In 1987, the Japanese automaker Daihatsu introduced their mini SUV named the Daihatsu Rocky. It remained in production until 1998.
In the Japanese domestic market the vehicle was referred to as Daihatsu “Lovibond” Rocky, while in United Kingdom it was known as Daihatsu Sportrak and Daihatsu Feroza in the markets including Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
However, the vehicle was most common known by the factory model numbers, i.e. F-300 or F-310 instead of their names. Flared guards used in the F-310 version sold as MkII Sportrak or Feroza II to offer a wider track compared to the F-300 version.
The Daihatsu Rocky was powered by a Daihatsu 1600 cc DOHC or SOHC I4 engine equipped with Daihatsu Variable Valve Timing (DVVT) connected through a manual gearbox, propshaft and also differential to the front wheels and rear axle to offer a choice between front wheel drive and all-wheel drive depending on the customer’s need. A selector was provided next to the gear stick to shift to the front-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive Low and 4-wheel drive High.
First Generation (1987-1992)
The first generation Rocky was launched in 1987 as a 3-door mini SUV and remained in production until 1992. The engine used in Japanese version was a 1.6-L 4-cylinder SOHC with an output ranging from 75 PS (55 kW) to 105 PS (77 kW). The Rocky was regarded as one of the first mini SUV launched by Japanese automakers at that time. It was marketed as Daihatsu Feroza in European and Australian markets. As for export models, they received a detuned variant of a powerful engine delivering 95 PS (70 kW). The Rocky was among the two models, which were marketed in the US market along with Charade, during the short visit of Daihatsu there.
Second Generation (1992-1998)
In 1993, the second generation Rocky was released with minor changes and modifications from the previous model. The Australian version received a 16-valve, 1.6-L multi-point injected engine. In 1993, the carburetor version was discontinued in Japanese market, with only 95/105 PS engine left behind. Another variant was introduced by the Italian automaker Bertone, which was equipped with BMW M40 engine, delivering 100 PS (74 kW) named the Bertone Freeclimber II. In 1998, the company discontinued the Rocky and introduced a replacement vehicle in the form of Daihatsu Terios.