A first glance the Daihatsu stand at the 2008 Johannesburg International Motor Show doesn't reveal anything new - until you take a longer look at the Materia on the revolving stand at the left.

Then you spot the 17" alloy rims, lowered stance and the scoop on the bonnet. This is no ordinary Materia.

It was noted at the SA launch in 2007 that, despite its cobby looks, the Materia's hard-revving 1.5-litre engine, short gearing and wheel-at-each-corner chassis layout would lend themselves to some go-faster tuning.

And so, little more than a year later, here's the Materia DRD (Daihatsu Racing Development) with turbocharger, intercooler, free-flow exhaust, upgraded induction system and Uni Q performance chip.

Power is up from 76 to a claimed 110kW at 5000rpm and torque from 132 to 195Nm at 4400rpm. Maximum boost is a conservative 0.6 bar at the power peak in fifth gear.

The results are impressive: 0-100 in a claimed 9.2sec (two seconds quicker than the "standard" version) and an electronically limited top speed of 200km/h.

Yet Daihatsu SA says it will return fuel consumption of about seven litres/100km at 120km/h.

The Materia DRD has Eibach aftermarket springs (30mm lower than standard), 17'' alloy rims with 205/40 radials, a Momo sports steering wheel and leather upholstery.

It will be available in South African from April 2009 at "less than R200 000".

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