Just when you thought that small cars might all be starting to look alike, along comes Daihatsu in Japan with this new boutique mini called the Mira Cocoa.

The Cocoa (isn't that an absolutely fantastic name?) is the latest entry into Japan's unique 660 cc minicar sector.

That means to say it's small, cheap to buy and run, strictly limited on power and speed, and definitely not coming to the UK.

As Daihatsu sees it, the Cocoa targets women "who pursue a fun and laidback lifestyle." It's being pitched in Tokyo as a fashionable new mini for fun loving 18-30s, a cool crowd who might previously have gone for something like the Mini-lookalike Mira Gino or another Daihatsu 660cc concoction, the Move Latte.

Putting out a modest 57bhp, the three cylinder Cocoa is certainly not built for speed. It's come into being instead as a convenient, chic city runaround with a style "that's easy to love." And it certainly doesn't hurt that if you order the CVT version, official mpg goes as high as 66.4 mpg.

How much? The Cocoa will set you back £6420-£8745 before taxes, and if you're wondering how the Japanese can possibly do these 660 cc minis for that kind of money, you're not alone.

The answer is volume. Daihatsu plans to brew 36.000 Cocoas a year, but may well do more in a Japanese 660cc market that's recently been worth 1.8 to 2.0 million units a year. Yup, that's a serious swag of cars and Daihatsu is now the number one player.

Some of course are querying the logic of building all those tiddlers exclusively for Japan when small eco cars are the new mantra across the globe.

So look for Daihatsu and others to get more serious about adapting their 660cc minis for a worldwide audience, which means to say you might see a car that looks like this Mira Cocoa in your local Tesco car park, maybe sooner than later.

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