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Thread: Daihatsu Mira (L200) 1990-1994

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    Feb 2005

    Daihatsu Mira (L200) 1990-1994

    The Daihatsu Mira (also known as the Cuore, Domino, and more recently Charade), is a kei car-type vehicle built by the Japanese car maker Daihatsu. It comes with a variety of options and chassis variations, with the latest variant having four models: "Mira", "Mira AVY", "Mira Gino" and "Mira VAN". The Mira is the latest successor to the line of cars begun with the Daihatsu Fellow of 1966 and was originally introduced as the commercial version of the Cuore. Outside Japan, the Mira has also been offered with an 850 cc engine. In Australia, the two-seater version was marketed as the Daihatsu Handivan and later as the Daihatsu Handi.

    The L200/201 was the third and thus far most popular generation of the vehicle, offered in a large number of variants. In the Japanese domestic market the "Cuore" name was dropped, as the differences between passenger and commercial versions were narrowed. The L200 (front-wheel drive) was produced with the Mira badge from the spring of 1990 until at least 1998, but the platform has lived on under other names. L201 was the chassis code used on export market cars, usually labelled "Cuore".

    As with most Kei cars, the 200-series came in two primary variants: The "V" Series is a windowed van style intended for light commercial use. This variant featured a fold down rear bench seat without seat belts. The "S" series, intended for private use, is largely similar but the larger, more comfortable rear seats are equipped with belts and are further to the rear of the vehicle with more leg room. While the seats still fold down, unlike the "V", the "S" does not offer a flat loading floor. These characteristics are due to Japanese tax preferences for commercial vehicles, which only allow for temporary accommodation in the rear and demand a flat loading floor.

    The Mira could either be equipped with a three-speed automatic, or four- or five-speed manual transmission. A four-wheel drive variant known as the L210 was also available in V or S models, only with the five-speed manual. An electronically fuel-injected 12-valve (four per cylinder) turbo was the range topper, whereas the normally aspirated base versions made do with a one barrel carburetor. There was also a version with mechanical four-wheel steering (L220), so far the only Kei car to feature this option.


    The L201 was sold outside Japan primarily in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The three or five-door 201 retained the larger displacement engine of 847 cc (ED10K) and a choice of four- or five-speed manual transmissions, or a three-speed automatic option. This carburetted engine produced 41 PS (30 kW) (ECE) at 5,500 rpm. Van versions were also available in Australia, called Handivan (later shortened to Handi). The Van, sometimes with filled in rear windows, was also marketed in certain other markets (such as the Benelux countries) where the tax structure favoured it.

    The 200/201 had myriad market and model differences. Cuore badged L201's received a fog lamp on the left side. Later models of the Mira had fog lamps on both sides. The L201 had two license plate lamps while the L200 had only one. L200 Miras produced for Japan had no rear fog lamps, when sold in the United Kingdom (where Japan spec Miras were also available) they had a rear fog lamp mounted on the right hand side. Despite the Mira badge mostly being available in Right Hand Drive markets, left hand drive Mira-badged L201's were sold in the Dominican Republic.

    This generation of the Mira was chosen by Malaysia's Perodua to be re-badged as its first product. The L200 went on sale in Malaysia as the Perodua Kancil in 1994. After several facelifts, production of the Kancil finally came to an end in July 2009. The Malaysian built Kancil was marketed as the Daihatsu Ceria in Indonesia between 2000 and 2006.

    A taller, highly customizable two-seat step-van variant ("Walk-Through Van") was also produced, solely for the Japanese market. This reached the maximum height allowed for kei cars, two metres.

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