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World Cup of Cars: Cote D’Ivoire vs. Japan

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World Cup of Cars: Cote D’Ivoire vs. JapanTonight’s World Cup matchup pits Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) against Japan at Arena Pernambuco, Recife. This is an interesting matchup for our World Cup of Cars in that it’s hard to determine just where to go with Japan: Toyota is the biggest automaker in the world, Nissan and Subaru have some of the most ambitious business models in the industry, Honda’s lineup contains three insanely popular models, Mazda is arguably one of the most fun and exciting brands in the market, and even Mitsubishi, god love ‘em, just won’t die. For all the options available, we figured what the hell, let’s just go with the weird looking Daihatsu Tanto. In the corner of Ivory Coast, we have the Mitsubishi L200 compact pickup. It’s the latest entry in our World Cup of Cars: Cote D’Ivoire vs. Japan. Here we go.

World Cup of Cars: Cote D’Ivoire vs. Japan – Mitsubishi L200 (Cote D’Ivoire)

World Cup of Cars: Cote D’Ivoire vs. Japan

(Source: M 93)

We know, a Mitsubishi truck sounds like an oxymoron or at least a moronic idea, but the L200 has been a serviceable compact pickup that has satisfied (probably) well over 3 million customers worldwide in its lifetime. The L200 is built in Laem Chabang, Thailand and exported to 140 markets including Ivory Coast. The L200 comes in a whole butt-ton of configurations, from a single cab 4×2 with a 2.5-liter diesel engine that produces a meager 75 horsepower to a double can 4×4 powered by a turbodiesel that nearly doubles the horsepower. It’s a truck made by Mitsubishi. It is most definitely that.

World Cup of Cars: Cote D’Ivoire vs. Japan – Daihatsu Tanto (Japan)World Cup of Cars: Cote D’Ivoire vs. Japan

You might be wondering how in the hell this thing is among the most popular cars in a country that prides itself on finesse in form and fashion, but it’s among the leaders in Japan’s popular Kei car (light, small car) segment. What can definitely be said about the Tanto: it is a bizarre little box on wheels that inexplicably makes stuff like the xB somehow look like the most handsome dude at the dance. Way to keep on keeping on, Daihatsu.

We’re going to give the edge to Mitsubishi on this one (bet you that’s probably the first time anybody has said that in, oh, 20 years). The L200 may not be anything spectacular, but it’s diverse, functional, and perhaps most importantly, not a hideous mobile squarebeast. Good for you, Mitsubishi!

You can watch Cote D’Ivoire vs. Japan tonight at 9pm EST on ESPN.