Daihatsu in Japan has begun the marketing campaign for the upcoming Rocky hybrid variant, called E-Smart Hybrid. While hybrids are common and dominated by Toyota in Japan, the technology being rolled out by Daihatsu seems to be something similar to Honda Malaysia and their “torque matters” campaign.
Based on the key points highlighted by Daihatsu Japan, the E-Smart Hybrid technology in the upcoming Rocky uses an electric motor as the main driving force of the vehicle. The accompanying press release even mentioned, “a series hybrid that runs with 100% electric motor power”.
As such, plenty of torque from the electric motor propels the little Rocky, which should prove to be quite fun to drive and see much fewer vibrations transmitted into the cabin.
For the combustion engine portion, an optimized 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine (WA-VEX) that is also offered in the Indonesian market Daihatsu Rocky, is tasked to charge the battery pack which is located under the rear seats. In Malaysia, the Perodua Ativa, which is based on the Daihatsu Rocky, is powered by a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with outputs of 98 hp and 140 Nm of torque.
This petrol-electric hybrid technology, called series-hybrid, is the staple in Nissan’s E-Power hybrid setup. In the Nissan Note E-Power, the fuel efficiency can be as high as 32.6 km/L. For comparison, the turbocharged Perodua Ativa is rated at 18.9 km/L.
Daihatsu is only officially launching the new Rocky E-Smart Hybrid in November. Under the recently announced 12th Malaysia Plan, incentives for manufacturing and sales of low emission vehicles such as hybrids are being reviewed and as such, the Perodua Ativa might just be offered with this fun-to-drive hybrid system too!