Word of the Day: Daihatsu Copen

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jan 9, 2020 | Daihatsu, Word of the Day, Daihatsu Copen

Daihatsu sold cars in the U.S. market for about a hot minute–1987 through early 1992–and sadly that was well before releasing the Copen, a two-seater that, while maybe not a Miata-beater, still looks fun. 

It falls into Japan’s kei car class, meaning just 660cc and about 63 horsepower. Zero to 60 takes close to 10 seconds. The hardtop retracts and, if you squint a bit, there’s some Audi TT in the styling. 

The original Copen ran from 2002 through 2012. A more angular follow-up made its debut in 2014.

Photograph Courtesy Daihatsu



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nderwater UltimaDork
1/9/20 9:02 a.m.

A lot of character in a little package.  It's too bad that there's no market for anything like these in this country.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/9/20 10:36 a.m.

In reply to nderwater :

I hear you on that. I could see how great Kei cars could be if you live in a big city, but I don't think highway driving would be very enjoyable.

Between this Copen, the City, and the Cappuccino, I'm itching for my own Kei car now.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/9/20 10:51 a.m.

I took my Mini on the highway once. Once. Around town, yes, it works well. 

Still, I'd love a Cappuccino. I think that's the one for me. Make it dark green, please. 

Type Q
Type Q SuperDork
1/9/20 10:53 a.m.

When I went to the Tokyo Motor Salon in 2008, more than half the stands had a tricked out Copen on display.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/9/20 2:43 p.m.

In reply to Type Q :

Yes, I was also there that year. The other day I was thinking that it's time to go back. Then I realized it's going on now or really, really soon. So next year. It's time to go back. 

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