Most of us are pretty fond of the Perodua Kelisa, the national carmaker’s pint-sized runabout that replaced the Kancil in 2001 before being succeeded by the Viva in 2007. Economical, fun to drive and still commanding a price tag of around RM10,000 on the used car market, there’s just something appealing about the model that was based on the L700 Daihatsu Mira.

Rendering wiz Theophilus Chin feels the same way too, and as a homage to the much-loved Kelisa, he has created this vehicle you see before you. Called the KeliXa, the concept envisions a modern (and imaginary) Kelisa that is positioned between the current Axia and Myvi.

If the shape looks vaguely familiar, you’re probably thinking about the X-Concept that was shown at the 2018 KL International Motor Show, which Theo has already worked on to create an imagining of a next-generation Axia.

While there are some similarities with that earlier creation and the X-Concept, many of the KeliXa’s design elements have been worked on to make them look more “production ready” and striking. Starting from the front, the KeliXa slim (and rather angular) headlamps are a development of the X-Concept’s swooping clusters, and they meet seamlessly with a hexagonal-shaped grille that has a diamond-patterned mesh insert.

In the lower apron, the T-shaped sections of the 2018 show car have been dialed back to become a creased section with the fog lamps positioned vertically above faux intakes. Meanwhile, the lower intake looks more conventional without a bunch of “X” patterns marked on it, and Theo even included a small cutout for the car’s advanced safety system sensor.

Along the sides, KeliXa sports well-defined creases near the front and rear portions of its beltline, with the latter trailing into the taillights and downwards into the rear bumper. The taillights have also been made simpler on the concept, but they extend into the creased section for more visual flair.

Like the X-Concept, the top of the tailgate is “pinched” by the taillight, with the Perodua logo nestled just below a link linking the clusters. Further down, it is all fairly normal, with a blacked-out lower apron that accommodates a number plate holder and reflectors.

Referring to the footprint of the X-Concept that measures 3,750 mm long and 1,665 mm wide, both dimensions put the show car between the Axia (3,640 mm long, 1,620 mm wide) and the Myvi (3,895 mm long, 1,735 mm wide) – even the wheelbase of 2,460 mm is in the middle of the the Axia’s 2,455 mm and Myvi’s 2,500 mm. The company has said the X-Concept serves as a preview of its new design language that will feature in upcoming models, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes next.

What do you think of Theo’s KeliXa? Is it worthy homage to the OG Kelisa? What would you change on it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.