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Thread: Daihatsu Charmant (2nd Gen) 1981-1987

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    Feb 2005

    Daihatsu Charmant (2nd Gen) 1981-1987

    The Daihatsu Charmant is a compact sedan built by Daihatsu of Japan, based on the Toyota Corolla. It was replaced by the Daihatsu Applause. The Charmant was originally a spin-off of the Toyota Corolla of the 1970s; model changes paralleled those of the Corolla. All Charmants were fitted with Toyota inline-four engines, ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 litres. The word "charmant" is French for charming.


    A new Charmant was launched at the Frankfurt Motorshow in September 1981 with new squarer bodywork that was somewhat outmoded already when being introduced, as was its front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. The only bodywork available was a four-door sedan.

    In Japan, the biggest engine was now an OHC 1.5 L (1,453 cc) with 83 PS (61 kW) at 5,600 rpm. In the export, the 1.6 litre 1.6 L (1,588 cc) 2T engine was also available; power outputs ranged from 76 to 83 PS (56 to 61 kW) depending on compression ratios and intended markets. For the 1984 model year, the larger engine was changed to the overhead cam 4A unit, with an alloy head. Performance improved marginally while the gas mileage was considerably better. The smaller 1.3 litre engine, of 1.3 L (1,290 cc), produced between 62 and 74 PS (46 and 54 kW) depending on market. Trim levels were LC, LE and LGX; these continued until 1987 when the range was discontinued in the United Kingdom and most other export markets. All the engines were carburetted. In Japan, the most luxurious versions (with available climate control) were called "Altair".

    The Charmant had an independent front suspension (struts), and a live four-link rear axle. Suspension settings were soft, for maximum comfort. This setup makes the car very desirable for drifting. The car then underwent a minor facelift in autumn 1984.

    The Daihatsu Charmant production ended in late 1987, leaving a gap at the top of Daihatsu's lineup. In 1989, the Applause appeared to fill the Charmant's shoes.

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