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Daihatsu Kopen concept: changeable body panels

Fri, 22 Nov 2013

Wondering what all the fuss is about the interchangeable body panels on the new Daihatsu Kopen concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show? Hopefully this will help it make a little more sense.

As you can see from our montage image, Daihatsu has designed the Kopen concept with a kind of non-structural spaceframe. This supports the body panels, which are attached by what appear to be high-tech press clips.

On Bing: see pictures of the Daihatsu Kopen concept
Daihatsu Kopen concept stars at the Tokyo Motor Show 2013

As a result a team of four guys, even with a little showboating, can change the external appearance of the Kopen in literally about two minutes. Brilliant.

CJ Hubbard | Motoring Research

Daihatsu's plan is – apparently – to make the blueprints for the bodywork available, and allow Japan's extensive tuning industry to come up with its own designs, in addition to the Rmz and Xmz versions Daihatsu has already created.

Whether this is with serious production intent, well, that seems a little far-fetched. We imagine getting this innovation through crash safety testing might prove challenging. For instance.

And with the panels so easy to remove, what's to stop someone stealing your bodywork during the night? We’ve heard of naked sports bikes, but naked sports cars? Not so much.

So we suspect it's all just an attention-grabbing stunt for a rather more conventional Kopen (or Copen), which is set to go on sale – in Japan only – next year.

But we'd love to be wrong. The colour-changing, body-panel popping Daihatsu Kopen transformer is one of the stars of Tokyo 2013.

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By CJ Hubbard, contributor, MSN Cars