Thursday, April 28, 2016

Finally 25: 1990 Daihatsu Mira Turbo Tr-XX Limited


Each year, there are tiny cars you may never knew existed becoming legal for import to the US as their 25 year import ban expires.  Kei cars, limited in power, displacement and size, are afforded special tax breaks in Japan to promote space, fuel consumption, and emissions economy.  To compete in this category, manufacturers had to get creative and the result is a lot of cool in some little cars.   Find this 1990 Daihatsu Mira Turbo Tr-XX Limited for sale in Marion, IA for $6,499 via craigslist.


In 1990, Japanese Kei cars received a bump in displacement from 550cc to 660cc.  While limited to 63 HP, these cars can get around in fine fashion because, of course, they don't weigh much.  The addition of forced induction means that much of this power is present throughout the torque curve.   


There are a couple of downsides to owning one of these morsels of awesome here in the US of A. First, you will not have the parts and services availability of a Ford Focus.  It may benefit you to see if the Daihatsu mini-truck network can offer any help with this matter, as the Daihatsu Hi-Jet mini-truck is no stranger to US soil.  Second, you will have to get used to driving like the mail carrier: from the far side of the cockpit. Yes, the location of your left limits will not be as intuitive as they were before.  You will need to learn to operate the switch-gear with your left hand and the BK drive-thru will require you to set the parking brake.


The upsides to ownership are plentiful, though.  Curious onlookers?  Check.  8K+ redline?  You got it.  Parking?  Too easy.  Functional hood scoop?  Oh, yeah.  Dimensions that make a new Mini seem like a battleship?  Present.  Shoot, this little hatch even has A/C.  


See another new arrival from the far east? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

6 comments:

  1. "...and the BK drive-thru will require you to set the parking brake."

    On the other hand, you can go through the left side drive through at Checker's and completely confuse everyone.

    RHD convertibles have an extra benefit. You can put the top down and have your passenger put their hands in the air for about two minutes on the freeway, and completely freak out everyone behind you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know from my mini (morris not bmw) that yes the drive through was the hardest part about rhd. But in that car and probably this too, as long as you pulled in close and unbuckled your seat belt you can just reach across. Or ya know you could go inside..

    Oh as for the car, probably a fun little car. Might be nice and reliable, or it could be 25 years old with hard to find parts, obsolete computers and miles of brittle vacuum lines. I dont know daihatsu well enough to know which camp this falls into.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know from my mini (morris not bmw) that yes the drive through was the hardest part about rhd. But in that car and probably this too, as long as you pulled in close and unbuckled your seat belt you can just reach across. Or ya know you could go inside..

    Oh as for the car, probably a fun little car. Might be nice and reliable, or it could be 25 years old with hard to find parts, obsolete computers and miles of brittle vacuum lines. I dont know daihatsu well enough to know which camp this falls into.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Step one: get a RHD car.
    Step two: get a really big dog.
    Step three: cruise around with the dog in the left seat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or just drive around with a goat in the car, police dogs go totally berserk, and I mean totally apeshit bonkers officer has to stop the car berserk.

      Delete
  5. When it comes to scouting for a car, potential buyers are always looking out for various factors and one of the main one is fuel-efficiency. Even though there will be issues arising in the future in regards to the unavailability of the spare parts to service this new ban-lifted release from the far east, I bet consumers will still grab the good deal.

    ReplyDelete

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