Daihatsu Materia

The predecessor to the Daihatsu YRV, the Materia was a mini MPV that was manufactured by the Japanese automaker Daihatsu in 2006. Based on the platform of the second generation of the Sirion, it was very identical to the second generation of the Toyota bB. The Materia came in 1.3L and 1.5L varieties with a 4WD version in the pipeline, Auto and manual versions. The UK currently features a 1.5L Version 16/11/2007. The UK versions featured 0-60 mph time in 10.8 seconds for the manual version and 13.7 seconds for the Auto version. The automatic had a maximum speed of 102 mph and the manual's top speed was 106 mph. The Materia was sold in Japan as the Daihatsu Coo and the Subaru Dex.

The Diahatsu Materia was introduced at the Paris Motor Show, following a thorough analysis of 'how families use their cars'. In response to the recent increase in user demand for multiplicity of compact vehicles, Daihatsu focused their attempts on a new model, named Materia.

Attempting to create a concept of 'refined individuality', the Materia featured an extra-daring body design and very elite individuality. The tire arrangement was superbly calculated and featured a short overhang that gave this wagon an image of structural solidity and crazy stability. The interior was roomy and featured a large arched instrument panel that gave a relaxing ambience to both drivers and passengers. Also more functional than any other model of its kind, the Materia comes with an easy to use operating system and two-part central instrument panel which the driver can view with less eye movement.

A compact wagon, the Materia has an overall length of less than 4m and a very short turning circle of 9.8 m. The interior featured front seats that came with seat-height adjustor on the driver's side, while the rear seats slide 160 mm front and back and could be arranged in various ways.

The Daihatsu Materia featured a newly develop 1.5 liter engine that balanced both output power and fuel consumption optimally. Enough power for high speed driving on both highways and in urban areas was produced by the engine while still providing spectacular torque characteristics in the low and medium speed ranges. Inside the Materia, lightweight but highly rigid components controlled the suspension system and gave extraordinary ‘suspension compliance' with exceptional stability, smooth drivability and riding comfort.

Created from Daihatsu's innovative technology, the Materia employs the Intelligent Catalyst which was used to purify the exhaust gas engines produce. Precious metals such as palladium, rhodium and platinum are the major components of a vehicle exhaust gas catalyst. One of the main problems that is associated with exhaust gas purification via purification via catalyst is that the catalytic action is degraded by the heat of exhaust gas. This is even more of a problem with the compact vehicle, as extremely severe working conditions for the catalyst are created when a comparatively high-revving engine discharges exhaust gas.

Nanotechnology was used by Daihatsu to give a ‘self-regenerating' function to the catalyst by implanting palladium into special perovskite ceramic crystals. This innovative design is revolutionary because it maintains a very high level of exhaust gas purification performance for a much longer period of time, and that aids the environment. The Intelligent Catalyst also effectively reduced exhaust emissions while also dramatically reducing the consumption of palladium.

The collision safe-body design of the Materia has been based on the concept of advanced compatibility between vehicles of varying weights. Under stringent test conditions worldwide of crash tests, the body of the Materia has been ensured to survive a crash, and has provided a ‘high level of driver and passenger protection'. The Materia is also equipped with VSC, vehicle stability control to further enhance safety by controlling the car's movements in all directions during fast turns or even on a snowy road.

By Jessica Donaldson

Daihatsu Models