Daihatsu introduced a sporty addition to its Sirion hatchback range at the Auto Africa expo with a high-revving, 1298cc engine kicking out a claimed 75kW at 6300rpm and 140Nm at 4600.

The Sirion DRD runs on a lower, stiffer suspension and five-spoked 17" alloy rims with 205/40 rubber. It features a stainless-steel, free-flow exhaust and colour-coded bumpers and skirts.

There are special leather-trimmed seats embossed with the DRD logo, air-conditioning, a front-loading CD player and a rev-counter pod-mounted high on the fascia.

It's available now at R124 995.

Also on the Daihatsu stand, fresh from the Paris auto show, is the Materia mini-MPV that looks even more boxy in real life than it does in the pictures but offers impressive interior space for a vehicle only 3.8m long, 1.7m wide and 1.635m high.

It will be available in South Africa from the first quarter of 2007 with the same 76kW, 1.5-litre engine as the new Terios, five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and a choice of trim levels.

Prices from below R150 000.

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