Daihatsu UFC-3 IIMS- 18

Greetings from Jakarta, where the press day of the 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) kicked off earlier today. The annual show in this sprawling capital is as vibrant as the Indonesian car market itself, which is set to overtake Thailand as the largest in ASEAN. It’s still held at the JI Expo in Kemayoran, but the show is fast outgrowing the venue.

Daihatsu, a big player in Indonesia, has one of the biggest stands in JI Expo, and the small car expert is showing a couple of concept cars here, some of which are pretty large in size. We start off with the Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept, mid-size three-row MPV around the size of a Perodua Alza.

If the name sounds familiar, the UFC-3 is a development of the UFC-2 Concept that was on show at last year’s IIMS. The original UFC made its debut here in 2012. Compared to the UFC-2, the third concept looks immediately more feasible and less experimental. There’s still plenty of showcar bling, but it’s now possible to envisage a production version of the UFC. By the way, UFC stands for Ultra Function Compact.

Daihatsu UFC-3 IIMS- 9

The showcar was locked but we managed to snap some pics of the cabin, which like the exterior, has showcar gloss over a production-looking basic design. The gear knob is located on the centre console, Perodua-style, while the head unit has the “floating” effect that’s in vogue now.

The local word is that the UFC-3 previews an upcoming “adik Xenia”. The Xenia is a Daihatsu badged Toyota Avanza, the leader in the Low MPV segment that also counts the Suzuki Ertiga, Chevrolet Spin and latest Honda Mobilio as members.

If Daihatsu is indeed planning a cheaper MPV below the Xenia, the UFC could be a Low Cost Green Car (LCGC) budget-MPV rival to the Datsun GO+ Panca, launched earlier this year with prices starting from 85 million Rupiah (RM23,885). Could it also form the basis of the next Perodua Alza? Like what you see?

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