Perodua did something cheeky during the Perodua Axia‘s launch gambit last night. During one of the scenes showcasing the Axia’s claimed fuel economy, the numbers counted up to 18.2 km/L and paused for a while before rising up to the Axia’s claimed 21.6 km/L.

No official word about it, but this is clearly a reference to the Axia’s 1.0 litre 1KR-DE’s number beating the fuel economy figures released by Proton on the PCC/Iriz‘s new 1.6 litre VVT engine last week – 5.5 litres per 100 km at a constant 90 km/h, which translates to 18.2 km/L. Proton also claims NEDC cycle numbers of 6.6 litres and 7.4 litres per 100 km for the manual and CVT variants respectively.

Of course, the Perodua Axia is not in direct competition with the new baby Proton – one being in the A-segment and the other in the B-segment, one having a small three-cylinder engine and the other, a bigger (comparatively, of course) four-cylinder engine – but Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid was quick to wish the first national carmaker well on its new car.

“We wish them well, we hope this is the turning point for Proton,” he said yesterday at the pre-launch press conference. “We are in different segments, and each (product) has its own strengths. Let’s together be successful.”

You can watch the video below for the launch gambit – skip to the 1 minute 26 second mark for the part with the fuel economy numbers.