WHICHEVER way you look at it, the Proton Wira/Persona is essentially the 1992-1996 Mitsubishi CC-series Lancer, albeit with a few engineering and body panel changes – including a five-door hatchback unavailable in the Lancer.The Malaysian Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Berhad (Proton) company, established in 1983, has built Mitsubishi-sourced small cars since 1985.Several Wira variants arrived here in May ’95: a 66kW 1.5-litre 12-valve four-cylinder GL sedan and GLi sedan and Aeroback hatchback and an 83kW 1.6-litre 16-valve four-cylinder XLi sedan and hatchback.All featured power steering, central locking and cloth trim.The 1.5 cars offered a three-speed auto gearbox option (except the GL) to the standard five-speed manual while a four-speed auto was available with the 1.6 engine models.A change in distribution led to a relaunch of the struggling Proton brand in late ’96.The Wira name was dropped for Persona, but the cars remained essentially identical.
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