Daihatsu is bringing its A game to the Tokyo Auto Salon next month – in addition to the usual range of outlandishly modified vehicles, the compact car expert is also debuting the Taft Concept at the show. Presaging a production model due to be launched in Japan in the middle of 2020, it’s a crossover kei car that should give the Suzuki Hustler a run for its money.

The Taft moniker was first used on a 4×4 SUV introduced in 1974, where it stood for Tall & Almighty Four-wheel Touring Vehicle. Since this new one is likely to be offered as a front-wheel drive model (with optional all-wheel drive, as is usual in Japan), the backronym has been changed to Tall & Almighty Fun Tool.

Despite being a show car, the Taft Concept is essentially a production-friendly version of the WakuWaku concept that was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in October. It sports a similarly buff front end, featuring octagonal headlights and a beefy bumper, plus boxy black plastic fender flares and an upright glasshouse with squarish side windows.

Unlike the WakuWaku, which has hidden rear door handles and orange panelling instead of rear side windows, the Taft has regular pull handles. Daihatsu also says that the Taft comes with a large glass sunroof and a “flat, easy-to-use luggage space.” No technical details have been released, but the Taft should use the KF range of 658 cc naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines to comply with kei car regulations.

Alongside the Taft will be a slew of funky show cars, including two versions of the new Tanto (a crossover-esque Cross Field and a Premium variant with a massive grille), accessorised versions of the new Rocky and Copen GR Sport and two modified Hijet vans. The first, a collaboration with Peaks Magazine, functions as a bouldering wall with handholds to scale the sides, while the second is a mobile disc jockey booth.

There will also be two vehicles featuring fictional characters – a Hijet adorned with virtual singer Hatsune Miku, as well as a Tanto Custom covered in Spider-Man comics.

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