Arguably the most important car to be revealed there is the Perodua Buddyz Concept, which previews the local carmaker’s future foray into the sedan market.
The design study’s somewhat unorthodox looks have drawn a lot of attention from the public eyes – mostly negative views, we must add. But, there are a lot of reasons why the Buddyz looks the way it does, as explained by its Chief Designer Muhamad Zamuren Musa in an exclusive interview with paultan.org last week. Read it in full here.
Watch the official video above to get plenty of insights on how the concept was designed, and continue reading below as we find out the thoughts that lay behind the Buddyz’s bizarre looks.
The Buddyz is clearly an evolution of the Bezza concept from KLIMS10. Did the public reaction or feedback of the earlier concept influence the new one?
It definitely did. We received predominantly good feedback on the Bezza concept, mainly with regards to the exterior looks. The sleek silhouette was especially well accepted at the previous KL Motor Show.
However, when it came to the interior, many thought that the rear headroom was lacking, which is due to the sloping roofline. And then, there was the issue of rear visibility, as the rear deck was rather tall. Some also commented that it looked bulky from the back.
On the design front, some found faults with the sudden vertical cut at the back, so we prepared a more prominent protruding trunk in the Buddyz. With that, rear visibility has also been vastly improved, and it’s now the best among all our models. We’ve also achieved significantly more vertical interior space with the new design.
As for total luggage space, the Bezza had around 440 litres or cargo room with the seats up. The Buddyz Concept improves on that figure, as we’ll show you. (See the boot space demo here, exclusively onpaultan.org.)
So everything about the Buddyz Concept is by design?
Yes, it has all been tailor-suited for the general Malaysian consumers. We at Perodua understand our target customers, their needs and their lifestyle. The Buddyz is a direct solution for all that. This design’s chosen silhouette is selected specifically because of the space and packaging requirements we’ve set for ourselves.
We prepared various design concepts, prior to the Buddyz’s finalisation. They all revolved around our preferred packaging requirements, and at the end we agreed on this particular one. It portrays a strong but simple image.
Small cars just can’t have too many lines, lest it appears weak and fragile. From the side view, we only have one dynamic line on the shoulder, which admittedly works better in the flesh than in pictures, where it appears too one-dimensional. This design achieves a simple yet characterful outlook.
We’ve also factored in the typical Malaysian taste, so it looks sporty, dynamic and aggressive. We applied a lot of visual energy on the front face, as we aim for strong and sturdy image that is balanced between the front, side and rear.
Are there any specific design elements you’re particularly proud of?
I’m proud of the whole car! The sleek eyes are dynamic and emotional. The entire combination of the headlamps, muscular fenders, and the stretch line to the rear is completely unique. It has a direct continuity, achieving a wholly cohesive character.
Then we have the long tailgate to portray a wide image. With a compact size, design elements that are available to us become limited, but yet we achieved a very solid look with these simple lines. Some of the Bezza’s key elements were kept in tact, based on the good feedback from the public.
This is Perodua’s own design, obviously. But clearly there is an easier route to make a sedan – the Toyota Etios, for instance.
We are well aware of the Etios, and it would be a good base for a compact sedan, but the most important thing that needs to be understood is that we are making cars for Malaysians. For locals. We understand our customers better. Other designs, the Etios included, is a global design, so it’s not a perfect fit for Malaysians.
Locals want a car with sporty looks, but with a spacious interior. We understand that very well, and this is the result of years of market research and customer feedback.
Lastly, any comments on heading Perodua’s first bespoke design?
It has already been 15 years since Perodua had a styling division. In that time, we have developed and matured our own unique ideas, incorporation global design trends and specific Malaysian requirements. I’m particularly proud to combine both of those elements.
I’m also glad that the Malaysian community is now a lot more aware in terms of car design. (Talking about the comments on paultan.org) Where before they talked about performance, now they’re commenting on automotive design. Comments on the Buddyz haven’t all been positive, yet I feel glad that they’ve evolved and taken notice of the automotive design world. - paultan.org