Remember the Perodua Rusa? Launched in 1996 or two years after the first Kancil broke cover, the compact van was a localised remake of the Daihatsu Hijet of the time, aimed at both commercial and private owner usage, and accommodated between two to seven persons depending on configuration. Here, graphic rendering expert Theophilus Chin has turned his attention to what a present-day iteration might look like.

Swapping the name’s ‘s’ for a ‘z’ yields an Aruz anagram, and though the modern SUV’s tall-riding, rear-wheel-drive layout is shared with the Rusa, the latter is a van of a much more basic offering. Much like his Kancil redesign, Theo’s rendition here is based on the 2020 Daihatsu Gran Max, which itself is the direct successor to the Hijet and Zebra that the original Rusa was based on.

The front bumper gets resculpted to house a pair of inserts and the grille is now a larger black panel with the Perodua logo centralised, while the daylight opening of the Gran Max is retained for passenger usage. The front and rear door handles have been refinished to match the exterior bodywork colour, instead of black on the Gran Max.

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Along the sides, the Gran Max to Ruza rendition swaps steel wheels for a set of two-tone alloys from the Aruz, and a set of contrasting trim panels along the lower halves of the front and rear doors to break up the commercial van’s slab-sidedness.

The rear end of the Gran Max is largely retained, save for an additional shark-fin antenna on the roof and tail lamps with pointier top ends, while Theo has also relocated the tailgate key barrel to the centre of the number plate lamp housing, from the original right-hand side location.

Inside, the Gran Max dashboard architecture is carried over, though Theo has added some creature comfort with a multi-function infotainment unit. Here, wind-up windows are swapped for electrically operated units as well, with window switches integrated into the interior door handles. Elsewhere, it retains the Gran Max manual air-conditioning rotary controls and dashboard-mounted gearlever.