North Americans may not even remember Daihatsu, but the brand is alive elsewhere in the world, despite a fairly extensive global retreat throughout the 2000s. Now a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota, Daihatsu has done what it does best: compact cars. The latest exercise in its core competency is what you see here: the DN Compagno concept.
At first glance, it seems like an unlovable design, but the design actually does a tremendous job of meshing retro looks, quirky kei-car aesthetics, and modern styling—even if the taillights look like they're ripped from a Cadillac XTS sedan. Bolstering the retro appeal are old-school Daihatsu badges on the grille, steering wheel, and rear end.
Daihatsu calls the DN Compagno a "compact four-door coupe for active seniors," though it says the emphasis is placed on the front seat passengers. The interior once again strikes a futuristic yet retro feel, and despite four doors, the brand says it designed the front two seats for "two adults to relax comfortably."
The DN Compagno name comes from the original Compagno sold between 1963 and 1970. The Compagno line featured a station wagon, a small pickup, a convertible, and a sedan. It was also Daihatsu's first passenger car.
The DN Compagno's engine is fittingly tiny, too. A 1.0-liter turbocharged engine sits under the hood, but Daihatsu notes a 1.2-liter engine paired with a hybrid system will work just as well. We'll see more of the cutesy DN Compagno concept at the 2017 Tokyo motor show. Until then, find more Tokyo coverage at our dedicated hub.