Daihatsu Copen reborn with configurable bodywork [w/video]

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It was a little bittersweet when the original Daihatsu Copen ended production in 2012. Granted, we never got the tiny roadster in the US, but knowing that it was out there somewhere just made the automotive landscape a little better. It didn't take the Japanese automaker long to see the error of its ways, because concepts for a new version, now called Kopen, showed up at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Finally, the all-new generation of the only Diahatsu you've ever wanted (okay, okay – some of us really still want a Rocky) has been unveiled in Japan.

The new Copen (dropping the K from the concept) ditches the original's Audi TT-inspired curves in favor of being a touch more angular and aggressive. The front and rear lights both dip way down towards the road to make the little convertible look like it has overgrown tusks. Its real party piece, though, is a two-piece folding hardtop that looks pretty slick on a car this size.

The front-wheel-drive Copen adheres to Japan's kei class regulations, which means stated power is somewhat modest. It uses a 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine making 63 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque with the choice of either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission with seven 'speeds.' However, the roadster's oddest feature is its chassis. It uses a monocoque that Daihatsu 'D-Frame,' an architecture that allows most of the car's body panels to bolt up to it. It should make any damage easy to repair, though, and it ought to make it easy to customize as well.

Prices in Japan start at 1,798,200 yen ($17,613) for the basic CVT model or 1,819,800 yen ($17,825) for the five-speed. Scroll down to watch a video of the live unveiling, and if you want to learn more Diahatsu, has a dedicated page for the new Copen.

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