Earlier this year, it was reported that Daihatsu was planning to roll out a hybrid version of the Rocky before the year was out. That’s very much the case, with confirmation that the Rocky e:Smart Hybrid is due to go on sale in Japan in November. This was indicated by a teaser page about the upcoming model on the company’s domestic website, which seems to have been made live a day too early.
The page has since been pulled, but its presence was good enough to provide some valuable details about what to expect. From what can be gleaned, the exterior doesn’t veer from the standard Rocky, with a new honeycomb grille and additional badging the only visible cues.
All the action happens underneath the skin. The Rocky hybrid will be powered by a variation of the normally-aspirated 1.2 litre three-cylinder WA-VE engine already available for it, the powertrain on the hybrid gaining an X suffix, which incidentally, is the suffix Toyota uses to designate an Atkinson cycle mill.
No technical details on the WA-VEX unit, aside from a mention that the engine achieves a high thermal efficiency of 40%. The base WA-VE 1.2 litre offers 86 PS at 6,000 rpm and 105 Nm at 4,200, so the numbers for the X shouldn’t veer very far. Likewise, there’s no specifications or output mentioned for the electric motor that’s paired with the block, so we’ll have to wait for more on that.
The literature also mentions that the “e-Smart Hybrid, which runs on a 100% motor, demonstrates its strength at once from the moment the accelerator is depressed,” suggesting full-hybrid pinnings. Elsewhere, the SUV will also get a one-pedal driving mode via a S-PDL smart pedal system.
With the feature active, the accelerator pedal can be used to accelerate, slow down the car or come to a stop, much in the same vein as how Nissan’s e-Pedal works. The smart pedal can be selected when driving in Normal and Eco modes, but can be switched off if not to the driver’s fancy.
The hybrid will also be a quieter car – the automaker mentions that sound insulation has been added to six key areas of the vehicle, incuding the hood, floor, engine undercarriage and firewall. It’ll be interesting to see if these improvements eventually make it on to the Perodua Ativa.
Speaking of that, the debut of the Rocky e:Smart – which happens to be the first hybrid for the company since 2010 – paves the way for the Ativa to go down the hybridisation route. Do you think a 1.2 litre hybrid system sounds appealing? Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section.
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