Daihatsu Kopen TMS-4

Konnichiwa from Tokyo Big Sight, the site of the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, which begins today for the press. Yours truly is reporting from the Daihatsu stand, where the compact car expert revealed the Daihatsu Kopen Concept, a kei-car sized roadster. Yes, you’re looking at the successor to the bug-eyed Daihatsu Copen, which had a 10-year lifespan ending in 2012.

The Kopen Concept is actually two cars, or more. You see, the outer body panels, which are made from resin, can be removed and exchanged like phone covers, so one can wear a different colour everyday if he/she wishes to.

Daihatsu Kopen TMS-26

It’s not just limited to colours, but designs too – the green car you see with tough SUV-style cladding transformed into a standard orange car in minutes. Didn’t look like hard graft, as demonstrated by the petite showgirls.

Two proposals were shown. The blue example is the RMZ, with ‘stylish and emotional’ styling and a ‘high quality interior using only the best materials’. As you can see in the gallery below, that means a cabin lined with leather and alcantara, including the stitched dashboard.

Daihatsu Kopen TMS-10

The little green monster on the other hand is the XMZ with ‘tough and aggressive’ styling. The interior is supposed to be simple with a stripped down feel. It’s clear that both Kopen showcars are evolutions of the D-X and D-R concepts shown at IIMS 2012.

A strict two-seater, the Kopen’s footprint is tiny, with a length of below 3.4 metres and a wheelbase of just 2,230 mm. The concept car is powered by a three-cylinder 660 cc turbo engine, with drive going to the front wheels. Speaking of that, the show cars wear 17-inch rims with 165/50 rubber. One-inch smaller should be right for the production model.

It may look like a toy, but this is a very realistic preview of the production car that will be launched in the first quarter of 2014. A pint-sized turbocharged roadster sounds like great fun, don’t you agree?