Daihatsu’s Custom Kei Cars for the 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon Are Delightfully Nuts

If you’re one of Japan’s oldest combustion engine manufacturers, yet also a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota only operating in Asia these days, chances are you don’t get a generous show car budget from the board. This is where serious global pandemics come in, which allow you to organize something called the Daihatsu Village Colorful Carnival, a virtual stand filled with five rendered concepts ready for the equally virtual 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon.

I would argue that Daihatsu’s best idea for 2021 has to be the Hijet Truck Sportza Ver you see at the top. It’s a 50-horsepower rear-drive kei truck with a five-speed manual and no roof, a cut windshield, red alloy wheels, color-matching racing seats, side exhausts and enough cargo room behind the driver for a set of extra tires, no doubt supplied by Yokohama. Who needs more from a vehicle? Perhaps only the stylish Copen crowd!

Daihatsu Copen Spyder Ver

The Daihatsu Copen needs no introduction in Europe, where it was available on certain markets as a budget roadster up until 2011. Going beyond what an already spicy Copen GR Sport can offer to Japanese customers, the Spyder concept is built from a Copen Cero, the model made to look like the first-generation Copen despite being introduced in 2015. After taking in the details of this red wonder, who needs a roofless Lamborghini one-off costing millions of dollars? The Copen can provide similar thrills while always staying kinder to the environment you get to be so close to.

Daihatsu Taft Crossfield Ver

Crossovers are in, and this one is considered to be the “Tough & Almighty Fun Tool” of the Daihatsu lineup. Why wait for something as outrageous as an electric Hummer when this tiny go-getter already comes with a lift kit over beefy off-road tires, tow hooks, an electric winch, bumper guards, and even a practical roof rack? The smaller the truck, the further it can go in the woods.

Daihatsu Camper Ver

For longer trips kept closer to the paved roads, Daihatsu may have just created the perfect Hijet truck. The mighty Camper Ver combines a futuristic facia with what has to be a neat tent on the bed, complemented by a full-length roof-rack. The ideal road trip cab for the fuel-conscious adventurers, and a Hijet I would like to receive as a CKD kit via mail.

Daihatsu Thor Premium Ver with D-Sport

One great thing about the Daihatsu Thor is that some can also purchase it as the Toyota Tank, or the Toyota Roomy. No, I’m not making this up. After the Mega Crusier, Toyota came up with this as its Tank. The two-tone show car rolling on such thin rubber is actually the Thor Premium Ver with D-Sport, a mini MPV with a sliding rear door, a body kit, 97 horsepower, and a CVT transmission.

The virtual Tokyo Auto Salon will commence on Jan. 15, so we’ll see you all at Daihatsu’s Village Colorful Carnival.

Got a tip about the best JDM kei cars for 2021? Send us a note: [email protected]

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