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AutoRAI 1999: the concept cars:

Daihatsu, Nissan & Plymouth

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Daihatsu_Cuore_Classic.jpg (59444 bytes)The new Daihatsu Cuore mini car was introduced at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1998 and it was accompanied by this odd looking little fellow. It's in general a Cuore but fitted with a front reminiscent of the old original Austin Mini. I can't really think of a good reason why you want to introduce your new mini car as a Japanese manufacturer accompanied by a show car looking like the father of all mini's in the country that has invented it. It's a bit sacrilegious.
This kind of retro-styling seems to be very popular in Japan, as is the original Austin Mini. I think the rest of the world could do without it. The original Mini is an icon, but let's move on and innovate.

Nissan_Kyxx_side.jpg (35895 bytes)The Nissan Kyxx is according to the designers a "super dynamic, compact space wagon". It was introduced at the Paris car show in 1998 and designed by Nissan's European design studio.
The design looks trendy and reminds a bit of the Ford Focus and has also something of a cockpit of a small aircraft to it looking from the side.

Nissan_Kyxx_rear.jpg (41863 bytes)Front and rear windows have distinct rounded shapes and the roof line declines rapidly, leaving limited headroom at the rear seats. The overall impression is that it's a reasonable original design that grows on you while looking longer. Not bad at all for a Nissan.

Plymouth_Prowler.jpg (44514 bytes)Another show car from the Chrysler stable is this Plymouth Prowler. It was introduced in 1996 in the USA and people over there liked it so much that Chrysler had to take it into (limited) production. In 1997 and 1998 relatively small numbers of this car have been produced and in 1999 a revised design will become available.
The Prowler isn't available in Europe but some people have imported it from the States themselves, like this car. It's used as a show piece for a Dutch company that fits cars with convertible tops, sunroofs and leather upholstery.
I like the design of the car, its very well proportioned hot-rod bodywork just oozes speed, even standing still. There's clearly a family resemblance between this car and the Pronto Cruizer shown on the first page.

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