Even if you haven’t made your way to KLIMS13 yet, by now you’d have seen the Perodua Buddyz Concept sedan from every angle possible in our comprehensive coverage here. But, how much do you know about the car itself, other than how it looks?

The official video above briefly explains the thoughts behind Perodua’s new sedan concept. Still want more? That’s where we come in. paultan.org was granted an exclusive interview with the Buddyz’s Chief Designer, Muhamad Zamuren Musa.

We discussed the design study’s opinion-dividing looks, name, and underlying design principles. Read on to find out more about the Perodua Buddyz Concept.

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For a start, do explain the concept’s peculiar choice of name: Buddyz.

It’s all about the car’s target market and character. The previous Bezza Concept was designed predominantly for Generation Y. While this new car is based on the same concept, it also caters to the younger Generation Z. So that’s Y and Z.

At the same time, we would like to build on the close relationship between the user and his or her car, which can be described as an on-going friendship. That’s how we decided on the name Buddyz – a buddy to generations Y and Z.

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So you are targeting much younger customers than before, then?

Absolutely. The concept of this car is built on meeting the demands and requirements of the new age – the digital natives. Now, people are reliant on connectivity, while also having a more active lifestyle. The Buddyz features various connectivity options, and is both practical and versatile to suit their modern lifestyles.

It is a car that’s fit for young singles and fresh graduates, and will continue to be useful once they’ve moved up in life, get married and have a kid or two.

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Let’s move on to the looks. It’s polarising to say the least.

People say this now, but remember, when the original Perodua Kancil was first introduced, many commented that the car was not good; not safe. The general consensus was rather negative.

In time, however, more and more accepted the design, size, height, and we proved that it was the right solution to local needs. As it turned out, the Kancil became hugely successful, and we sold over one million units of it.

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It doesn’t look like a typical sedan. Wouldn’t a traditional three-box approach be more widely acceptable?

If we had followed the market trend, our sedan would be just another Honda City or Toyota Vios. But no, we wanted to make it different. Why? Because we understand that our customers prefer a tall interior, and that they put a heavy emphasis on interior space over everything else. This solution is ideal for those very needs.

All our cars have good interior space, but being primarily small hatchbacks, there’s always an issue of luggage room. Absolute boot capacity is small, so for long journeys, especially for balik kampung usage for example, the rear compartment may prove insufficient for some. This car fills that void in our vehicle range.

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But it looks so tall. Some may not even consider it a sedan.

As Perodua’s first attempt at building a sedan, we want to play to our strengths, which is building compact cars. So the target was to make a sub-B segment vehicle of 4 metres long, and maximise it in terms of total interior length and height. We can make it longer, sure, but it won’t be as easy to manoeuvre, and fuel consumption and ergonomics will suffer as consequences.

We set out to get the best design and packaging we could. In order to get a good silhouette, we have to compromise on interior space. But we didn’t want to. This car’s interior is as big as a Myvi’s. We’ve achieved amazing results in terms of interior space. In terms of shape and packaging, the Buddyz strikes the right balance.

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How far along is the development of this model?

Purely in terms of this design, we started earlier this year. But the development project started well before we showed you the Bezza Concept three years ago. We wish to venture into the sedan category, which is completely new to us, so it’s taking us a long time to complete.

We know hatchbacks well, but for this one, we really have to understand the requirements and expectations from our customers first. This is already our second attempt at a sedan (after the Bezza), so we will proceed once we get sufficiently positive feedback.

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In terms of positioning, how will the sedan fit into Perodua’s current model range?

Perodua always has a lot of variants for each model: from low to high, plus the SE, so there will be some overlap in our range. When we do make the sedan, it will fit in between the Myvi and Alza.

Perodua showed the Bezza at KLIMS10, and now the Buddyz in KLIMS13. Will we see the production version at the next KL Motor Show?

We really do hope so. That is, if we do have a next KLIMS (laughs).

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So there you have it, a closer insight into the workings behind Perodua’s new concept sedan. We have more coming on the Buddyz, though, so do stay tuned. For now, enjoy the fresh batch of pictures below, or go and have a look at the concept yourself at the on-going KLIMS13 in PWTC.

After all, this could well preview Malaysia’s hottest new sedan in the near future.

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