We’ve taken a look at the upcoming Perodua Bezza’s pricing, specs and safety performance; now let’s have a closer look at the engines and transmissions that will be offered on the second national carmaker’s first sedan when it launches on July 21. Both mills have either been comprehensively revamped, or are completely new for Perodua.

First, we’ll start with the smaller engine. You’re probably familiar with the all-aluminium 1.0 litre 1KR-DE three-cylinder engine in the Axia, but the one in the Bezza adds VVT-i variable valve timing on the intake valves, creating the new engine designation 1KR-VE. This helps deliver improved fuel consumption, increased power and torque and reduced emissions.

This doesn’t mean that Perodua has simply tacked VVT-i onto the Axia engine and called it a day – there have been a number of specific changes designed to further improve the engine’s performance and efficiency. The compression ratio, for example, is higher than it is on the Axia, at 11.5:1 versus 11.0:1.

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Also added is a high-tumble intake port that increases intake air tumble flow through the use of a funnel-shaped intake port. This increases the velocity of the air coming in, raising the intake volume ratio and resulting in improved combustion efficiency and increased power.

There’s also a longer intake manifold to compensate for the engine’s reduced power when the VVT-i system is in its most economical setting, while a micro spray injector has been incorporated to optimise fuel spray shape and minimise fuel atomisation time, facilitating more rapid combustion. Lastly, the valve lifters have been finely finished to reduce surface roughness by as much as 90%, contributing to lower friction.

The end result is that the Bezza 1.0L makes 67 hp at 6,000 rpm and 91 Nm at 4,400 rpm, modest increases of 1 hp and 1 Nm over the Axia. Fuel consumption is rated at 22.8 km per litre for the manual model and 21.3 km per litre for the automatic, making it even more economical than the Axia (21.6 km/l for M/T, 20.1 km/l for A/T). The engine is Euro 4 compliant, just like the Axia.

Details and specifications for the 1.0 litre 1KR-VE engine. Click to enlarge

Perodua officials claimed that the changes to the engine were necessary for the Bezza to achieve its Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) certification – the Axia could meet standards without VVT-i, but the Bezza is larger and heavier, and hence needed a little bit of help to reach those same standards.

Bigger news is the all-new, also all-aluminium 1.3 litre 1NR-VE four-cylinder engine. Essentially Perodua’s version of Toyota’s 1NR-FE mill used in the Indonesian-market Avanza, the engine is built at the new engine plant in Sendayan and is a development of Daihatsu’s K3 engine family – including the K3-VE engine used in the Myvi 1.3L. It’s actually slightly bigger than the Myvi’s engine, measuring 1,329 cc instead of 1,298 cc.

The main addition to the engine is Dual VVT-i, meaning that it has variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust valves. The valvetrain also employs roller rocker arms instead of a direct sliding system to reduce friction and improve fuel efficiency, while the intake system has been optimised with longer ports for improved low- and mid-range torque.

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Meanwhile, the cylinder head has also been redesigned with optimised intake and exhaust ports, as well as a revised combustion chamber shape. As with the 1.0 litre mill, the compression ratio stands at 11.5:1, a significant increase from the Myvi’s 10.0:1.

Outputs are rated at 94 hp at 6,000 rpm and 121 Nm at 4,000 rpm, 5 hp and 4 Nm up on the Myvi 1.3L, and fuel consumption is rated at 21.7 km per litre for the manual and 21.0 km per litre for the automatic. The auto-only Advance model achieves 22.0 km per litre, thanks to the inclusion of Eco Idle automatic start-stop system and regenerative braking. This engine also meets Euro 4 emissions standards.

Details and specifications for the 1.0 litre 1NR-VE engine. Click to enlarge

But the changes don’t stop there – there have also been revisions made to the electronically-controlled four-speed automatic transmission (E-AT) to reduce mechanical losses, while the transmission lock-up range has been expanded in third and fourth gear during acceleration and steady-state running; lock-up has also been added to these ratios under deceleration. Perodua has also increased fuel cut time under deceleration.

In summary, the numerous small but significant changes to the Axia’s 1.0 litre engine and four-speed automatic transmission, and the new 1.3 litre engine has made the Bezza the most fuel efficient model in Perodua history, all while improving performance over past models. Want to know how it all comes together? Read our review here.

GALLERY: Perodua Bezza 1.3 Advance