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Reports have been coming out from Japan that Daihatsu is preparing a new MPV, and Indonesian media are linking that to a new generation Daihatsu Xenia, which is the Toyota Avanza with a D badge. All under the same umbrella, of course, including Malaysian market leader Perodua.

According to Japanese reports, picked up by Autonetmagz, the upcoming Daihatsu MPV will have three rows of seats and six seats, which reminds us of the Daihatsu DN Multisix concept that made two motor show appearances in 2017 – first at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show, and then the Tokyo Motor Show two months later.

At TMS 2017, the Multisix sat alongside the DN Trec concept, which has morphed into today’s production Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize, which is set to arrive soon as the Perodua D55L SUV. The MPV’s turn next?

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There’s more. Apparently, the rumoured new model – which will be underpinned by the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform – will have 1.0 litre turbo power as well as a 1.2 litre hybrid option. Toyota Astra Motor has said that it will introduce an electrified model this year in Indonesia – will it be a hybrid-powered Avanza/Xenia? While connecting the dots, the report from our neighbouring market mentions a December 2020 debut for this new model. Nothing has been confirmed, of course.

While we’re at it, let’s recap to late last year, when we linked the next-gen 2021 Perodua Alza D27A to the upcoming next-gen Daihatsu Xenia/Toyota Avanza. In October 2019, Perodua was caught testing the a Mitsubishi Xpander, a Suzuki Ertiga and a suspect-looking Toyota Avanza with a Genting Highlands climb.

We said then that an all-new Alza could very well share a platform with the next Avanza, as Daihatsu in Indonesia and Perodua in Malaysia are all part of the greater Toyota family. Indeed, Perodua produces certain T-badged models, and the NR engine it makes in Negeri Sembilan is supplied to Toyota as well.

Perodua was caught testing a funny-looking Avanza with budget MPV rivals last year

It’s pretty much the same arrangement in Indonesia, where Astra Daihatsu Motor (ADM) takes the development lead in joint Daihatsu-Toyota models (Ayla-Agya, Sigra-Calya and Terios-Rush) and manufactures the budget Toyotas as well.

A new Alza going the shared underpinnings with ADM route also follows the trend where Perodua no longer bases its core models on JDM cars (like the Alza and previous-gen Myvis), but shares basics with its Indonesian counterpart while developing an in-house top hat upper body design plus interior. The current Myvi is the best example of P2’s R&D capabilities – the hatchback is unique to Malaysia and isn’t a restyled Daihatsu. We could be looking at more integration, and the next Alza could well be a mainstream Low MPV contender instead of a JDM oddity.

Now, it appears likely that the next-gen Alza-Avanza will utilise the DNGA platform as well as some downsized turbo engine, with a hybrid possibility. Not out of the world at all, because the upcoming D55L SUV is set to pave the way for the platform and 1.0T engine in Malaysia. Over ten years have passed since the Alza first surfaced, so a big leap in tech is due – what say you?

GALLERY: Daihatsu DN Multisix at Tokyo 2017


GALLERY: Daihatsu DN Multisix at GIIAS 2017