Daihatsu's Tokyo Auto Salon cars are absolutely adorable
3 January 2019 - Autoblog
Highlights include a Copen coupe, Hatsune Miku-edition Move Canbus
There are some pretty weird and wonderful cars coming to the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, from Honda's vintage-style S660 coupe to the off-road Mitsubishi Delica D:5. But as cool as they are, none can approach Daihatsu for sheer cuteness. The company is showing off special versions of its tiny Kei class cars at the custom car show. We've got photos of most of them, but we're going to highlight the best of the bunch, below.
We'll start with the Daihatsu Copen coupe (the little green guy up there). The Copen is the Japanese car company's micro-sized roadster, similar in scale to the Honda S660, except it's front-wheel drive. It also has a trick retractable hard top. The Copen coupe loses the retractable top in favor of a rakish permanent hard top. It's based on a concept from 2016 that clearly was popular enough to merit a production model. The styling also comes from the Copen Cero, which has friendly round lights and soft corners, a significant contrast to the edgy, aggressive Copen Robe and XPlay. The coupe model starts a little over $20,000 at current conversion rates and is available with either a CVT or a five-speed manual coupled to a turbocharged 660-cc three-cylinder engine.
Daihatsu is also showing more practical cars including some custom versions of the Mira Tocot. The two that grabbed our attention are the Tocot Sporza and the Tocot Active. The former is an angry red hot hatch with a unique red and black paint scheme. Along the side are giant letters spelling out the Tocot Sporza name. This look has a lot of history at Daihatsu, having been featured on the Mira TR-XX, as well as the Charade De Tomaso. And, yes, we mean that De Tomaso. The Tocot Active, on the other hand, has a simple, retro aesthetic with its cheerful blue paint, plain black door handles, and ultra classy cream steel wheels.
Then we have a special edition of what we've previous proclaimed to be the most adorable car in the world: the Move Canbus. It looks like it's just happy to be alive, and looks all the better with the blue and white two-tone paint job that would be right at home on a VW Bus. But the German van isn't where the color scheme comes from. Instead, it's inspired by Hatsune Miku, a virtual character from a Japanese singing synthesizer that is enormously popular in Japan. The blue and white mirror her hair and outfits, and small pops of fuchsia match her hair bows.
We also have to quickly note the Daihatsu Hijet Marche. It's been turned into a fruit truck, but we're more interested in the retro looks. It once again channels old VWs, in this case a truck based on the VW Bus. It has the classic two-tone paint and lovely steel wheels. Those wheels get an extra bit of flash with chrome beauty rings and dog-dish wheel covers. Naturally, all of these vehicles have us pining for tiny Kei cars all over again.