‘Harmony With Nature’ – 2006 Daihatsu D-Compact X-Over

Another day, another Daihatsu.

Image: favcars

Daihatsu’s concept cars have been many, varied and in a good many cases, quite bonkers. Which is not to denigrate either them or the company which inspired them. Ideas they had aplenty, the real shame was that owing as much to their straitened circumstances as a lack of corporate nerve (perhaps), much of the invention and wildly creative thinking never particularly manifested itself in production form.

As you can see, today’s subject isn’t one of the more outlandish concepts from planet Osaka, but it’s fairly interesting nonetheless. Daihatsu called it the D-Compact X-Over when they presented it on the motor show circuit in 2006. Fairly unremarkable looking I hear you say and frankly I’m not sure I’d necessarily disagree, but not only is it a concept I have never seen before, it appears to contain elements of other designs – although who influenced who is perhaps a matter of conjecture.

Image: topspeed

That it was styled in conjunction with Ital Design in Turin is immediately apparent in the vehicle’s taut forms and planted stance. Intended as a replacement to Daihatsu’s unloved (and arguably unlovable) YRV model, the compact crossover concept was powered by their 1.5 litre petrol unit. The cabin was a cheerful looking spot, trimmed in brown suede and orange patent leather, while chrome accents lent the instruments a more ‘high-end’ feel.

Here’s what Daihatsu had to say in 2006: “Based on the concept of ‘harmony with nature’, the D-Compact X-over was created jointly by Daihatsu and Italy’s Italdesign led by Giorgetto Giugiaro. This new concept crossover vehicle from Daihatsu features a glass roof that extends from the edge of the windshield to over the rear seats, a front end that is pleasant and friendly in appearance, and a sleek, flowing side silhouette.”

Image: wheelsage

Leaving aside the nonsense regarding harmony and nature, what is notable is the reference to friendliness – what car manufacturer would dare speak in such terms now? On the subject of that front end, I see elements of Chris Bird’s 2003 Fiesta and its 2007 Mazda 2 sibling. But apart from the more sculptural surfacing in the flanks, what I’m seeing more than anything else is Volkswagen’s Up, the first concept of which was shown the following year and quite frankly, if Giorgetto hadn’t a hand in that car, I’m having everyone’s hat for tea.

Image: carstyling.ru

A production version of the X-Over didn’t materialise, which appears to be either a missed opportunity or the fact that someone else took the basic theme and ran with it. Either way, I think it’s rather… harmonious?

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. [Dis]content Provider.

7 thoughts on “‘Harmony With Nature’ – 2006 Daihatsu D-Compact X-Over”

  1. Eoin, where on Earth did you dig up this one? I for one had completely forgotten about it.

    It’s rather charming, combining – apologies if this sounds like rehashed marketing gibberish – quite a bit of Turinese flair with the kind of a cute aura only the Japanese appear to be able to conjure up. I really like this one.

    1. It’s a cheerful little thing isn’t it? Giugiaro and Daihatsu – you wouldn’t immediately place them together, but once you think about it, it’s a really good fit.

      I recommend a trawl through Daihatsu’s concepts. Dear lord, that’s an invigorating experience. Bizarre at times, but really quite eye-opening…

  2. Seeing that rear three quarter view, I recognize the body hardpoints from the Citroen C1. Daihatsu has always been Toyotas small car skunk works, there’s been a lot of crossbreeding between the two. Especially so when Toyota has never done really small cars really good, while Daihatsu has. The B-zero project was a joint venture between PSA and Toyota, but I don’t really know who did what in that venture. Having owned both a Toyota Yaris and Citroen C1, I recognized a lot of bits and pieces from the Yaris in the C1.

    Above all, I don’t know how much commonality there is between Toyota and Daihatsu, but the B-Zero cars even have a Daihatsu 3-pot engine. I have no idea if this Daihatsu concept car has anything to do with those other cars, but it looks that way to me. This car is a 2006 car, and the B-Zero cars was presented in 2005, so the timing fits. I have no problem seeing Daihatsu sending one of those cars to Giugiaro to see what they could do with them.

  3. It’s Mr Dissent on the ‘phone. He says ItalDesign brought nothing new to the party. Daihatsu’s own concept cars and production models are better than this one. VW got it right with their ID aesthetic and PSA did smarter things with the panel gap/graphics relation. Mr Dissent goes on to say this kind of thing shows how tired ItalDesign had/has become. Having rested on the talent of GG the firm didn’t hire more, other people but handed the design reins to GG’s son. He didn’t inherit his dad’s skill or good fortune.

  4. There’s a Carfolio page for the D-Compact X-Over which is surprising given that the car was never produced.

    Even more surprising is the Bore/Stroke ratio of that 1495cc engine. At 0.78 (72.0mm x 91.8mm) it’s possibly the undersquarest of recent times. It’s a real production engine, codenamed 3SZ-VE and used in various Toyotas, Daihatsus and Peroduas.

    The Biblically undersquare 1o98cc BMC A series from 1962 still beats it at 0.77 (64.6mm x 85.72mm), but it pips the 1665cc Honda D Series; Bore/Stroke 0.79 (75.0mm x 94.4mm).

    I need to get out more…

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