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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Nov 02 2013, 11:01 AM

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Daihatsu will be bringing several concepts to this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, including the FC Deck concept mini truck pictured above.

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 |  Nov 13 2011, 2:00 PM

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Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu has announced its plans of bringing 12 vehicles to this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Four will be concept cars, three of which we can reveal already. Daihatsu’s slogan for this year’s show will be “Big Answer from Small”, which clearly emphasizes technological innovations in a compact car.

The first of the three revealed concepts is the D-X (d-cross), an aggressively styled new sports car powered by a two-cylinder engine with direct-injection and turbocharging.

The PICO is a newly-imagined EV commuter that Daihatsu wants to be the ultimate vehicle for short trips on a daily basis. It’s also geared towards functionality and accessibility, featuring a low, flat floor that makes it easy to get in and out of the car, and a front-and-back two-seat configuration designed for ease of use.

Lastly, there’s the FC ShoCase (above), which is developed as a zero-emission next-generation mobility solution featuring liquid fuel cells with no precious metals.

GALLERY: Daihatsu D-X

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GALLERY: Daihatsu Pico

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GALLERY: Daihatsu FC ShoCase

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See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Tokyo Motor Show preview here.

 |  Nov 07 2011, 11:45 AM

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In the midst of launching its iQ mini-car and in preparation of the massive spike in exposure the brand will get from the FR-S sports car, Scion VP Jack Hollis is already looking into the distant future. “We are currently working on several different concepts,” he says sitting in the back seat of a highly customized xB at the SEMA Show.

As for exactly what those concepts will be, he won’t say, but Scion does have two models that will soon be in need of overhauls, while the brand is always looking to grow its product offering. In previous discussions Hollis has mentioned his interest in bringing a mini-truck to market; something compact and car-based, a size down from the incredibly popular Toyota Tacoma.

“Versus other vehicles, I can’t say it’s priority one,” admits Hollis, however, he says, “I’m very interested in it. A lot of prospective owners are interested in it and every meeting I have in Japan, I’m asking, what else can we do.”

Not prepared to just ask, Hollis has a plan for a new model that would evolve much like with the Toyota-Subaru tie-up that produced the FR-S (FT-86/BRZ). Initially, he says, he wanted to see about bringing over a small truck from Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu, but with all the necessary regulations it was impossible to make a business case for it. Instead, Hollis suggests he’d like to see a collaboration with Daihatsu, sharing a product and developing it together from inception.

In addition to a min-truck, Hollis believes there’s room in the Scion brand for even more vehicles in the compact and sub-compact range. “I think there’s a movement towards small cars,” he says.

Beyond new additions to the brand, Scion also needs to look at revamping its current lineup, particularly the lacklustre xD and volume selling xB. The xD and its predecessor the xA have never performed as well as they could, lagging behind sub-compact top sellers like the Yaris, Fit and Versa in a segment where, considering its targeted market, Scion should be tops. While mum on the xB, Hollis says not to expect just another version of the xD. Speaking about its replacement, he says that “If I get my wishes it will be nothing like the xA or xD.”

With the official debut of the Toyota FT-86 planned for the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, the Scion version is expected to arrive at the New York Auto Show in the Spring. Hollis wouldn’t say as much, but considering Scion’s history of debuting concept cars in the Big Apple, look for a hint at future product too.

 |  Jul 19 2011, 11:15 AM

Japanese mini-car manufacturer Daihatsu is preparing to launch what it says will be the most fuel efficient non-hybrid car in the world.

Set to launch in September, the unnamed vehicle makes use of what is being called “e:S Technology,” or Energy Saving Technology. The comprehensive efficiency program is being credited for achieving an almost 40 percent improvement in emissions, with Daihatsu claiming the new car will get 30 km/l, or roughly 70-mpg.

In order to achieve this massive fuel economy gain, the car will use an all-new engine with an 11.3:1 compression ratio, an electronic throttle with a throttle valve made of resin, plus a start-stop system and even a near-hybrid system that converts brake energy into electric energy in order to recharge the car’s battery.

An efficient CVT transmission is mated to the engine, while other improvements include special aerodynamics and low rolling resistance tires, not to mention a significantly lighter chassis, that weighs 60 kg (132 lbs) less than the current Mira model (above).

While seemingly irrelevant to our market, as Daihatsu doesn’t offer cars here, the company is majority owned by Toyota Motor Corp. and so it’s only time before these small car advances find their way into different cars. Plus, with increasingly smaller cars being offered in North America, like the new Scion iQ, mini cars like the Mira might not be far behind.