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YRV set to lead Daihatsu charge

European pitch: The YRV goes on sale in Europe around April and will be pitched against the likes of the VW Polo, Peugeot 206 and Fiat Punto.

Daihatsu's YRV, which promises generous interior space within compact dimensions, is set to be sold in Australia next year

19 Oct 2000

DAIHATSU'S funky new YRV (Young Recreational Vehicle) - displayed at the Birmingham motor show - will join the marque's Australian line-up late next year, if the figures add up.

"We're looking at it (YRV) and requested indicative costs from Japan," Daihatsu Australia spokesman Mr Wayne Gabriel said.

Mr Gabriel suggests a dressed-up version of the YRV could be the centrepiece of Daihatsu's stand at the Sydney motor show.

A statement about the car's future vis-à-vis Australia is likely to be made at the show.

Toyota Australia senior executive vice-president Mr John Conomos is bound for Japan later this week and one of the topics of discussion will be the YRV, according to Mr Gabriel.

Toyota, which owns 51 per cent of Daihatsu, assumed control of the small-car specialist's Australian operation in July, appointing Mr Alan Porich as the general manager of the brand.

Since then, the entry level Cuore and sporty Sirion GTvi have joined the line-up, while the ageing Charade has been dropped.

Should the YRV get the green light, it is likely to be positioned just above the Sirion GTvi, which costs $15,990 in manual form and $17,990 as an auto.

YRV is notable for its wedge-like profile and tall boy stance, which promises generous interior space within compact dimensions. It measures 3765mm long, 1625mm wide and has a wheelbase of 2355mm.

The high roof has allowed the rear seats to be positioned 75mm higher than the front, giving the rear passengers a "stadium" view through the front windscreen.

At the YRV's heart lies essentially the same 63kW, 1.3-litre engine that powers the three-door Toyota Echo.

The engine can be mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic with Porsche Tiptronic-style buttons on the steering wheel for up and downshifts.

A 104kW turbo variant of the YRV is also available in Japan and may eventually make it to our shores, but this is a distant possibility.

The car goes on sale in Europe around April and will be pitched against the likes of the VW Polo, Peugeot 206 and Fiat Punto.

Equipment levels are generous with central locking, adjustable seat height and power windows and mirrors standard across the range. Premium variants also gain a "panorama" fixed glass roof.

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