Daihatsu Taft from all angles

Daihatsu enthusiasts pay attention. The Japanese manufacturer has finally released a complete set of photos of its youngest model: the Taft.

The Taft story of Daihatsu has been extended with a new chapter. In 2019, the brand showed the Waku Waku Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, a study model with more than just a striking name. The angular show car was the basis for the Taft Concept, which was presented a few months later at the Tokyo Auto Salon. It is that Taft Concept that is now drying up in the form of a production-ready model: the Taft.

The Taft is a kei-car according to the well-known recipe and that means that this crazy Daihatsu is no longer than 3.4 meters and does not exceed the limit of 1.48 meters in width. The 1.63 meter high Taft is a kei-car over which Daihatsu has poured a crossover sauce. The kei-car is quite high on its legs and is decorated all around with things like angular plastic decoration around the wheel arches. Japanese manufacturers often supply two optical flavors for their little ones, a regular variant and a ‘Custom’ -like variant with a slightly more eccentric design. With the Taft there is a version with silver-colored fake grille between the headlights and a version without. The version with that external decoration also gets a silver-colored strip between the taillights.

Technical data will keep Daihatsu under the hood, but under the hood, a maximum 660 cc petrol engine will undoubtedly serve as a power station, a machine that will be available with and without turbo. Entirely according to the boulder tradition, versions with and without four-wheel drive will be available.

With the Taft, Daihatsu aims at cars such as the Suzuki Hustler, also a narrow high and semi-off-road-like kei-car that was recently helped to a new generation. Then there is of course the Jimny, a car of which there is also a version in Japan with a small blown turbo engine that is narrower than the European copy, due to the lack of flared wheel arch edges. This variant meets the kei-car requirements in Japan and can therefore also be seen as a competitor of the new Taft, although the Jimny seems to be a more off-road model. Mitsubishi offers the eK X in the Hustler segment.


Daihatsu is busy restoring old model names. In early 2019, Daihatsu brought back the model name Rocky, although the brand also affixed the familiar name here, not on the back of a rugged offroader, but on a relatively mild-looking crossover. An ancestor of that ancient Rocky was the 1974 Taft, a car whose name stood for Tough and almighty Four-wheel Touring. The very compact all terrain vehicle in the style of cars like the Suzuki SJ’s – the founding father of the Samurai / Jimny – was taken out of production in the mid-eighties.

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