"I couldn’t imagine that there is such a small convertible!!" Everyone will surely have such thoughts when they see the Daihatsu "Copen". This is one of a unique model which incorporated the innovative technology into a limited car size with 3.4 m in total length and 1.48 m in total width. It is sold in Indonesia and the ASEAN market, but in fact there are three designs in Japan. I had a test driving session for “Cero” on Japanese highway.
It's such a pleasant roadster!!
First of all, I drove to Izu Hakone, a resort which can be accessed easily from Tokyo. This is a very popular driving route since drivers can enjoy both the sea and mountain scenery.
After passing the Tokyo route which has many tunnels, I opened the car roof. When you unlock the interior lock and press a button, the roof is fully stored in the trunk automatically. This only takes 20 seconds.
It feels really good when I'm driving with the car roof retracted. Most of the present convertibles are designed to avoid the wind from blowing to interior but the Copen is different. When you accelerate, the wind comes in and strokes your face and arm from the side in a pleasant way.
I drove on the Izu highland highway with the purpose to view Mt. Fuji, but unfortunately I didn’t manage to view it since there was a thick morning fog that day. However, the road itself has a fantastic atmosphere. When I am driving the Copen, not only the scenery but the smell of the surrounding air and even the songs of the little birds can be heard. It was a completely different pleasure compared to driving a regular car.
It is a Seriously Sporty Car too
After that, I drove the various highways such as Izu Sea and the mountainous area of the inland part, and I found out another characteristic of the car. It is a unique sporty feeling for a mini car model.
The maximum output displacement of the car 0.66 liter turbo engine is only 64 ps. Some of you may think that “Then the car will be slow?”. However contrary to that prediction, the Copen moves very quickly.
Of course you won't feel as if you are driving a large sports car with a high horsepower engine. However, since the Copen is a convertible with very light body frame of 870 kg, it can run fast enough. Although it is against the law in Japan, but if you wish to, the Copen can accelerate up to 140 km/hr in a very short acceleration time. (Japanese mini cars are equipped with devices that restrict the speed more than this!)
There are many narrow streets in the mountainous areas of Japan that normal cars can hardly pass through. However, with the Copen, which is only 1.48 m in width, those narrow streets would feel the same, as if we are driving on a wide road.
Lastly, let’s check out the cute design of rounded headlights. As mentioned earlier, there are three kinds of Copen designs in Japan, but it seems that the most popular one is the Cero which you can see in the photos above. What is your opinion after reading this article? Do you want to own this cute and fun mini sporty car?