Toyota Sprucing up a Daihatsu Copen Will Make You Think Twice About Kei Cars

Wilbert Tan

Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s performance development arm, recently turned its attention to a kei car produced by Toyota’s wholly-owned subsidiary Daihatsu, and gave it a hot-rodded spin. Dubbed as the Copen GR Sport, the tiny roadster is slated to make its physical appearance at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show at the end of the month.

Powered by an unaltered 0.66-liter turbocharged engine that yields 53 hp and 92 Nm, the Copen GR sends its power to the wheels via a seven-speed CVT or five-speed manual gearbox.

Gazoo Racing’s modifications mainly focused on the car’s handling, imbuing the car with an additional front brace and reshaped center brace to boost body rigidity. Suspension tweaks include updated shock absorbers and a retuned spring rate to give the car a better balance between smoothness and grip.

©global.toyota

A few visual updates were done here and there, starting with the side air intakes on the front bumper, a beefier front grille, and a diffuser-imbued rear bumper. Gazoo then added LED lighting (headlights, foglights, and taillights), BBS forged aluminum wheels, and GR Sport emblems.

The interior comes in a lone black color motif, but it does feature sporty Recaro seats and dedicated self-lighting triple meter display. Eight body colors are on offer.

©global.toyota

It’s easy to fall in love with this tiny but very capable roadster. Unfortunately, the chances of a left-handed version finding our shores are virtually nil.

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