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'Baby TT' Copen for SA

2002-10-17 16:47

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That's the news from the Imperial Group following the importation of one of the little beauties for Auto Africa and following that, a tour of dealerships to gauge response.

An insider told Wheels24 customers will be able to order the car if there's sufficient response.

The Copen, a cute Japanese sports car with a folding aluminium hardtop, could be priced much lower than anything of its kind seen here up to now.

The Copen is the first car in the world to feature an aluminium folding hardtop - others, such as the Mercedes SL and SLK, the Peugeot 206 CC, and the Lexus SC430 - use steel.

Another difference is that the Copen's not a fully automatic operation - the roof has to be manually unlatched before it electrically opens or folds away.

The Copen - it's name is derived from "compact" and "open" - has a 660 cm3 four-valves-per-cylinder DOHC turbocharged engine that gives the 3.4 metre long machine startling performance coupled with remarkable economy.

The retractable hardtop means better safety and weather protection than afforded by a soft top.

In addition to the spunky outside appearance, the Copen has a sporty interior, with brightly coloured seats and a Momo sports steering wheel.

We have seen the car, and although it's smaller than the Audi TT, and narrower, it has a definite appeal.

No price is known yet.

Specifications

- Overall length:3 395 mm
- Overall width: 1 475 mm
- Overall height: 1 260 mm
- Wheelbase:2 230 mm
- Vehicle weight: 800 kg
- Seating capacity:2
- Engine: In-line 4 cylinders 16-Valve,DOHC Turbo
- Displacement:659 cm3
- Max power:47 kW/6 800 r/min
- Max torque:108 Nm/2 800 r/min
- Transmission:5MT

Daihatsu Copen photo gallery

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