Daihatsu Osanpo Concept – a tall Copen ‘off-road’ EV?

Daihatsu Osanpo Concept – a tall Copen ‘off-road’ EV?

You saw the Daihatsu Vision Copen from the 2023 Japan Mobility Show (JMS), a preview of the next-generation compact roadster that’s a lot more sports car than the past two Copens. It sounds like a delicious little bowl of don – rear-wheel drive, 1.3-litre engine (double the capacity) and dimensions that goes beyond kei-car boundaries.

And then there’s the looks. Inspired by the original Copen from the noughties but with nice proportions and even some muscle, it’s a much more sportier look than we’re used to from the Copen. It’s now closer to the Mazda MX-5 and I love it.

But if you want the main USP of the Copen – open-top driving – but don’t care for a low-slung driving position (or simply don’t have the knees to do sports cars anymore), then the Daihatsu Osanpo Concept might be up your alley. Unlike the ICE-powered vision for the Copen, the Osanpo is an EV.

Daihatsu Osanpo Concept – a tall Copen ‘off-road’ EV?

“A BEV mini vehicle of the future that allows drivers to enjoy the comfort of open-air driving with the ease of going for a walk, creating a slower value in their daily lives,” is how Daihatsu describes the Osanpo.

It offers a “relaxed enjoyment that only a compact convertible can offer” and is “a luxurious vehicle to slowly enjoy the nature around you in a pleasant breeze, as if taking a walk,” DMC says.

You may be scratching your head at the description, but there are few things better than driving a convertible on a good day, and the Osanpo combines that with a high hip point. In town, the EV will be smooth and silent, with zero tailpipe emissions.

The Osanpo is 3,395 mm long and 1,475 mm wide, which means it falls within kei-car limits, unlike the Vision Copen. But like the Copen, the Osanpo’s wheels have been pushed out to the extremes of the car, so much so that you can see the tyres from the front and rear, as well as the exposed springs, which gives the Osanpo a bit of an ‘off-road’ look. Copious amounts of black cladding further amplify the ‘outdoors’ look.

With tyres so far out, the 2,440 mm wheelbase is very long for a car with such a small footprint. But the biggest difference from the Vision Copen is height. This ‘4×4-style’ (no mention of how many wheels are driven, but it’s likely to be two for a kei-car) convertible is 1,330 mm tall, 65 mm higher than the Copen showcar.

What do you think of this ‘off-road’ cabrio? For a more conventional take on open-top motoring, check out the Daihatsu Vision Copen.

GALLERY: Daihatsu Osanpo Concept at JMS 2023

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.




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