The Japanese automaker Daihatsu has been producing a kei car type vehicle called the Daihatsu Mira also known as Daihatsu Cuore, Domino and Charade in many countries since 1980. Since its first appearance in 1980, the vehicle has been in its seventh generation. A wide range of chassis options are available, each with a host of up-to-date features. The most recent version is available in four different models, i.e. ‘Mira’, ‘Mira AVY’, ‘Mira Gino’ and ‘Mira VAN’. It is regarded as the most recent successor to the range of vehicles produced alongside the 1966 Daihatsu Fellow and launched formerly as the commercial variant of the Cuore. The export market version also receives an 850 cc engine. A 2-seater version was marketed as Handivan in Australia, later renamed as the Handi.
First Generation (L55 series; 1980-1985)
Both the Daihatsu Mira and Cuore were introduced as replacements for the Daihatsu Cuore in July 1980. It is important to note here that it was the first generation model of the Mira, i.e. L55 series, while regarded as the second generation model of the Cuore.
Second Generation (L70 series; 1985-1990)
In August 1985, the second generation L70 series Mira/Cuore was launched. Compared to previous generation, it featured a relatively longer wheelbase and a new 3-cylinder EB engines were introduced in place of previous 2-cylinder AB versions. The EB engines had precisely the same 547 cc displacement. However, the export models received an 847 cc 3-cylinder engine designated as the ED-10. Swiss market received a special version with narrow bore in September 1986 having an engine displacement of 796 cc designated as ED-10A.
The Japanese market also received a commercial version of Mira featuring temporary rear seats. A 3-door turbo commercial version was also made available. A 5-door ‘Van’ version of Mira was appeared in January 1986 followed by a ‘Walk-Through Van’ version two months later in March. The L70 series was discontinued in 1990 when third generation was launched.
Third Generation (L200 series; 1990-1994)
The third generation L200/L201 gained a lot of popularity and fame as it was available in a wide range of versions. The ‘Cuore’ moniker was discontinued in the Japanese domestic market because of the lessened differences between the private and commercial models. In 1990, the front-wheel drive L200 was launched under the Mira badge. It remained in production for about eight years and ended production in 1998. However, the platform used in L200 series has still been used by other models.
The export version normally designated as L201 and marketed as Cuore. The L201 was offered in Europe, New Zealand and Australia as 3- or 5-door version. The engine used was an 847 cc ED-10K mated to either a 4- or 5-speed transmission, while a 3-speed automatic transmission was optional. The engine was rated at 30 kW (41 PS) ECE at 5500 rpm. Australia also received a Van version named the Handivan, later renamed as Handi.
Fourth Generation (L500 series; 1994-1998)
In September 1994, the fourth generation L500 Mira was introduced. Although, this generation received some tweaks and modifications in its design, the overall appearance was kept similar to L200 series. In the export market, the chassis code used for this generation was L501 Cuore. Despite the fact that L200 was discontinued in Japanese market, it continued to be sold in some export markets with similar features as that of L500 series.
In October 1995, a non-commercial separate line of car, called the Mira Moderno, was launched in Japan. The fourth generation Mira was slightly facelifted in May 1996. A retro-look variant, called the Mira Classic, was also introduced in August 1997. The Classic version received a range of engines from naturally aspirated 40 PS (29 kW) with FWD, 55 PS (40 kW) with all-wheel drive to an optional turbocharged rated at 64 PS (47 kW).
The L500 series was the first in kei class to receive a 4-cylinder engine with JB series engine available as an option. The version with 4-cylinder engine was designated as L502. The export models were offered standard with fuel-injection that increased the 847 cc engine power to 42 PS (31 kW). November 1996 saw the release of a twin-cam, 12-valve variant of 847 cc 3-cylinder EDDE engine rated at 50 PS (37 kW) at 5500 rpm.
The L500 series Mira was marketed in Australia under Daihatsu Charade Centro name.
Fifth Generation (L700 series; 1998-2002)
The fifth generation Mira/Cuore launched with a chassis code of L700 in 1998. The chassis code used for all-wheel drive models was L710. The domestic versions received engines with a displacement less than 660 cc. However, the versions offered in export market came with a new larger 989 cc 12-valve, 3-cylinder DOHC, EJDE engine delivering 56 PS (41 kW) at 5200 rpm. A 3-speed automatic transmission was also offered in the export market versions. In some export markets, the fifth generation still marketed with 850 cc EDDE engine.
A retro-styled version of a kei car was introduced in 1999 in place of Mira Classic. This retro-styled version named the Daihatsu Mira Gino was built on L700 platform. The Japanese version was powered by a 659 cc, while the export market received a 1.0-L EJVE engine.
Sixth Generation (L250 series; 2002-2006)
The sixth generation Mira was launched with a chassis code of L250/L260. It is worth mentioning that this generation was not at all related to the previous L200 series. The sixth generation model was launched in Japanese market as Mira, while it was launched in UK as Daihatsu Charade. In rest of all the markets, it was marketed as Cuore. The all-wheel drive version was offered in the Japan only with a chassis code of L260. The production line was moved to Malaysia in 2006 and the first production unit was introduced in 2007 as Perodua Viva.
Seventh Generation (L275 series; 2006-present)
The seventh generation L275 series Mira was introduced in December 2006. Initially, it was offered only as a passenger vehicle, later in 2007, the Van version was also added in the lineup. The all-wheel drive version receives a chassis code of L285. The Japanese version receives a new series of 660 cc engines equipped with Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT), named the KF-series.