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Future models - Daihatsu - e:S

First look: Daihatsu dishes up non-electric eco hero car

Eco warrior: Daihatsu's e:S uses a conventional petrol engine to achieve thrifty 3.0L/100km fuel economy.

Daihatsu bucks EV and hybrid trend but still creates waves with e:S Tokyo concept

12 Oct 2009

By TERRY MARTIN

DAIHATSU has unveiled an impressive micro-hatch concept dubbed the e:S ahead of its world debut at the Tokyo motor show next week, drawing design inspiration from Mini and dodging the trend toward alternative, electrified powertrains.

Although Daihatsu is still beating the environmental drum, and will show the e:S and other concepts under the slogan ‘Innovation for Tomorrow’, the Toyota-owned small-car brand will demonstrate just how economical its models can be using conventional engine technology and lightweight construction.

Based on Daihatsu’s light-car platform, the e:S – which draws its name from ‘eco’ (not electric) and ‘smart’ – uses a conventional 660cc petrol engine that is claimed to enable a combined fuel consumption figure of 3L/100km thanks, in large part, to idle-stop technology and an overall weight of 700kg.

The latter is achieved via a shorter wheelbase (2175mm) and more compact dimensions than current models such as the Sirion and Cuore/Charade – still with a package that is claimed to accommodate four adult passengers – as well as lightweight mechanical components and interior fittings, including ultra-slim front seats.

73 center image Left: Daihatsu Basket Concept, Daihatsu Tanto Exe Concept, Daihatsu Deca Deca Concept.

Other show stars on the Daihatsu stand include the Deca Deca “super box” and the Basket convertible-cum-ute, both of which “propose new possibilities for mini vehicles” from the brand.

The Deca Deca features a low, flat floor that allows an expansive and versatile interior in a compact vehicle.

Simple access is ensured with pillar-less ‘side-by-side’ doors, while the slim, lightweight seats can be folded and arranged in a host of configurations to turn the cargo area into a work station or, at the other extreme, a van-like compartment that can stow large items.

Far removed from Australian-built utilities, and even smaller models such as the Proton Jumbuck, the Basket is an open-top four-seater with a wide rear deck designed, unashamedly, for the “slow pace of life” and for trips “to the family vegetable plot out of the city”.

The Basket has a removable hard roof over the driver and front passenger seats, and a removable canvas top over the rear seats. Located behind the rear seats, the deck is designed to transport tools and other hardware.

A further point of interest on the Daihatsu stand will be the Tanto Exe and Tanto Exe Custom, two close-to-production compact cars that have a high level of comfort and convenience with luxurious appointments, an expansive interior and “sophisticated” cabin detailing – all with a lighter overall weight than the standard Tanto.

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