Three new Daihatsu Kopen concepts have been revealed ahead of their debut at next month’s Tokyo motor show, suggesting the Japanese ‘kei car’ could make a return to production, albeit fronted by the letter ‘K’ rather than ‘C’.
Discontinued last year, the previously-named Daihatsu Copen was a 3395mm-long, 830kg front-wheel-drive convertible with a folding hardtop.
The new Kopen concepts continue to meet the Japanese market’s compact ‘kei car’ requirements being an identical length and powered by a turbocharged 660cc three-cylinder engine.
Mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the three Daihatsu Kopen concepts all share the same basic exterior shape, headlights, tail-lights and interior layout, though, still have their own unique styling touches.
The green concept features a rugged look highlighted by large areas of plastic cladding and a heavily moulded bonnet and boot. Inside orange trim is accompanied by ambient green lighting.
With common body panels, the blue and orange concepts are differentiated by wing mirror and wheel designs.
Originally debuting in concept form at the 1999 Tokyo motor show, the first-generation Daihatsu Copen (pictured bottom) was sold in Japan with a 47kW/110Nm turbocharged 660cc four-cylinder but in limited overseas markets – including Australia until Toyota ceased local operations in 2006 – with a 50kW/100Nm turbocharged 1.3-litre unit.
With a new Kopen clearly in the works and the announcement of the Honda S660 concept also coming to Tokyo, previous speculation about Suzuki re-birthing its cult kei car competitor the Cappucino – based on the new Suzuki-engined Caterham Seven 165 – could prove more substantial then ever.
The 43rd Tokyo motor show opens its doors on November 20.
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