Daihatsu has thrown its latest Kei car contender into the fray, with the introduction of the Mira e:S in Japan. The minicar, which reinterpretates the three-door e:S Concept of two years ago into a five-door form, is available in both two- and four-wheel drive guise domestically, with four level variants (G, X, L and D) for the former and two (Gf and Xf) for the latter.

All versions wear the same KF transverse three-cylinder twin-cam 658 cc mill, offering 52 PS at 6,800 rpm and 60 Nm at 5,200 rpm, mated to a CVT transmission. The company is touting the car’s fuel economy as its biggest selling point – claimed figures for the 2WD version on the new JC08 mode test cycle is a healthy 30km per litre (and on the older 10-15 mode, 32 km per litre), close to hybrid territory.

Features on the 730 kg vehicle (790 kg for the 4WD versions), which is 60 kg lighter than the old Mira, include a pre-stop idle reduction system, and all the models wear 14-inch wheels and 155/65 profile rubbers; there are optional Sporty and Premium interior/exterior dress-up packs available for the car, as well as what is tagged an “earth colour interior.”

Domestically, Daihatsu is ambitiously aiming at moving 10,000 units of the Mira e:S per month in the first year, according to reports, and says that it will apply the technology used for the e:S to other models and vehicles produced overseas, including that in Indonesia, which was where the Daihatsu A-Concept was introduced in July, at the IIMS.