A Japanese tuner turns the cute Daihatsu Copen into an evil mini monster. One of the show cars was now available for sale, but not for long.
During its short guest appearance in Germany, the Daihatsu Copen had everyone on its side, the 3.4 meter short and just 1.48 meter wide midget roadster immediately aroused protective instincts. With all "But that's cute!" However, the sales success remained manageable, currently 1,913 Daihatsu Copen are still registered in Germany.
Things are a bit different in Japan, where the Copen has been a real hit in the kei car business since its launch. Kei Cars (or Keijidosha) are small vehicles that must meet certain size and performance restrictions in order to benefit from reduced taxes and insurance fees. There are even entire racing series with massively pimped Copen, both with the classic round-eyed original model and with the current one, which got a somewhat more modern outfit.
This second generation of the Daihatsu Copen (since 2014) is being taken on by the Japanese tuner Mo.FAC from Kawanishi and turning the small roadster into either pocket rockets with powerful spoilers or long-legged citizens' frights, like the one now for sale. But not for long, because shortly after we discovered the little one on the Japanese online market Autosensor, it was already sold. But that doesn't matter, because you can still buy the right conversion kits from Mo.FAC, so let's take a closer look at the rabid Copen.
The conversion model is based on the Copen XPlay, which comes with two-tone paintwork and a special front apron ex works. In this model, Mo.FAC installed a height increase of eight inches, which is around 20 centimeters. In addition to the complete chassis with longer dampers, the lift kit also includes longer brake hoses, an extended steering shaft, adjustments for the engine mount and the steering. A lot of work is needed on the body, such as enlarging the wheel arches and adjusting the installation positions for the intercooler, for example.
Conversion kit costs less than 2,000 euros
The wheels are not included in this kit, which Mo.FAC offers from around 1,900 euros without and from around 4,000 euros with installation, there is a free choice. What looks like brutal Bigfoot in the pictures is actually a children's birthday party: 195/80 R15 measure the rough rubber, not even a Suzuki Jimny raises an eyebrow. However, this also illustrates the dimensions of the Copen, because the 15-inchers look pretty fat on the Lilliput convertible.
In the case of our used car, which had around 100,000 kilometers on the clock, the conversion is combined with Recaro seats, a dual-flow exhaust system and extremely important carriers for reserve canisters and sand sheets.Additional headlights on the hood and in the front apron make things a little brighter, and an underride guard is also integrated. And as a finish, there are prominently mounted tow hooks as well as a largely pointless air scoop on the roadster roof.
Also with all-wheel drive if desired
Some might object that that's a bit of make-up for a front-wheel drive bonsai roadster. But that can be remedied. On request, Mo.FAC converts the jacked-up off-road Copen to all-wheel drive with an additional driven rigid axle (see video above). Then the giggles in the audience will stop when off-road, because with its low weight, compact dimensions and cheerful ground clearance, the little firecracker draws circles around the large off-road vehicles.
Kei-Cars are supposed to be economical and frugal everyday cars for inconspicuous crawling in Japanese cities. But that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. And as with everything that buzzes and drives, there are always a few tuners who are up for such fun. The company Mo.FAC from Kawanishi, a suburb of Osaka, even has a lot of fun with the little Copen. And if you don't like the ground clearance instead of a spoiler look: Mo.FAC also has up to 285 hp and lots of wing work for the Daihatsu tot.