Fresh looks, a new high-quality interior, exciting 'warm-hatch' versions, a four-wheel drive model and a five-year warranty launch offer. Just some of the highlights of Daihatsu's five-door Sirion, which enters dealer showrooms during June 2002.

Similar in size to a Renault Clio, Daihatsu's vastly expanded Sirion range offers everything from a new entry-level 1.0 litre EL automatic to UK-developed 1.3 litre Rally 2 and four-wheel drive Rally 4 models with punchy 111.5 PS powerplants.

The mainstream 102 PS 1.3 SL continues with its unbeatable combination of a
112 mph top speed, 0-62 mph time of 9.6 seconds, 61.4 mpg on the Extra Urban Cycle and a class-leading CO2 emission figure of 134.1 g/km.

However, there is now a high-value Sirion 1.3 EL for only £7,995 on-the-road and a 1.3 '4trak' model for £9,995 (OTR). The Sirion '4trak' should prove a viable replacement for Subaru's discontinued Justy AWD.

And as a special launch incentive running until the end of September 2002, all Sirions, except the Rally 2 and 4, come with a five-year '555' warranty providing arguably the best customer care package currently available.

It means five years' unlimited mileage cover plus roadside assistance - both transferable - and five years' free servicing up to 60,000 miles (non-transferable). In addition, the Japanese marque of Daihatsu - which is now 60 per cent owned by Toyota - has an excellent reputation for quality, reliability and dealer support.

New UK-Developed Rally 2 and Rally 4

Offering an outstanding performance per pound ratio, the new Sirion Rally 2 and Rally 4 are permanent models developed in the UK by Daihatsu's own technical department and Bedfordshire-based Auto Image Limited.

Priced at £9,995 and £10,995 (OTR) respectively, the Rally 2 and Rally 4 feature extensive engine, chassis and braking modifications and follow in the tradition of the much-loved Charade GTti.

Already boasting a class-leading 102 PS and 88.5 lb ft torque in standard 1.3 litre form, the modified all-alloy four cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine now produces 111.5 PS at 6,000 rpm and 105 lb ft torque at 4,600 rpm.

Helped by Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT), the engine receives a massive boost to mid-range response thanks to a free flow air filter and modified electronic control unit (ECU).

Top speed is an estimated 115 mph for the Rally 2 and 112 mph for the Rally 4 with 0-60 mph times of 7.9 and 8.9 seconds respectively. Fuel and emission figures will be released shortly.

New, uprated front and rear springs are stiffened by 15 per cent and the ride height reduced by 20 mm for sharper handling. Wheel and tyre size grow to 185/55 R15 on 15 x 6 ins rims while the wheels themselves are sporty 7-spoke alloys.

Brake pads are changed to an uprated competition-type material, which complement the standard anti-lock brakes with EBD (electronic brake-force distribution).

So extensive are the modifications that even changing gear is a crisper experience. A new uprated gear selector bush gives a more positive change with a 20 per cent reduction in gear lever movement.

Fresh Exterior, Plush Interior

The latest Sirion features a prominent new mesh grille with a chrome-effect slash across the top and chrome-effect bumper inserts. Similar brightwork is used on the door handles on most models and side rubbing strakes.

The distinctive multi-curve headlamps are new, as is the bonnet which has strong swage lines sweeping up from the grille.

Stowage space abounds inside with a new fascia boasting a central lidded storage box plus two glove boxes on the passenger side, despite the Sirion's standard twin airbags. Both the fascia and interior plastics benefit from a much higher-quality finish featuring scratch-resistant textures.

Soft-touch padded door casings are standard on all models, which also enjoy plush new cloth seat trim with sports seats featuring extra side bolsters on most versions.

Other key model range highlights include:

Sirion 1.0 EL Auto - £7,995 (OTR)

A new model featuring a highly efficient three cylinder 58.5 PS 1.0 litre DVVT engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes twin airbags, power steering, radio/cassette, rev-counter, front and rear electric windows and split-folding rear seat.

Sirion 1.3 EL - £7,995 (OTR)

A new high-value version costing almost £1,000 less than the previous lowest priced 1.3 and offering unrivalled performance and economy. Top speed is 112 mph with a 0-62 mph time of 9.6 seconds yet fuel economy is an outstanding 61.4 mpg Extra Urban. Its CO2 emissions are an equally class-leading 134.1 g/km.

Sirion 1.3 '4trak' - £9,995 (OTR)

Another new derivative with a high specification, which includes air-conditioning, alloy wheels, a radio/CD player, sports front seats, remote central-locking, rear parking sensors and a fast-acting four-wheel drive system. Using a compact viscous-coupling, the '4trak' normally runs 100 per cent front-wheel drive, only providing extra traction at the rear when it is needed such as in wet and slippery conditions. This avoids the usual performance and fuel economy penalties of full-time 4WD.

Sirion 1.3 F-Speed - £9,995 (OTR)

This popular model has a similar comprehensive equipment list to the £8,495
1.0 Deluxe and £8,995 1.3 SL but with the addition of alloy wheels. The F-Speed uses an advanced automatic transmission with 'Steershift' Formula One-style gear selection buttons on the steering wheel. This allows the choice of either fingertip 'up' and 'down' gear changes or the selection of 'drive' via the conventional floor-mounted lever.

[ the specifications ] -more...

Published : 10/06/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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