afar. At the 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon, the Japanese automaker will showcase a pair of fixed-roof concept versions that look even more tempting than the roadster.
The Copen, for those unfamiliar, was first introduced back in 2002 as a rival to the likes of the Honda Beat and Suzuki Cappuccino in a class of Japanese roadsters even smaller than the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Daihatsu (which is majority owned by Toyota) took the original out of production ten years later, but brought it back as an all-new model just last year. The new Copen packs a tiny 660cc turbocharged inline-three to comply with Japan's kei car regulations, weighing in at less than 2,000 pounds and measuring less than 134 inches long, making even the Fiat 500 look like a bloated barge. Unfortunately, like the new Honda S660, the Copen isn't offered in North America.
For the Auto Salon, Daihatsu has created a coupe and a shooting brake based on the convertible. The former, pictured in red, adopts the rounded styling of the Copen Cerro, and features a sloping greenhouse leading to a conventional trunk and lip spoiler. The latter, pictured in blue, wears the more aggressive face of the Copen Robe and an elongated roofline that drops off abruptly at the back. They'll be joined at the Tokyo tuner expo by an off-road-oriented Copen Adventure concept, as well as three versions of the Daihatsu Cast hatchback.
Now if it strikes you as a little backwards to turn a convertible into a coupe, consider the Jaguar F-Type, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, and Pontiac Solstice – all of which started out as convertibles before growing a fixed roof. The BMW Z3 even sprouted a shooting brake roofline from its convertible underpinnings.