An undisguised photo of what appears to be Perodua’s next car was leaked onto the internet today. The photo seems to have been snapped inside some kind of storage area. Today we’ll show you an artist’s impression based on that photo, prepared by our rendering whiz buddy Theophilus Chin.

The design of the car that was leaked looks rather radical, like an interpretation of the Lexus spindle grille on a small hatchback. This leads us to believe that this will not be how the basic model will look like. It could be some kind of ‘Axia SE’ or ‘Axia Extreme’ model, if Perodua continues with the Myvi variant naming scheme.

A tamer look would be quite suitable for the baseline model – can you imagine the streets filled with angry-looking hatchbacks like this?

Will the new hatchback be called the Perodua Axia?

Perodua filed for the trademark ‘Axia’ with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) in February 2014, under class 12 and class 37, which are generally car-related. Then in late May 2014, it filed for two additional trademarks – ‘Atrivia’ and ‘Eliana’, under the same classes.

When the Axia name was discovered, Perodua president Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said it was not the only name submitted, and that Perodua had not decided on a name. So it could either be Axia, Atrivia or Eliana for now. Which name do you prefer? We like Axia, as it’s short, sweet, and follows Perodua’s current two-syllable, four-letter naming convention.

Is this new Perodua based on a Daihatsu car?

The two photos above show a Daihatsu Ayla with light disguise running around with a trade plate in Malaysia. Perodua says its new Global EEV hatchback will be built on a licensed Daihatsu platform, but will use its own body. The Daihatsu Ayla itself is based on the Japanese market Daihatsu Mira e:S, and the new Perodua will likely share this platform as well.

From the leaked photo, it looks like Perodua has gone with the tried and tested formula of giving a Daihatsu its own-designed front and rear end. The whole front end, including the headlamps, are bespoke. The big gaping mouth design seems to have been inspired by the original Daihatsu design but in inverted fashion – while the Daihatsu grille is wider at the top, Perodua’s grille is wider at the bottom.

What will the interior look like?

Perodua gave us a preview of what the new hatchback’s interior will look like at last year’s KLIMS13 motor show. There was a model interior on show called the Perodua Global Model A (GMA) Segment Space concept.

Compare it to the Daihatsu Ayla’s interior as well as the Mira e:S interior and you can see that the Perodua interior is closer to the more conventional-looking Ayla interior styling rather than the Mira e:S interior, which is done in a quirkier Japanese style.

What engines will the new hatchback be available with?


So far we’ve only heard of a single engine, and it was previewed at last year’s KLIMS13 show as well. Perodua calls it the 1KR, obviously based on Daihatsu’s 1KR-FE three-cylinder engine. The 998cc all-aluminium 12-valve DOHC engine (first for a Perodua) will produce 66 PS at 5,000 rpm and 87 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm. Compression ratio has been increased to 11:1, however the new engine lacks variable valve timing.

Being made of aluminium, it weighs 69 kg, which is 10 kg lighter than the 1.0 litre cast iron block engine that Perodua currently uses. This is the same engine used in the Daihatsu Ayla, where it is mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.

Perodua claims the new engine will be able to deliver a minimum fuel consumption of 20-22 km per litre. The Ayla is claimed to be able to do that, which qualifies it for Indonesia’s Low Cost Green Car programme requirements.

Where will the new Perodua be built?

Daihatsu Kyushu-7

The new Perodua will be built at a new Perodua factory which is currently being built next to the current one. The new RM790 million 65,000 sq ft factory is said to mirror Daihatsu Motor Kyushu’s best practices, technology and low defect rate – we’ve detailed some of those in a visit to DKC’s Nakatsu Plant 2 last year. All key features of Nakatsu Plant 2, from the jigless concept to slippers and water-based paint, will be emulated by the new Perodua plant. A group of 130 Perodua staff have undergone training at DKC, and will be the ‘trainers’ back in Malaysia.

“The new plant will have an improved DPU rate of 0.05%, which is a world standard. We plan to achieve a world-class level through this new plant,” Perodua executive director Zainal Abidin Ahmad told us, adding that the current DPU rate at Perodua is between 0.06% and 0.08%.

When is the launch date?

Perodua has remained tight-tipped on this so far, but we’re fairly sure it will be launched this year. It’s the year of the small hatchbacks, with the market eagerly awaiting for both the Perodua hatchback and the Proton GSC to be launched.

They don’t compete in the same segment though, with the Proton GSC gunning for the B-segment market (Kia Rio, Perodua Myvi) while this new Perodua is an A-segment car (Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10).