2023 Toyota Vios D92A based on DNGA platform, next-gen B-segment sedan co-developed with Perodua? – paultan.org

They have not said anything and they probably never will, but could Toyota have worked with Perodua on the next-generation Toyota Vios? It’s speculation on our part, but there are some clues.

This week, Toyota Thailand released the first official teasers of the next-generation Toyota Yaris Ativ, which is the sedan version of the ASEAN Yaris hatchback – we in Malaysia know this B-segment sedan as the Vios and will be calling it as such from here. The Vios is an ASEAN heavyweight, a household name, and one of the most popular cars in the region.

The new Vios will make its world debut in Thailand on August 9, and the teaser shows – in exact order – a fastback-style sloping roofline with a windowline trim that’s accented at the end; a face with L-shaped LED DRLs and a big lower grille with a prominent chin; a Mazda-style horizontal dashboard that’s heavy on red; LED tail lamps with sequential turn signals; and an overall profile with a long cabin and super short boot.

From top: D92A Toyota Vios, Daihatsu DN F-Sedan Concept from GIIAS 2017

Word is that the new D92A Vios sits on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform, which underpins models like the Perodua Ativa/Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize as well as the new Perodua Alza/Toyota Avanza and Veloz/Daihatsu Xenia. DNGA is like Toyota’s TNGA, but for compact cars. Compact car expert Daihatsu is of course a subsidiary of the big T, and by virtue of that, Perodua is under the giant umbrella.

That steering wheel looks familiar? It’s the same one used in the Perodua Ativa and Myvi facelift. The new Vios’ curved roofline is unusual in this segment, but a small sedan with a four-door coupe-style roof was previewed by the Daihatsu F-Sedan Concept back in 2017. We’ve been covering Indonesian motor shows live since 2011 and have witnessed seemingly fancy concepts turn into reality – check out this early vision of the Ativa/Rocky from 2015.

Now, Perodua working together with Daihatsu to come up with joint models isn’t something new. The Ativa and Alza are some of the fruits of the collaboration. These joint models are sold as Toyotas too, but Daihatsu typically takes the lead in co-branded models in Indonesia (Daihatsu is not present in Thailand).

In cases where there’s a JDM model involved – such as the Ativa/Rocky/Raize – P2 has its people in the development team in Japan from the start. When it comes to ASEAN-only models such as the Alza/Avanza, Rawang has equal if not more say than its counterpart in Indonesia due to the Malaysian company’s superior R&D capabilities, even if Astra Daihatsu Motor has the volume advantage.

This Low MPV Genting hill climb group benchmark sighting is an example of Perodua’s ASEAN R&D/testing activities, although the bulk of it happens behind closed doors – P2 has a sprawling test track in Sg Choh that has a high speed “parabolica” banked curve and sections that simulate a variety of local conditions, including very realistic simulations of the PLUS highway. Nothing as severe as Genting, though.

This may come as a shock to those who still think of Perodua as a rebadge company slapping on bumpers to JDM models, but that’s all in the past. The Bezza is a pure-P2 design, with no equivalent sedan in Indonesia or Japan, and the third-gen Myvi is P2’s original design, exported to Indonesia as the Daihatsu Sirion.

In 2020, Perodua declared its ambition to be an ASEAN R&D hub for Daihatsu, which is owned by Toyota

In the manufacturing department, P2 has an extensive local vendor network (Ativa was launched with 95% local content, and this is the norm, not the exception) and its own engine factory, which also supplies NR engines to Toyota for the Vios/Yaris. Rawang also manufactures certain related models for Toyota – the Rush and upcoming Veloz are current examples. It’s a lot more integrated than we think.

With full upper body design capability long in the bag, Perodua in 2020 announced that it wants to be an R&D hub for ASEAN and develop models with – and for – Daihatsu. Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said then that P2’s aim is to design vehicles not just for Malaysia but for Indonesia and Thailand as well, and the company is working very hard to be the R&D hub in the region.

“In terms of R&D, at this moment Perodua R&D, in terms of testing equipment, investment and facilities, is bigger than Indonesia,” the P2 chief declared then.

Perodua also then showed a strategic direction presentation graphic (attached above) with the Ativa plus four future unidentified DNGA-based models, but Zainal pointed out that not all would be Perodua models. “These four new models may not necessarily be Perodua models. When we achieve the level of R&D to become an ASEAN hub, we will design a model even for Daihatsu,” he said. The DNGA-based Alza ticks off one of those four boxes, with three to go.

Is the next Vios one of those? We’ll probably never know, as it’s not really the Japanese way to put your hands up and claim credit ahead of your senior.

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