Perodua D55L SUV Archive

  • 2021 Perodua D55L SUV – everything we know so far

    Perodua D55L render

    It’s no secret that Perodua has a new compact SUV on the way, which will take its place above the Myvi in the local line-up. Currently without a name and commonly referred to as the D55L, this will be the national carmaker’s next product that will look to draw in massive sales figures, given the popularity of SUVs these days.

    Unfortunately, we won’t see the finished D55L in full this year, despite what was mentioned in previous reports. Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad stated back in August that due to the movement control order (MCO), the launch schedule for the D55L had to be adjusted, so we’ll probably have to wait until 2021 to see what’s what.

    A recent sighting of a camouflaged D55L is a good sign that the company is on track to deliver, and is bound to generate plenty of buzz in our local automotive sphere. So, to bring you up to speed, here’s what we know about the D55L so far.

    Perodua D55L render

    Why is everyone calling it the Perodua D55L?

    Well, that’s because it doesn’t have an official name yet, and it is internally known as the D55L. This alphanumeric style of naming projects has been the case with Perodua models for some time, as the Aruz was known as the D38L, the current Myvi was referred to as the D20N, the Axia as the D87A, and the Bezza as the D63D.

    I keep hearing about the Daihatsu Rocky when the Perodua D55L is mentioned. What’s up with that?

    During Perodua’s full year review last year, the company revealed that it plans to develop models based on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA), which is what underpins the latest Rocky as well the rebadged Toyota Raize.

    So, yes, the D55L is expected use the same platform as the Rocky, but it is likely not a straight rebadge, as was the case with Perodua’s previous SUV efforts like the Kembara and Nautica – both were based on the Terios at the time.

    Daihatsu Rocky (left), Perodua D55L prototype (right)

    As we’ve seen with the Myvi, which has an upper body and interior that was fully designed by Perodua, as well as the Aruz that differs (inside and out) from the current Terios and Toyota Rush, the fruitful partnership has allowed Daihatsu to entrust the national carmaker to perform its own development work and change the design of vehicles as they see fit.

    Based on recent spyshots of the D55L, we can see that the overall profile doesn’t differ much from the Rocky, but there are changes to its front and rear, as suggested by the heavy camouflage the prototype is wearing. As a result, expect the D55L to have noticeably different exterior design compared to its Daihatsu sibling, and this should extend to its interior, which should receive Malaysian touches – cue the tapau and teh tarik hooks.

    When you say “compact SUV,” how small will the Perodua D55L be?

    If we look at the Rocky, it measures 3,995 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and 1,620 mm tall, and has a wheelbase that spans 2,525 mm. These figures should also apply to the D55L, given its association to the Rocky, and shouldn’t differ significantly.

    Compared to Perodua’s previous compact SUVs, the Rocky occupies a larger footprint compared to the Kembara, which was 3,890 mm long, 1,555 mm wide, 1715 mm tall, and with a 2,420 mm wheelbase. However, it’s dwarfed by the Nautica that was 4,115 mm long, 1,695 mm wide, 1,740 mm tall, and had a 2,580 mm wheelbase.

    Click to enlarge

    Ok, so what’s going to be under the bonnet?

    A good question, but one that doesn’t have an outright answer for now. As the D55L will have Rocky underpinnings, it can be assumed that the engine used will be the same too. In Japan, the Rocky is offered with a sole powertrain, consisting of a 1KR-VET 1.0 litre (996 cc) turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that makes 98 PS (97 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm.

    If the engine code sounds familiar, it is essentially the turbocharged version of the 1KR-VE currently used in the Axia and Bezza. The 1KR-VET features variable valve timing, DOHC, 12 valves and an idling stop system, with a CVT being its only transmission pairing over there. Front- and all-wheel drive are available, although the former is more likely for our part of the world.

    It would certainly be big news if we do get the D55L with the 1KR-VET and a CVT, as it would mark the first time a Perodua model gets turbocharging as well as a transmission that isn’t a conventional torque converter automatic.

    There is some evidence that points towards this powertrain package being used, as back in December last year, two units of the Daihatsu Thor were spotted in Melaka with an attached transmission cooler. The Thor has the same setup as the Rocky, and it was assumed that Perodua is testing this package to ensure it can cope with our demanding climate.

    Daihatsu Rocky interior

    When will the Perodua D55L be launched? How much?

    Definitely not in 2020, as mentioned at the start, so expect a launch to take place some time in 2021. An exact date hasn’t been announced for now, and the pricing is also another mystery. Perodua’s current line-up is priced from RM23,367 for a base Axia 1.0 E, and goes all the way up to RM73,226 for the range-topping Aruz 1.5 AV.

    Seeing how the D55L will take its place below the larger Aruz, which starts from RM68,526, a price range that is from around the RM50,000 mark is possible, although this will overlap with the Myvi range. That shouldn’t be a big concern, because if you want a hatchback, you’d go with the Myvi, and if you wanted an SUV, there’s the D55L.

    Will it compete directly against the Proton X50?

    On paper, no. The D55L is more of a really, really small B-segment model – it’s actually closer to being an A-segment and is known as such in Japan – given its purported dimensions, while the X50 is a properly-sized B-segment SUV. Bringing out the figures, X50 is larger than the Rocky, as it is 4,330 mm long, 1,800 mm wide, 1,609 mm tall, and has 2,600 mm wheelbase.

    As such, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but those in the market for a compact SUV from a local brand will likely have both models under consideration before making a purchase. It isn’t far-fetched to assume that the D55L will be priced even lower than Aruz, as we just talked about, so it should be considerably cheaper than the X50 that starts well above the entire Perodua range, from RM79,200

    Perodua D55L prototype

    What equipment can we expect?

    Once again, we have to look to the Rocky for a rough idea. The SUV in Japan, in its highest grade, comes with LED headlights, fog lights, daytime running lights and taillights, along with 17-inch wheels, a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster display, automatic air-conditioning, and a nine-inch touchscreen head unit. By right, it shouldn’t be worse than the Myvi, as the hatchback already has keyless entry and engine start, as well as LED headlamps across the board.

    On the safety front, the Rocky has the usual passive systems like Vehicle Stability Control, traction control, ABS, EBD, brake assist, six airbags and Isofix child seat anchors. As for active safety systems, the list includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep warning and assist, a blind spot monitor, auto high beam, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane keep control, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking assist.

    Perodua has said in the past that it intends to keep up with global trends, so Level 2 autonomous driving systems, like some mentioned above, are likely to be fitted to the D55L, at least on higher variants. Given that many of its models like the Axia, Aruz, Myvi and Bezza have Perodua’s Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) suite, which includes AEB, we reckon the D55L will also follow suit.

    Anything else?

    We’ve already written a few articles in the past related to the D55L, so here’s a list of them for further reading:

    We will continuously update this post with more information as and when they become available, so keep an eye on this space to know more about the upcoming Perodua D55L.

  • SPYSHOT: Perodua D55L SUV, first sighting of Rocky!

    Finally! This is our first sighting of the upcoming Perodua D55L SUV, which will be the market leader’s first compact SUV since the Kembara and the limited run CBU Nautica. The image above was captured outside JPJ/MoT in Putrajaya, and it shows a compact SUV on a car transporter that clearly belongs to Perodua – it has Aruz banners.

    This has been coming – we’ve heard plenty of it, albeit in P2’s typical veiled style. Codenamed D55L, the B-segment SUV (it’s a fair bit smaller than the Proton X50, Honda HR-V though – compare specs here) is based on the Daihatsu Rocky, which is also sold in Japan as the Toyota Raize. Perodua provided Malaysian input in the development, and that’s perhaps why the Rocky’s rear end might look familiar to Malaysians.

    Sitting on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA), the Rocky is powered by a 1.0 litre turbocharged engine with 98 PS and 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm. The boosted three-pot is paired to a CVT and sends power to the front wheels, but as with most cars in Japan, AWD is an option. The Rocky’s WLTP fuel economy is rated at 18.6 km/l for the FWD.

    Click to enlarge

    The DNGA platform is confirmed (a first for P2) and the turbo engine is expected to feature in the yet-to-be-named Perodua SUV, along with Level 2 autonomous driving. All are next steps up from what P2 is offering now, and Perodua’s Rocky will also be the first model shared with a JDM in a long time.

    We had a chat with Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad on the sidelines of last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, where the Rocky made a surprise debut – plenty of nuggets here.

    Perodua has already said that the D55L will not be launched this year, so a Q1 2021 debut perhaps? And before you compare this with the just-launched Proton X50, the Perodua is not exactly a direct rival – the sub-4m D55L/Rocky is smaller in footprint and engine, and should also undercut the X50 (RM79k to RM103k) in price and running costs.

    GALLERY: Daihatsu Rocky Sporty Style

    GALLERY: Daihatsu Rocky

  • Perodua D55L SUV not being launched this year

    If you’ve been waiting for the arrival of Perodua’s new compact SUV, you’ll now have to wait until 2021 before you can get up close and personal with one, because the as-yet-unnamed D55L won’t be making its market debut this year.

    At a press conference following a Perodua vendor certification event hosted by Malaysia Automotive, Robotics & IoT Institute (MARii) yesterday, we asked Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad for an update on the anticipated arrival of the new B-segment SUV, and whether the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had altered the timeline of its introduction.

    The reply intimated that it had, and what was surprising was the indication that it was never scheduled to appear this year, despite word on the grapevine in January having suggested that the new SUV was set to be launched sometime in the second half of 2020, with all previous indicators pointing to this.

    “I cannot say when, but even in our original plan it wasn’t going to be launched this year. However, as a result of the movement control order (MCO) and so on, we have to re-look at the schedule, and at this moment we have not decided on a launch timeline yet,” he replied.

    It could well be that the pandemic and resulting lockdown a few months back has interrupted or delayed plans to complete its enhancement of its manufacturing facilities as scheduled. At its 2019 full-year review presentation in January, the company said it planned to invest RM1.06 billion, double what it spent in 2019, on plant modernisation, building expansion as well as in preparation for a “future model,” which is expected to be the SUV.

    The unexpected increased demand for its current models as a result of the government’s sales tax exemption, which is in place until the end of the year, may also be another reason that the D55L’s introduction has been moved to a later date. Presently, the national carmaker is assembling around 25,000 units a month on average, which is almost 98 to 99% of its production capacity.

    Zainal said that this would continue right into December to meet demand. From a business perspective, the prioritising makes perfect sense, with the rush to get as many cars out before the tax holiday ends on December 31 the right way to go, more so with the waiting period already stretching to two months at present.

    The D55L will be a close relative of the Daihatsu Rocky and Toyota Raize twins, which have been on sale in Japan since late last year. The JDM offerings measure just 3,995 mm long and 1,695 mm wide and are powered by 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine making 98 PS and 140 Nm of torque, paired with a CVT.

    So, those expecting the much-anticipated showdown between the new P2 SUV and the Proton X50 will have to wait until 2021 before that materialises. The Proton SUV will arrive on the scene first, for sure – its appearance may be just around the corner.

    GALLERY: Daihatsu Rocky, 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

  • Perodua D55L SUV: DNGA confirmed, 1.0L Turbo, electrification, autonomous drive likely – launch Q4?

    Perodua today presented its full year review, where it revealed its sales performance for 2019, along with a bevy of other information. One of the highlights of the presentation was the strategic direction that the company is taking with regards to its future.

    It’s well known that Perodua has been working closely with Daihatsu for a very long time, and the national carmaker is aiming to take things to the next level by becoming a global player as an ASEAN development hub.

    In one of the slides, we see that it plans to develop models based on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA), which is also used for the Rocky, a model that has been widely associated as the base for Perodua’s upcoming D55L B-segment compact SUV.

    While there’s no official word that the D55L will indeed be based on the Rocky, the evidence has been very strong that this is indeed the case. Further reinforcing this notion is, when asked about the D55L project, Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad replied, “our next model will use DNGA platform,” without disclosing further details.

    Perodua’s outlook on future market trends like downsized, turbocharged engines supports this assumption, especially as the Rocky is powered by a 1.0 litre turbocharged engine. Perodua posits the use of such engines, as their smaller capacity equates to less road tax, which bodes well for affordability. Additionally, turbo engines can provide the same power output as NA engines with larger capacities, and their more compact size contributes to better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

    Other features we can look forward to with the D55L include the adoption of Level 2 autonomous driving system, which is available with the Rocky. Other trends that Perodua are keeping an eye on include electrification, although this could be approached in a lighter fashion, with mild hybrid technology being deployed before more advanced ones like full hybrids or even plug-in hybrids.

    The carmaker is also looking to reduce the takt time – the average time between the start of production of one unit and the start of production of the next unit – at its two production entities, namely Perodua Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (PMSB) and Perodua Global Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (PGMSB).

    Currently, the Myvi is made at PMSB with a takt time of 1.8 minutes, while the Axia and Bezza come from PGMSB. The newer PGMSB plant is more of interest, as the company is looking to reduce its takt time from two minutes to 1.6 minutes by September this year.

    While Datuk Zainal did say this was meant to facilitate more production of the facelifted Bezza, it isn’t far-fetched to assume that the lower takt time could be part of efforts to slot in production of the D55L as well, with a Q4 2020 launch likely.

    Adding to this is the fact that Perodua will increase its investment this year by RM490.1 million to RM1.06 billion, with 20% (around RM200 million) being dedicated to enhancing its manufacturing facilities. This is another indicator that the company is gearing up to ensure sufficient supply of the D55L when it is launched.

    If that isn’t enough additional proof, Datuk Zainal also stated that Perodua has the capability to introduce one facelift and one new model each year. Given that the Bezza already received its facelift this year, there’s only a new model to look forward to this year, and that is very likely the D55L.

  • Perodua D55L SUV coming second half of 2020: report

    Perodua’s upcoming B-segment SUV, codenamed D55L, is one highly-anticipated product – and word on the vine is that the car is set for launch in the second half of the year, according to the research arm of Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF).

    Writing for The Edge, the firm suggests that the car will slot below the larger seven-seater Aruz, which is priced between RM72,900 and RM77,900. If that is indeed the case, it could very well cannibalise sales of the Myvi, which tops out at RM52,186.

    The D55L will be a close relative of the Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize twins, both of which went on sale in Japan in November. The two cars measure just 3,995 mm long and 1,695 mm wide and are powered by 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine making 98 PS and 140 Nm of torque, paired to a CVT.

    No word on whether this engine and transmission combination will make it to the D55L, but Perodua has recently been spotted testing a Daihatsu Thor on local roads, which comes with the same powertrain.

    GALLERY: Daihatsu Rocky at Tokyo 2019


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Last Updated 28 Nov 2020