Daihatsu is a brand that once reveled in the Philippine market. The years and our market may not have been so kind, but at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, we sew what the Japanese marque had up its sleeves as of late.
At the show, Daihatsu has revealed 4 new kei-car concepts at the Show, and what you see here is the Waku Waku.
In a nutshell, the Waku Waku is something that you’d probably see in a Jimny and FJ Cruiser marriage. This is, of course, still a Daihatsu through and through. As a means to fill the gap between a standard kei-car and a crossover, the Waku Waku is dubbed as a car that has “a design full of personality, and is perfect for young drivers…”
They really are quite right in saying so. The concept on display had gray-blue paint, and orange accents were generously placed inside and out. A boxy profile and wide surfaces give it a rugged appearance despite its small size. Orange accents again being mentioned, they in turn add to the youthful vibe that Daihatsu aims to reach and show with the Waku Waku.
Also quite remarkable is how this pint-sized concept actually has four doors. Yes, it can (theoretically) fit four people inside, but based on the photos what we’ve seen, it looks more comfortable with just two on board. The interior is very basic, with the only tinges of fanciness coming from a high-visibility gauge cluster, the digital infotainment system, and toggle switches reminiscent of what we’d see in European cars.
Being a vehicle meant for the outdoors, the Waku Waku does boast of very flexible cargo areas. The rear seatbacks fold flat, that’s something we’d expect, but Daihatsu added a bit of novelty in the tailgate. Its lower half serves as a stepboard while the upper half is the actual tailgate the swings to the side to open. Here’s the kicker: Daihatsu placed an actual cargo space between the headliner and the rear half of the Waku Waku’s roof. If you noticed the orange panel on the roof, that’s actually the “trunk” of this funky little kei-car.
The Tokyo Motor Show has always been a good venue for different Japanese car manufacturers to show off their wares and their ideas for the future of their vehicles. If Daihatsu plays their cards right, and if the Waku Waku is indeed one car that they’re looking into producing and bringing out of Japan, this could be big news for everyone. With the interest in smaller but versatile vehicles on a continuous rise, the Waku Waku may well use its form and function to sell itself alongside its novelty looks.