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Tokyo Motor Show: Daihatsu Presents Three Super-Cute Electric Prototypes

Daihatsu is the oldest Japanese automaker, but I know it mainly as the one who makes all the little kei cars – you know, the “light motor vehicles” with engines up to 660cc and 64HP that go 60mph with a strong tailwind and get 50mpg running around heavy city traffic. I used to have a Daihatsu Mira, and while I loved that it got awesome mileage and was tiny enough to park anywhere (no, really), I was not fond of the way it looked. Not so Daihatsu’s new concept cars debuting at the Tokyo Motor Show next month – in fact, they look pretty awesome.

The three new concepts expected to be shown off at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show are the mini sports car “DX” (pronounced D-Cross), the two-seater electric PICO, and the zero-emission FC SHOWCASE (where “sho” also means dealership in Japanese – apparently Daihatsu likes puns).

The DX – Sporty and Green

Starting with the DX (pictured above) – it somehow calls the Mini Cooper to mind, although that’s probably not intentional since Daihatsu is aiming for a unique and aggressive design. The body is made of resin and there are a number of options available; customer customization is one of the little car’s strong points. It sports a 2-cylinder direct injection turbo engine – Daihatsu hopes for both great performance and good mileage.  It’s not the first green sports car to show up, but does look promising.

The PICO – Electric, Seats 2

The PICO seats two and is totally electric. It classifies as a kei car (low annual tax if you keep one in Japan!), but is supposed to fill a gap between kei cars and two-wheeled vehicles. Daihatsu’s target market is businesses delivering locally as well as the ever-increasing domestic population of elderly citizens. The PICO has a low flat floor to make getting in and out as easy as possible – it’s definitely one of the more user-friendly of the various two-wheeled electric vehicles slated to hit the market.

The FC SHOWCASE – No Idea, But I Like It

The FC SHOWCASE is one of the more interesting concepts to be presented. Like a number of Japanese vehicles,  it’s completely rectangular and also completely tiny at 134” long, 58” wide, and 75” tall. It also uses Daihatsu’s proprietary zero-precious-metal liquid fuel cell technology. Not using precious metals in the fuel cells reduces the resources problem considerably and also reduces the overall cost of the vehicle. The fuel cells are even high density, meaning the FC should have a pretty significant range (although Daihatsu has not told us what they think it will be).

Any of these look fun to you? I’d take all of them for a test drive, but let us know what you think in the comments, below the gallery.

Source | Gallery: Green Car View

 
 
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Written By

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

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