After opening its order books a month ago, Daihatsu Motor Co. in Japan has officially launched the Rocky e-Smart Hybrid compact SUV, delivering an astonishing 3.57 L/100 km (or 28 km/L) of fuel consumption in the WLTP cycle. That’s a 38% reduction in fuel consumption versus the Perodua Ativa which closely resembles the Daihatsu Rocky Turbo.

The latest e-Smart hybrid system is unlike any other hybrid system from Toyota Motor Corp and a first for Daihatsu. Designed to be used in compact vehicles, the e-Smart hybrid system is termed as a series hybrid system, meaning the energy only flows in a series layout.

UMWT has just opened the order books for the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid with 122 hp and 4.3 L/100 km consumption. More details here.

In this Rocky e-Smart Hybrid, the petrol engine, featuring a new 1.2-litre three-cylinder naturally aspirated engine with high thermal efficiency, has outputs of just 82 hp and 105 Nm. Its sole purpose is just to recharge the battery pack, similar to the Nissan E-Power system in the Nissan Kicks.

The e-Smart hybrid is a self-charging hybrid system, meaning there isn’t any external power port to replenish the small battery pack.

Energy from the battery pack, located under the rear seats for maximum space efficiency, powers the electric motor that has an output of 106 hp (78 kW) and 170 Nm. Daihatsu says this new parallel arrangement of the motor-generator unit allows for a compact dimension.

Thanks to being 100% electric motor motive force, the overall driving sensation is similar to an EV. However, the petrol engine will frequently ignite to a constant engine speed to charge the tiny battery pack, but not drive the wheels. A ‘Smart Pedal’ feature allows for one-pedal driving, with strong braking regeneration from the electric motor slowing down the Daihatsu Rocky tremendously in normal traffic conditions.

During this model upgrade timing, Daihatsu has also included an electric parking brake (EPB) with auto-hold function that also aids with stopping the SUV when adaptive cruise control is activated.

Blue tinted Daihatsu badges, e-Smart hybrid emblems and a dual-tone wheel design are just the identifiers for this new hybrid variant. Inside, the 7-inch TFT full-colour digital multi-information display has its graphics updated to display an energy flow meter and hybrid-specific information.

The ignition button also is coloured in blue, a similar design seen in Toyota hybrid models.

Joining the Rocky 1.0 Turbo is a non-electrified version of the 1.2-litre engine, with increased outputs of 87 hp and 113 Nm. Paired with a CVT-type transmission, the fuel consumption is respectable 4.83 L/100 km (20.7 km/L), while being 90 kg lighter than the e-Smart hybrid variant at just 970 kg. This variant debuted in Indonesia.

Daihatsu is expecting only 30% of sales to be contributed by the new e-Smart hybrid variant, with a total of just 2,000 units per month across all three powertrains.

The new Daihatsu Rocky e-Smart hybrid is only offered in two variants- XHEV at JPY2.116 million (approx. RM77k) and Premium G HEV at JPY2.347 million (approx. RM85.1k) which is slightly higher than the turbocharged variants.

The new 1.2-litre variants meanwhile start from JPY1.667 million (approx. RM60.5k) to JPY2.058 million (approx. RM74.7k).

It is only a matter of time before Perodua starts introducing the e-Smart hybrid system into the Ativa, and even other models featuring the DNGA platform, as the company is also committed to riding on global trends.


GALLERY