Daihatsu’s tiny Copen has returned at last, with the new second-generation model making its Japanese market debut this week.
Previewed by last year’s ‘Kopen’ concepts, the new Copen comes with the unique option for buyers to replace body panels for a customised look.
Known as ‘Dressformation’, the package includes 13 outer plates that can be swapped with other panels featuring unique colours and designs.
"This is a type of car that hasn't existed until now - a model that the user can easily customize even after purchasing it,” Daihatsu’s Hitoshi Horii said of the new Copen.
In concept form, that customisation included a streamlined sports look in one form and a more rugged Jeep-like kit in another application.
In a bid to keep its look fresh, Daihatsu plans to release new panel designs and patterns over the new Copen’s lifetime.
One of those coming options is expected to be a set that includes round headlights, reminiscent of the first-generation Copen’s bug eyes.
Beneath those unique panels lies Daihatsu’s D-Frame skeleton, which the company says is three times stronger than the chassis of the original model that was produced from 2002 until 2012.
A powered folding roof is also featured, and Daihatsu promises top-down action in around 20 seconds.
Retaining its place in Japan’s compact Kei class, power in the new front-wheel-drive Copen is provided by a 47kW/92Nm turbocharged 660cc petrol engine.
A five speed manual is standard, while a CVT auto with seven programmed ‘gears’ will also be available.
Models fitted with the manual transmission are also equipped with a limited-slip differential as standard.
There are no plans to offer the new Copen in Australia.