Daihatsu’s four concept cars for the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show were cute, and the New Compact SUV (which we now know is called Rocky) was huge news for us as it’s the basis for Perodua’s upcoming D55L B-SUV, but if I could bring home something it’ll be this – the Copen GR Sport.

Unchanged from the concept shown at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, the production Copen GR Sport is based on the Daihatsu Copen. It’s the first sports car in the “GR” series, tweaked by Toyota Gazoo Racing but made by Daihatsu, which is of course a subsidiary of the big T. This JDM special will be sold by both Toyota and Daihatsu in its home market.

With no scope for extra performance (kei cars are limited by regulations), the Gazoo team focused on body rigidity and suspension tuning.

They added a front brace to the convertible, and changed the design of the centre brace. The suspension spring rates were optimised to match (coil springs in red), and the Copen GR Sport gets unique shock absorbers that deliver a “smooth ride with supple movement”. Also exclusive is the electric power steering tuning.

As mentioned, the production Copen GR Sport looks identical to the TAS 2019 showcar, and it wears the “Functional Matrix” grille reserved for GR cars.

The face looks more simple and purposeful than the standard Copen Robe front, and is dominated by a big lower grille flanked by square fog lamps. The distinctive LED “tails” of the standard Copen headlamps have been chopped off. Toyota says that the new front bumper improves aerodynamics.

The rear end has a large black bumper section, which integrates a diffuser and two downward-pointing exhaust tips. And of course, who can miss those matte grey 16-inch BBS forged multi-spoke alloys and the Copen’s Active Top folding metal roof. The LED headlamps and LED rear combi lights have darkened housings. GR badges reside on the front, rear and sides.

The branded hardware continues inside, where you’ll find Recaro seats and a leather-wrapped Momo steering wheel, both with GR logos. That same badge can be found in the exclusive meter panel, which gets a red needle and red illumination. The snug cabin’s theme is black, and the spartan dashboard gets a mixture of gloss black and carbon-style trim.

The 660cc turbo KF engine has the regulation 64 PS/92 Nm, and is mated to either a CVT with paddle shifters or a five-speed manual gearbox with LSD, as seen here. In Japan, the auto is priced at 2.38 million yen (RM92,088) while the manual goes for 2.435 million yen (RM94,221). Eight exterior colours are available.

GALLERY: Copen GR Sport at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show


GALLERY: Copen GR Sport official images

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