This 94.1mpg Daihatsu D-Base concept has been unveiled at the Tokyo motor show. It is one of several vehicles unveiled that conform to Japan’s small kei car regulations.
Kei cars are restricted in size, engine displacement and power output, and are given tax and parking breaks in Japan as a result. The market for such cars is hugely important to car makers in Japan, where they account for almost 40% of all sales. Bodystyles traditionally range from sports cars and family hatchbacks through to transporter vans.
The D-Base concept shows the styling of the next-generation Daihatsu Mira kei car, which is known in Japan as one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the class. In a statement, Daihatsu said the D-Base is a “proposal for a new basic small car” and is being shown “to express the spirit of innovation in the next generation of environmental vehicles”.
To meet kei car regulations, it is 3.4 metres long, 1.48 metres wide and 1.49 metres high and powered by a 660cc three-cylinder engine. Fuel economy, which is boosted by regenerative braking, is claimed to be 94.1mpg on the Japanese test cycle.
Daihatsu is also showing three van concepts built to kei car regulations, called Hinata, Tempo and Noriori. All three sit on the same front-drive platform and are built to showcase the amount of space that can be obtained in such a compact vehicle.
The Hinata is said to be the closest to production and is tipped to replace the Daihatsu Move Conte that is already sold in Japan as a micro-MPV. The production car is unlikely to have the concept’s suicide doors or extravagantly carpeted interior.