Perodua Ativa Hybrid soon? Daihatsu Rocky e-Smart Hybrid revealed – 106 PS electric motor, 1.2L generator

Perodua Ativa Hybrid soon? Daihatsu Rocky e-Smart Hybrid revealed – 106 PS electric motor, 1.2L generator

After months of reports, leaks and spyshots, the Daihatsu Rocky e-Smart Hybrid has finally been launched in Japan. The petrol-electric powertrain is important in our local context because it is widely tipped to make its way into the Perodua Ativa, given that Perodua has already been seen testing the hybrid SUV here.

The main event is under the bonnet, where you’ll find a series hybrid system akin to Nissan’s e-Power vehicles. The car is powered exclusively by a 106 PS/170 Nm electric motor, with the WA-VEX 1.2 litre Atkinson-cycle three-cylinder engine acting solely as a generator (a range extender of sorts). That mill produces 82 PS at 5,600 rpm and 105 Nm of torque from 3,200 to 5,200 rpm.

This arrangement, which eliminates the usual transmission and places the electric propulsion motor and motor-generator units in parallel, makes for a more compact layout – Daihatsu says it intends to fit the e-Smart Hybrid system to tiny kei cars next. The company also claims the electric motor provides strong performance at low and medium speeds, making it suitable for small cars in urban environments.

Another benefit of the system is that the lithium-ion battery can be made quite small and cost-effective, with a capacity of 4.3 Ah. All this enables the Rocky e-Smart Hybrid to hit a fuel efficiency figure of 28 km per litre (3.6 litres per 100 km) on the WLTP cycle.

In addition, the Rocky comes with a “Smart Pedal” feature that enables one-pedal driving, with normal and eco modes varying the throttle response. Increased sound insulation on the bonnet and under the engine cover and dashboard also muffle the sound of the engine when it is being used.

An exclusive honeycomb grille and e-Smart badges on the front fenders and tailgate differentiate the hybrid from other models. Buyers can also specify an external power supply function that can be used to charge electronic devices and appliances during emergencies.

Perodua Ativa Hybrid soon? Daihatsu Rocky e-Smart Hybrid revealed – 106 PS electric motor, 1.2L generator

The launch of the e-Smart Hybrid coincides with a mild refresh for the wider Rocky lineup. Notably, the WA-VE 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated three-pot that was introduced in Indonesia earlier this year has now been fitted across the entire front-wheel-drive lineup. It replaces the 1KR-VET 1.0 litre turbocharged engine, which is now only available in all-wheel-drive form.

Ostensibly, the biggest benefit is better fuel efficiency, with the 1.2 litre models now achieving a WLTP-rated figure of 20.7 km per litre (4.8 litres per 100 km), 10% higher than what the 1.0 litre mill could muster. This lowers the price of the vehicle by making it eligible for an eco-car tax reduction and an environmental performance reduction.

The improved fuel consumption comes at the cost of performance, however – outputs are rated at 87 PS at 6,000 rpm and 113 Nm at 4,500 rpm, down 11 PS and 27 Nm over the turbo engine. It is mated to the same CVT as the 1.0 litre Rocky models.

Perodua Ativa Hybrid soon? Daihatsu Rocky e-Smart Hybrid revealed – 106 PS electric motor, 1.2L generator

Other changes include the fitment of an electronic parking brake with auto hold, which also enables the addition of a stop and go function for the adaptive cruise control. Speaking of driver assistance tech, the Rocky gets an improved stereo windscreen camera, adding nighttime pedestrian detection to autonomous emergency braking and increasing the number of signs the traffic sign recognition system can detect.

New features include a roadside deviation warning function and a stagger warning to alert the driver if they are driving the car in a swaying manner. Lastly, the Rocky now comes with a cornering trace assist function that essentially works as a form of torque vectoring, braking an inside wheel if it sense understeer.

Prices for the revised Rocky range starts from 1,667,000 yen (RM60,700) for the base 1.2 litre L variant. The e-Smart Hybrid model is available in X HEV and Premium G HEV variants, priced at 2,116,000 (RM77,000) and 2,347,000 yen (RM85,400) respectively.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • Green on Nov 02, 2021 at 11:57 am

    1.2BEV. 28km/L WLTC.

    Very good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • Alvin on Nov 02, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    Toyota Raize also have the same 1.2BEV.

    To compare.
    Vezel HR-V 1.5L 17km/L WLTC
    Raize BEV1.2L 170Nm 28km/L WLTC

    DnGA BEV 1.2L More fun low end torque, more fuel saving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • Wow,! This would be a better buy than Corolla cross.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
  • Lolwhut? on Nov 02, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    A hybrid with engine bigger than IE version?! LOL epic fail wei! What’s the point of going hybrid then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 17
  • Good, sure buy if the price is right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Only if the new Hybrids boosts torque like CRZ MT on Jul 29, 2022 at 1:51 am

    Rocky’s bumper aesthetics way nicer than our version here, not to mention the overdone Gear Up kits *facepalm*

    What they tryin to impose with those kind of image on their typical small cars also like the Gear Ups for Maibi Beja, Axia’s SUV Style is nice and just adequate though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
    • CheeSiong on Nov 30, 2022 at 12:00 pm

      I just learnt this car is already on our local roads. How can we get one?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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