Daihatsu DN Compagno: Retro cutie
In 1963, a still independent Daihatsu presented the production version of the Compagno. It was a successful little (149.8-inch-long) rear-wheel drive car, with five different bodies, body-on-frame structure and 800 cc and 1,000 cc engines. By 1970, with over 120,000 units sold and Daihatsu already under Toyota control, the Compagno was replaced by the Consorte. Now, Daihatsu is stirring memories of this handsome tiny car with this concept called the DN Compagno that it is presenting at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
Daihatsu is pitching this nostalgic concept at “active seniors”, but it is obvious anyone willing to have a stylish car would probably think about having one. The only issues would be waiting for the production version and maybe some concern about cabin space. Despite being a 4-door coupe, with rear door handles hidden in the C-pillar, there appears to be very little room in the rear seats. This is the result of not the short wheelbase but also the steeply raked roof.
The DN Compagno seems to be just one of the many vehicles the company intends to build on the new DNGA platform (Daihatsu New Global Architecture), which can be considered as a smaller (and cheaper) version of Toyota’s TNGA. As such, it presents a 1-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine under the hood, with the option of a hybrid powertrain, with the electric motor mated to a 1.2-liter internal combustion engine. There is a strong indication this car could easily reach dealerships in Japan. While we like the futuristic layout, a more conventional interior would make it into production. Prime market for this vehicle will be the tiny Kei car segment in Japan and perhaps some developing markets around the world. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to make it to America.