Daihatsu OFC-1 and HSC

Published: 11 September 2007

It looks remarkably like a Copen…

It does indeed, and at 5mm shorter, the same width, and only 45mm higher the OFC-1 is all but identical to the Copen. In fact, it is the new Copen, just not as cute. But perhaps the biggest changes is the switch from a two to a three-piece folding roof. The main roof section is also now made from liquid crystals so at the flick of a switch the roof can be made transparent or opaque. And it all folds away into the boot in under ten seconds.

Is it still a Copen at heart?

Yes, because the last Copen was designed to meet Japanese K-car standards (which means lower taxes) and the OFC-1 is equally diminutive. Under the bonnet there’s a 658cc turbocharged engine with 63bhp. Power is put to the road via a seven-speed auto with paddleshift. Seven might seem like a lot of gears for such a tiny car, but short ratios help improve acceleration while still allowing the OFC-1 to achieve 61.4mpg and 100.9g/km.

What about the HSC?

You mean the Heart and Smile Mover. Yes, that really is the name. But ignore the name and you have a car that should be getting as much hype as any other small car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s actually shorter than the VW Up! at 3395mm, and narrower too. Combine that with a catamaran-style underbody that extends all the way along under the body, plus an exhaust that exits through the front wheel, and you get a drag coefficient of Cd 0.28.

What does that mean?

It means the HSC is very slippery, and will only sip one gallon of fuel for every 68.9miles travelled. And only puff out 95g/km. Such figures are also thanks to a CVT gearbox, a stop/start system, and a small but simple and efficient 658cc 58bhp engine. The neatest touch though is the suicide rear doors, just like on a Rolls-Royce. The WSC seems a feasible production model, and less idiosyncratic than Mitsubishi’s i.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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