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What do we have here from reader Pra Na Krish? On the surface, it’s a Mitsubishi Xpander, a Suzuki Ertiga and a funny looking Toyota Avanza getting a good cardio workout by climbing Genting Highlands, all of them wearing trade plates.
That’s rather strange, given that the latest Ertiga (the one with the Volvo-style tail lamps) and Xpander aren’t sold in Malaysia. The latest Avanza with the Vellfire face is, but why is the MPV looking so shady here? Who’s behind this?
If this covert operation has Perodua written all over it; true enough, the B1400A and B1756A trade plates seen on the Avanza and Xpander here belong to the Rawang carmaker, and have been spotted on prototype Myvis before.
With that established, the Avanza does appear slightly strange here; that, plus the benchmarked budget MPVs (all are big players in the Low MPV segment in Indonesia) could point to Perodua developing an MPV. Today’s Alza, based on the Japanese Toyota Passo Sette/Daihatsu Boon Luminas, has been around in current form since 2009. That’s a full decade ago. Could this be a “new Alza” currently being developed by P2?
An all-new Perodua Alza could very well share a platform with the Toyota 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.
It’s pretty much the same 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 cars on Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) models, but shares underpinnings with its Indonesian counterpart while developing 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 be a mainstream Low MPV contender instead of a JDM oddity.
If the new Alza is going to be a sister of the next-gen Toyota Avanza, which itself is very long in the tooth, could the duo be the production version of the Daihatsu DN Multisix concept car shown in GIIAS 2017 and Tokyo 2017?
There’s also the Daihatsu HY Fun concept MPV shown at the recent GIIAS 2019; stylistically, it’s a longer shot, but the HY Fun hints at a hybrid powertrain, which Perodua also showcased at KLIMS 2018. Perodua has been proactive in introducing active safety tech to its range of late, will hybrid powertrains be its next push?
These are early days and the spotted test mule is exactly what it is: a development car using a random shell for road testing purposes. It’s all jigsaw pieces at the moment, but something is definitely brewing in Sg Choh, and the budget people carrier segment is about to get interesting.
GALLERY: Daihatsu DN Multisix Concept at GIIAS 2017
GALLERY: Daihatsu HY Fun Concept at GIIAS 2019
GALLERY: Perodua-Daihatsu hybrid tech at KLIMS 2018