Daihatsu concept cars experiment with easy entry and flexible interiors
Daihatsu is not an automaker we talk about all that often, but when we do, it's usually because of a very interesting concept car or two. We looked at the panel-swapping Copen concept a few months ago, and back in 2013, there was the boxy, fuel cell-powered FC Deco Deck mini-truck. For this year's Tokyo Motor Show, Daihatsu has dedicated its concept cars to reworking the vehicle interior. The trio of colorful mini vehicles highlights solutions like a low, easy-loading floor and adjustable inside/outside seating.
With its Tokyo concepts for 2015, Daihatsu explores several different ways in which small cars can evolve to "make all passengers happy and add fun and joy to everyday life." The first and arguably most visually interesting of the concepts is the Nori Ori. Thanks to its rectangular shape and sliding side doors, the green-and-white concept looks like a miniature bus. It's purpose-built to make ingress and egress easier for all passengers.
Nori Ori passengers are helped not only by the sliding doors, but by the ultra-low floor, retractable side ramp, wide-swinging rear door and rear lift. The seats also fold up to provide extra space for boarding and loading. Daihatsu says the vehicle has enough floor space to carry two unfolded wheelchairs.
Another concept that puts a different spin on interior design is the Hinata, a simple minicar featuring a B-pillarless structure that assists the front and coach doors in creating a wide entry. The concept's flexible seating can be arranged in various ways, including sideways facing out. This setup looks perfect for activities like tailgating or watching fireworks from a hilltop.
The Tempo rolls to Tokyo as a mini food truck that looks like it could navigate the tightest city centers and most crowded parking lots to get to the hungry masses. The bright orange paint should only help attract customers to what Daihatsu classifies as a "new genre-space commercial vehicle."
It has a flip-up sales window on the passenger side and an exterior LED lighting system. The flexible floor space inside helps the proprietor create a work area that's functional for his or her specific business. Below the sales counter, a digital sign aids with advertising and a transparent showcase highlights the products.
The final Daihatsu Tokyo concept diverts attention away from restructured interior spaces and entryways and focuses on efficiency and engine tech. A mini hatchback, the D-base is powered by an internal combustion engine equipped with Daihatsu's efficiency-boosting e:S (Ecology/Economy & Smart) tech.
This is the simplest and most straightforward concept from a design standpoint but does stand out thanks to its multi-tone icy blue paint job and concept car wheels. While the other concepts appear to be mere creative design exercises, Daihatsu suggests that the D-base is a preview of next-generation cars.
Take a closer look at the innovative features of these cars in our photo gallery.