Daihatsu’s cute and timeless Copen sports car has just become considerably more desirable with a punchy yet more frugal new 1.3 litre engine, higher gearing to enhance refinement and a sharp new price of only £10,995 on-the-road.
This is a full £2,500 less than the original model introduced for the ’04 model year which rapidly attracted an enthusiastic fan club seduced by its cute, timeless looks, effortless electric metal folding roof and nimble handling.
Originally conceived for the Japanese Kei-car market only, the UK’s importer, Daihatsu Vehicle Distributors Limited, persuaded the factory to re-engineer the tiny 660 cc turbo petrol engine to comply with European Whole Vehicle Type Approval.
Now, the Copen’s appeal has been drastically widened thanks to the fitment of the same 87 PS engine as the Sirion supermini which not only boosts performance and economy but allows higher gearing for more relaxed cruising.
Visually, the only difference to the pure uncluttered shape of the previous Copen is a small rear boot spoiler and a range of new colours.
Daihatsu Managing Director, Paul Tunnicliffe, said: “We are all car enthusiasts here at Daihatsu and were instrumental in bringing the original model to market in the UK.
“With this lively new engine and a highly competitive price, we are delighted not only to have a ‘halo’ model in our range but to be able to offer fellow enthusiasts such a characterful and affordable fun car.”
New Engine Transforms Appeal
The Copen’s new 1.3 litre petrol engine totally transforms the small car’s appeal while providing even better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions – a Daihatsu speciality.
For example, the revised sports car now has a 112 mph top speed (up 6 mph), 0-62 mph time of only 9.5 seconds instead of 11.7 seconds with stronger, more responsive throttle response throughout the rev-range.
Equally importantly, fuel economy is outstanding at 36.7 Urban, 56.5 mpg Extra Urban and 47.1 mpg on the Combined Cycle (was 35.8/50.4 and 44.1 mpg). Meanwhile, CO2 exhaust emissions drop from 151 g/km to 140 g/km.
And because of the 19 PS increase in power and 14.5 lb ft boost to torque, the gearing has been raised with 4th, for example, being the same as the previous 5th at 15.9 mph/1,000 rpm and the new 5th pulling 19.4 mph/1,000 rpm. This improves both refinement and fuel economy.
The engine itself is highly-advanced and is essentially the same unit fitted to the Daihatsu Sirion supermini.
Featuring Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT) which enhances low-speed pulling power and high-rev response, the twin overhead camshaft unit is compact and light, with an alloy head and block.
In fact, the new Copen is only 27 kg heavier than the previous 660 cc model and now weighs a nimble 850 kg.
Power is 87 PS at 6,000 rpm with torque of 88.5 lb ft at 4,400 rpm. The engine has a 10.3:1 compression ratio and features a bore and stroke of 72 x 79.7 mm.
It also features durable chains for its camshaft drive which require no maintenance and cannot snap like belt systems. Oil change intervals are now 9,000 miles instead of the previous 660 cc model’s 3,000 miles.Published 13 March 2007