Daihatsu kei camper van heads to Tokyo Auto Salon

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Daihatsu is going to the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2022 with a selection of modified cars. The event is known for its high-performance sports cars and extravagant luxury rides, so how does a company specializing in boulder cars and compacts stand out? By headline a boulder camper with a folding roof tent. #oflife!

The Daihatsu Atrai Deck Camper started out as a boulder van for the narrow city streets of Japan. It’s a remarkable vehicle because it’s the only kei truck with four doors and a pickup-style bed in the back. Not only that, but the two rear doors are of the sliding variant and the tailgate can be opened 180 degrees.

Normally this looks like a bull’s eye for refrigerator or grandfather clock repairers, but Daihatsu sees it as the perfect camper van. The canopy on the roof seems to open and fold outwards into shapes that mimic the added buttresses along the bed. Additional expedition gear comes in the form of a safari rack on top of the tent shell, an LED light bar and what looks like two pairs of extra lights in a custom front.

Daihatsu is building four other vehicles for the Auto Salon. One is a more luxurious version of the fully enclosed Atrai van, equipped with a grille that rivals that of the new Silverado. Another Daihatsu HiJet kei truck is described as an assembly experience truck for the Copen roadster. While we only have a cartoonish illustration for now, it looks like you could build a Copen’s nose into the back of the truck.

Last but not least, Daihatsu showcases two variants of the revived Daihatsu Rocky. Gen X readers may remember that name from the Suzuki Samurai-esque off-roader that was briefly sold in the US from 1988-92. Unlike its body-on-frame predecessors, the new Rockys are unibody compacts. The show cars show a deluxe lean-to version and an off-road version.

Should Daihatsu ever return to the US market, the Rocky would probably sell well in crossover-crazed America, but the real MVP would be a production Atrai Deck Camper.

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