The Perodua Axia is soon to be replaced by an all-new successor within a year or two and rumours are swirling that a turbocharged engine could be on the cards, but it’ll show up in Indonesia first.
This is according to a report by Otodriver which claims to have knowledge of this from an insider source who said that the car could arrive as early as March 2023 since, unlike the Myvi, the Axia is a badge-engineered Ayla developed by Astra Daihatsu and further found sold abroad as the Toyota Agya or Wigo.
An immediate ‘turbo’ connection here comes in the form of the Daihatsu Ayla Turbo which was shown off at the GAIKINDO Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) in 2018, a running concept vehicle that featured a boosted 1.2-litre engine with 200PS up front.
Its blistering performance was obvious thanks to that high power-to-weight ratio alone but reinforced by the widened stance, lowered suspension, beefier wheels and brakes with semi-slick Achilles tyres, bucket seats, and a full roll cage.
The centrepiece was the engine, of course, which was clearly also used for extensive testing - the collection of closely bunched pipes definitely prioritises function over form despite it being shown off to the public.
Though it was modified, it was based on the existing 1.2-litre 3NR-VE that will apparently also be carried over as a base powertrain option. The insider tip-off indicates that Daihatsu will opt for shoving in the same 1.0-litre 1KR-VET found in the Perodua Ativa (and Daihatsu Rocky) for the 2023 Ayla.
It has already proved itself as a pretty stout little unit, delivering impressive everyday performance and fuel economy while being a much more cohesive dance partner to the D-CVT gearbox it debuted locally with.
However, that does beg the question why might the Ayla/Axia be more eligible to receive the 1.0 turbo mill and its 98PS and 140Nm output than the larger and heavier Sirion/Myvi?
We’re not doubting that the motor and transmission could feasibly fit into the smaller car’s tighter engine bay, but they would have an easier time with the step-up model especially since it’s already designed to accept the accompanying D-CVT.
Meanwhile, Daihatsu Indonesia’s recent activities indicate a much stronger focus on zero emissions vehicles, electrification, and alternative means of propulsion, evidenced by the fully electric Ayla EV concept shown at last month’s GIIAS outside Jakarta.
Best part, it was also fully functional and looks much more like a showroom-ready product.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.