Fri. Oct 18th, 2019

Cars Tune Up

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Perodua D55L SUV mule on test up Genting, dressed as Axia “wagon”

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Perodua D55L SUV mule on test up Genting, dressed as Axia "wagon"

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This is the second time a Perodua development vehicle has been spotted heading up Genting Highlands this week alone! Captured by a long-time paultan.org reader, it appears to be a test mule wearing “Axia wagon” clothes. Look closely and it is clear that the masked car is wider and longer than a regular Axia.

So, what do we have here, then? The Axia mule’s stretched dimensions (notice the much thicker C-pillars, elongated rear doors, patch-up front fenders) point at a bigger model, while the larger wheel arches with sizeable tyres and wheels hint at possible SUV/crossover. You’re likely looking at the much-rumoured Perodua D55L SUV – a smaller five-seat, B-segment cousin to the Aruz, closer in size to the original Kembara.

In Indonesia, there’s a actual “Axia wagon” in the form of the Toyota Calya/Daihatsu Sigra, but this doesn’t look like that super basic three-row car.

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The Axia clothing hints at a front-wheel-drive base, which is fitting for a modern city-dwelling small crossover. Of course, the use of Axia-style bodywork is to disguise possible new developments – it’s likely that the finished model won’t look anything like this – and rumours have it that the forthcoming model will be built on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) base, a first for Perodua.

This being a B-segment model, Perodua is likely to employ its four-cylinder engine range, either in 1.3 or 1.5 litre forms. The new model could also be the basis for the debut of Perodua’s hybrid technology – both this and the SUV-flavoured X-Concept were showcased at the KL International Motor Show (KLIMS) 2018, so the idea may not be as far fetched as it initially sounds.

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Whatever this may be, it’s certainly refreshing to see Perodua hard at work developing new models, and testing them on public roads again! Earlier in the week, another paultan.org reader snapped the local manufacturer’s Toyota Avanza-bodied “D27A” MPV test mule (above), being benchmarked against the Mitsubishi Xpander and Suzuki Ertiga. Read the full story here.

It will be interesting to see which one of the two will reach the market first. Over to you, which one are you looking forward more to – the D55L SUV or the D27A MPV? Sound off in the comments section below!

GALLERY: Perodua X-Concept at KLIMS 2018

GALLERY: Perodua hybrid technology at KLIMS 2018

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