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Daihatsu Shows Us Just How Adorable Kei Cars Can Be With 4 Concepts At Tokyo


Kei cars can do everything from ferrying people to camping outdoors

  • The production models based on the concepts will only be sold in Japan.
  • They are purpose-built to traverse narrow city and town lanes.
  • Showcases designs for people and goods carriers as well as a mini-SUV for camping.

The 46th Tokyo Motor Show features new vehicles from Daihatsu that are likely to never make their way to our shores. Each of them is a testament to the Japanese sense of humour and the ability of the Toyota subsidiary to create purpose-built vehicles tailor-made for Japan. The four Daihatsu concepts exhibited at the show covered different segments and niches with one common theme - their diminutive size. While the production models like the Gazoo Racing Copen and Toyota Rise-based Rocky SUV have international appeal, the delight of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show lies in its Kei cars. Here are all the Daihatsu concept cars from the show. 

WakuWaku 

Need a camper van but don’t have the parking space for it? The WakuWaku is a hatchback-mini-SUV concept which comes with various features and cubbies to make packing for a camping trip more fun than ever. It features a split tailgate - the lower half can be used as a bench or as a step to boost you up to the overhead storage compartment. The upper half of the tailgate opens sideways and offers a wide hatch area. The WakuWaku has four doors but is most practical as a two-seater. If it ever comes to our shores, the WakuWaku will be an ideal and possibly less expensive mini-SUV to the ones offered currently (think Kwid, S-Presso and KUV100) and could also spawn more purpose-built small cars. 

TsumuTsumu 

Japanese van trucks have a cult following around the world, but the TsumuTsumu isn’t based on a van. Instead, it looks like a one-third replica of a regular single-cab truck. The bed in the concept is a launch pad for a large drone, but the TsumuTsumu will come with a variety of bed designs. The cab of this truck comes with numerous cubby spaces, like the panels behind the doors. The passenger seat folds to offer a flat table next to the driver.

WaiWai

The Daihatsu WaiWai concept is a minivan targeted towards parents. It has three rows of seats, sliding rear doors, and a two-part sliding canvas sunroof.  It features a cab-forward design that looks awkward from some angles but opens up a lot of room on the inside. The outer door handles have Tesla-esque hinges, and the boot has useable space even with the third-row seats up. The dashboard features a wide digital display which runs along the entire width of the cabin. Daihatsu’s mini-minivan is a marvel of automotive packaging, with thin seats and an open, minimalistic, and modern interior. 

IcoIco

The IcoIco is a mini city bus concept by Daihatsu which features sliding seats and room to accommodate a wheelchair. An app for the IcoIco enables people in the city to request a pickup using their phone. The design of the bus allows for a low floor, but the IcoIco also has a retractable ramp to ease ingress and egress through the wide-opening doors. The mini-bus concept shows a variety of technologies which would be useful in people carriers of the future. 

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