The Tale of Subaru R2
The influx of used JDM cars during the Musharraf era brought a huge number of Japanese cars in all shapes & sizes to our market. These cars not only provided a much needed variety, but also exposed a stark difference in build quality, equipment and safety features of cars available elsewhere versus those assembled locally.
The R-2 was first released in August 1969 using a rear engine, rear-wheel drive layout and in all respects was considered a rival of Honda N360 in that era. The body dimension were 2,995 mm long, 1,295 mm wide, 1,345 mm high, and the wheelbase is only 1,920 mm long. For the sake of comparison, the Suzuki FX measures 3,195mm long and has a wheelbase of 2,150mm.
The interior was simple like any car of that era and was available in both beige and black color coding. Since the Subaru R-2 had only 2 doors, access to the rear seats was gained by reclining front seats. The cabin could best accommodate 4 passengers. In 1970 the facelift model arrived with new variants featuring revised exterior & interior styling and some upgrades in equipment.
Fast forward 2003, the new R2 could also seat 4 passengers due to its less space-efficient design. It measured 3,395 mm long, 1,475 mm wide and 1,520 mm tall. And besides looks, the compromising interior space was among the key reasons why the Subaru R2 wasn’t able to last for long. It was produced between 2003 and 2010 as a successor of Subaru Pleo however after its production was ended, the R2 was again succeeded by Pleo which emerged as a re-badged Daihatsu Mira. This happened due to Toyota’s heavy investment in Subaru.
Subaru R2 (2003-2010)
Even today one can see the new Subaru Pleo which looks identical to the Daihatsu Mira, apart from emblems of course. Currently all small Subaru kei cars are rebadged Daihatsu models. Subaru Chiffon is a rebadged Daihatsu Tanto, Subaru Dias is a rebadged Daihatsu Atrai, Subaru Stella is a rebadged Daihatsu Move, while Subaru Sambar is rebadged Daihatsu HiJet.