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By now, you would have seen the Daihatsu New Compact SUV from our 2019 Tokyo Motor Show coverage. A surprise debutant, the still unnamed B-segment crossover by Daihatsu is set to be sold in its home market wearing both D and T badges – parent company Toyota will market the Daihatsu Kyushu-made car as the Toyota Raize, with a different face.

The car is set to reach Malaysia, where Perodua would be planning its version of the New Compact SUV – locally made, of course. Asked to comment on the possibility of the Daihatsu showcar being the upcoming Perodua D55L B-segment SUV, Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad stopped short of an outright “yes”, but gave us plenty of hints at the sidelines of TMS 2019.

Things to expect with the D55L are the all-new Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform (which is designed for the future and will be making its debut in P2’s line-up), the possibility of a downsized 1.0 litre turbocharged engine (as seen on the Daihatsu showcar) and Perodua-specific design.

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Already, the Daihatsu car we saw was a collaborative effort, with Perodua having a hand in the final design of the JDM vehicle. This is perhaps most obvious at the SUV’s rear, which bears resemblance to the current Perodua Myvi. Of course, the Myvi’s design is a fully-Malaysian effort, just like the Perodua Bezza – there are no Daihatsu equivalents of both cars (the Indonesian-market Daihatsu Sirion is a rebadged Myvi made by P2).

Here, you’re looking at renders that we commissioned Theophilus Chin to digitally produce, based on our live shots from Tokyo. It’s pretty much the same car, except for changed bumpers and some plastic trim, a unique grille and the removal of the black/floating roof of the showcar. Styling changes should be limited, as doing more would defeat the cost purpose of sharing a car between brands.

We’ll focus on the front end, as that’s where the Perodua D55L will be most differentiated from the Daihatsu, as it is with the Toyota Raize. The scaled LED headlamps are intact, but we gave the Perodua a stronger “X” theme to the face, which is what we can expect from future Peroduas, according to P2 chief designer Muhamad Zamuren. That, and the horizontal LED daytime running lamps, are in reference to the Perodua X-Concept from KLIMS 2018.

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Theo also put in a grille that’s visually connected to the headlamps, Aruz-style. The look is then garnished by silver-painted “skid plates” for that all-important rugged SUV look. Personally, I prefer this over the Daihatsu face, which reminds me too much of Subaru. This writer’s theory is that the kei-car specialist does not have a family look, as Japan’s micro cars are much like cartoon characters, in that each character has its own face.

At the rear, we kept the Myvi-esque bum pretty much intact, save for slight mods to the bumper for a mirror of the X-theme – the reflectors of the original car, which was at the lowest point of the bumper, have been moved up to the fake vents, which themselves have a different design and are now visually linked by black plastic.

Further up, besides the badge swap, Theo neatly integrated a chrome wing strip, which conveniently flows into the white portion of the taillamp cluster. Very Perodua, right? Tell us what you think of our vision of the upcoming Perodua D55L B-segment SUV, based on the Daihatsu New Compact SUV. Do you prefer this look, the original face, or the Toyota Raize’s big mouth?


GALLERY: Daihatsu New Compact SUV at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show


GALLERY: Perodua X-Concept at KLIMS 2018