(from Daihatsu Press Release)
‘Green’ car expert, Daihatsu, is to unveil a record-breaking concept car
at ‘The Sunday Times Motor Show Live’ together with a host of
eye-catching production models – specially customised for the show.
First seen at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, the UFE2 hybrid has been
verified as the world’s most efficient four-seater with the lowest ever
recorded drag coefficient of 0.19 Cd.
Standing for ‘Ultra Fuel Economy’ – the aluminium and composite-bodied
minicar weighs only 570 kg and has a pleasingly tapered, teardrop shape
with twin gull-wing doors hinged in the centre of the roof.
The spacious four-seat interior is equally futuristic, with a central
control unit housing all the major controls including a steer-by-wire
system which replaces the conventional steering wheel.
Power is via a low-polluting three-cylinder 660 cc direct-injection
petrol engine linked to a compact, lightweight generator and permanent
The UFE2’s secondary batteries are advanced nickel-metal hydride and the
gearbox is an automatic CVT (continually variable transmission).
Strictly monitored tests have recorded an astonishing 170 mpg-plus for
the UFE2 – equivalent to travelling 60 km on one litre of fuel.
Daihatsu is also taking part in the ‘Taster Test Drive’ programme at
‘The Sunday Times Motor Show Live’ – 27 May to 6 June.
Any showgoer with a general admission ticket and a current driving
licence can drive one of a range of Daihatsu models on a
specially-devised city route within the grounds of Birmingham’s National
Exhibition Centre. Up to two passengers can also take part, with all
drives being supervised.
Meanwhile, on Stand 5140, Hall 5, visitors can see the whole range of
imaginative Daihatsu vehicles such as the new Copen sportscar,
super-frugal Charade, YRV Turbo 130, Sirion supermini, Terios mini-4x4
and even the new Extol compact van.
In addition, many of the cars have been specially customised for the
show with – in some cases – lowered sports suspension, bigger wheels and
tyres and special leather interiors and paint treatments.
Daihatsu’s UK management will gauge public reaction to the striking
exhibits before deciding on future special editions or accessory packs.
The West Bromwich-based importer’s first quarter sales are more than one
third higher this year at 36.93 per cent up, while new dealer
appointments have averaged one per week in the same period, with the
network now standing at 104 outlets.
Daihatsu is also celebrating a dramatic improvement in the ‘J. D. Power
and Associates 2004 Customer Satisfaction Index’ where it was ranked 7th
overall out of 33 manufacturers – up from 11th in 2003.
Furthermore, Daihatsu was the most improved brand for ‘Service
Satisfaction’ with a 62 point increase on last year, making it 3rd
overall instead of 16th. Daihatsu ‘Ownership Costs’ showed an equally
impressive 30 point improvement, giving it a 5th placing instead of