The Perodua Kancil turned 25 last August, and it arrived on the scene as Malaysia’s most affordable new car when it was launched in 1994. It reached 500,000 units in its second generation, with the milestone car being produced in April 2003. What would a present-day version look like?

Rendering whiz Theophilus Chin has offered his take on this. Given the Kancil’s Daihatsu Mira origins, Theo’s rendition retains the kei car proportions albeit with more simplified shutlines and creases compared to the current Daihatsu, particularly around the front end. In a tip of the hat to the original, the present-day rendition also sports a bee-sting antenna at the front of its roof.

At the back, the slight curvature of the C-pillar is somewhat reminiscent of the first-generation Myvi/Daihatsu Sirion, though here the digital rendition of the smaller car also depicts a simplified set of tail lights which are set lower down and interface with the rear bumper. Similarly, its design in profile is also simplfied, where the Kancil rendition does away with the creases along the lower door sections.

The simplified bodywork is in keeping with the Kancil’s budget-conscious roots, and its rolling stock is comprised of steel wheels with plastic covers, says Theo. That said, the modern-day Kancil has been imagined here to be slightly heavier at 900 kg when compared to the original, as the artist imagines the new car to wear thicker sheet metal along with added safety features such as airbags, ABS and stability control.

Theo also rendered a version of the Kancil in base-spec trim

This figure would in fact make it heavier than the Axia, despite measuring marginally smaller on most dimensions – the new Kancil is rendered to be 3,540 mm long with a 2,420 mm wheelbase, 1,641 mm wide and 1,489 mm tall; this compares to the Axia which is 3,640 mm long with a 2,455 mm wheelbase, 1,620 mm wide (the rendered Kancil is 21 mm wider on this count) and 1,510 mm tall.

Its styling also makes for an interesting counterpoint to the entry-level Perodua of today, the Axia, which takes on a bolder, more angular approach to its exterior styling, while Theo’s rendition maintains much of the original’s friendly ‘face’ and a more minimalist set of lines throughout.

The rendering maestro has also made a ‘driving school-spec’ base model, replete with unpainted mirror covers and bumpers, and which Theo says will have wind-up windows, manually-adjusted mirrors, no power steering and no central locking. Should this come to light, might this entry-level variant dip under the RM25,000 mark in today’s money?

The Kancil was succeeded by the Viva which arrived on the scene in 2007, though it remained on sale for a further two years as a more affordable option. The two continued on Perodua’s model line-up until the Kancil bowed out in July 2009, with the nameplate reaching a tally of 722,223 units, and the Axia made its debut in 2014. What do you think of Theo’s idea for a modern-day Kancil, dear readers?

First Perodua Kancil

500,000th Perodua Kancil

2017 Perodua Axia SE facelift