Though its products are almost universally small (aside from its rebadged Toyota offerings), Daihatsu seems as though it’ll have a fairly large presence at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon. It’s highlighting eight main models with a few of them sporting some pretty extensive and cool modifications. The more interesting models are likely just concepts, but occasionally some of these customs result in production variants, such as a wild retro Honda S660 concept from a couple years ago.
Daihatsu’s sportiest offering of late is the Copen roadster. And it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The kei-class roadster (shown at top) with its turbocharged 660cc engine has received drastic styling changes that put it more inline with the original. Those changes include round, retro headlights front and rear, and a much cuter round front grille. The cuter appearance is bolstered by racier appointments such as a roll bar, side skirts, rear diffuser and red-tipped exhaust outlets. As with the current Copen and the original, it still appears to have a retractable hardtop. Performance details haven’t been announced, but we wouldn’t be surprised if some suspension changes have been made at the least, if not any power improvements. This is also the car that had us thinking of the aforementioned Honda S660 retro model that reached production. We’d love to see it happen, as I’m sure would enthusiasts in Japan.
Hijet Jumbo Extend
Designed as a hypothetical support truck for parts and more is the Hijet Jumbo Extend. It’s based on the Hijet Jumbo, the extended-cab version of the Hijet kei truck. It’s been fitted with a custom van box that can be extended for housing more stuff and maybe even people. The render also indicates that it will have an easily accessible fire extinguisher in a custom mount on the outside. Matching paint and a set of Volk TE37 wheels help it have the same racing-inspired look as the Copen Clubsport.
The third of the highly customized Daihatsu Atrai Wildranger. The company added chunky all-terrain tires and bedliner along the bottom half of its Atrai kei van. It also has suitably outdoorsy green paint. But the big attraction is what’s on the roof. While looking like the van’s roof, what’s actually up there is a pop-off boat. That’s why there are oars on either side. So this will get you both to the river, and down it.
The next couple of Daihatsus are a bit more restrained. The Tanto Custom here is mostly upgraded with a flashy red and black livery. It also has unique slim LED lights on each side of the nose, and clear taillights at the rear. It’s capped off with a long rear spoiler.
The Tanto Funcross is a similar case to the Custom. This one has a black and yellow color scheme themed around cycling. It takes a page from the Wildranger in the addition of all-terrain tires and bedliner-covered lower panels. Good for getting to trails and probably absorbing the odd ding from stray bikes.
Move Canbus, Taft, Hijet
The final three cars appear to be appearance package cars. So these will actually be available to customers. The Move Canbus Theory adds a unique front fascia, roof basket and a set of wheels designed to look like vintage Minilites. The Taft Dark Chrome Venture simply features darkened trim on the grille, faux skid plates and wheels. And the Hijet Customize seems to mainly be showing off some different appearance part options for the work truck.