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Tokyo preview: Daihatsu Kopen RMZ and XMZ concepts

by Ronan Glon

The Kopen twins are small two-seater roadsters.

Japan's Daihatsu has unveiled two concepts that will greet the public for the first time late next month at the Tokyo Motor Show. The show cars are called Kopen RMZ and Kopen XMZ, respectively.

Billed as a heir to the Copen roadster that went out of production over a year ago, the Kopen RMZ takes the form of a two-seater roadster that stretches 133 inches long, 58 inches wide and 51 inches tall, dimensions that qualify it for kei car status in Japan. It wears an aggressive front end characterized by angular headlamps and a wide grille with honeycomb inserts.

The Kopen XMZ is identical to the aforementioned RMZ but it wears a more rugged look thanks to plastic cladding all around.

Both concepts offer the same minimalist interior with a smartphone-esque touchpad in lieu of a traditional center console and a digital instrument cluster. A healthy dose of carbon fiber trim and a three-spoke steering wheel help create a performance-inspired ambiance.

Technical details are vague but Daihatsu says the convertibles are powered by a 0.6-liter gasoline-burning three-cylinder engine that spins the front wheels via a continously variable transmission (CVT). Performance figures are not available.

While the butched-up Kopen XMZ will likely remain a concept, the more realistic RMZ will join the Daihatsu lineup as a regular-production model before the end of next year. It will be distributed in Japan and in select neighboring countries, but the automaker has not manifested an interest in returning to the European market in the coming years.

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