We Americans don’t hear much from Daihatsu these days, but the Japanese brand hasn’t lost its talent for producing microcars, vans and trucks we secretly want. The major difference is that Daihatsu’s going electric at the upcoming Japan Mobility Show in a few weeks. Three of them are utilitarian offerings, but the other is a high-riding, open-roof machine that seems built for cruising.
In case you don’t remember the 1980s or came into existence after that decade, Daihatsu is a subsidiary of Toyota that focuses on compact models, particularly Japan’s kei class of small vehicles. They share some tech. Earlier this year, Toyota, Suzuki, and Daihatsu announced a plan to collaborate on a platform for next-gen mini-commercial electric vans.
The Daihatsu Osanpo (pictured below) is the brand’s quirky-looking electric roadster. The name means “to walk” in Japanese, and a translation from the automaker claims the vehicle “allows you to enjoy the comfort of the open air as easily as going for a walk.” The model measures 133.7 inches (3,395 millimeters) long.
For perspective, a 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is 154.1 inches, meaning the Osanpo is a pretty compact machine. No powertrain specs are available at this time.
Daihatsu also has the boxy Me:Mo EV concept. It features a rectangular shape with short overhangs. However, the large windows would allow plenty of natural light in the cabin. This is a compact machine at just 116.3 inches (2,955 mm) long.
The Uniform Cargo and Uniform Truck concepts are Daihatsu’s other EVs for the show. They’re essentially the same vehicle, except the truck has a taller roof, and the other looks more like a van.
The company imagines these as compact commercial vehicles, and they would have removable interior and exterior parts. Both versions measure 133.7 inches (3,395 mm) long.
Daihatsu Uniform Cargo Concept
Daihatsu Uniform Truck Concept
In addition to the four EVs, Daihatsu will bring a concept for a reimagined Copen roadster to the show. It’s larger than the existing model by measuring 151 inches and 66.7 inches wide instead of 133.7 inches long and 58.1 inches. The wheelbase is now 95 inches versus the current 87.8 inches. Under the hood, a 1.3-liter engine drives the rear wheels, while Copen, currently on sale uses a 658-cc three-cylinder making 63 hp (47 kilowatts). Daihatsu didn’t announce output specs for the new show car.
The Japan Mobility Show runs from October 26 to November 5 at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center. InsideEVs will be there in a few weeks to see what Daihatsu and the other Japanese automakers have in store to take on a rising Chinese electric vehicle industry.