Future Models - Proton 2014 light car
Proton locks in light-car for Australia
Maybe baby: The design of the new Proton light-car remains a mystery but it could take cues from the Emas concept that was revealed at the Geneva motor show in 2010.
Light hatch to fill a gap in Proton’s local line-up and Suprima S to beef up in 2015
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18 November 2013
PROTON’S push for more market share in Australia will get a shot in the arm
next year when the Malaysian car-maker launches an all-new light-hatch
contender in the third quarter.
The new city-sized hatch will slot into the Malaysian car-maker’s local line-up
below the Preve sedan that arrived earlier this year and the just-launched
Suprima S hatch to become the brand’s new entry-level model.
The as-yet unnamed hatch will also fill a gap in Proton’s line-up after the
aging Persona and Gen 2 models were discontinued due to their lack of
electronic stability control which became mandatory on passenger cars sold in
every state and territory of Australia earlier this month.
Speaking at the launch of the Suprima S last week, Proton’s head of
international sales Dr Badrul was unable to disclose details about the
forthcoming light-car, but confirmed it would be a five-door hatch and that it
would go on sale next year.
The styling direction of the new model is unclear, but some reports have
suggested it could follow design cues from Proton’s futuristic Emas concept
from the 2010 Geneva motor show.
It is also not known whether Proton will collaborate with Italdesign Giugiaro
in styling the car, as it did with the Preve/Suprima S twins.
Something that is all but guaranteed is that the future light-car will carry a
five-star ANCAP crash safety rating, with Proton introducing a minimum
five-star safety policy across its range.
Proton’s last attempt at a true light was the quirky Savvy that sold in
middling numbers from 2006 before being discontinued in 2012.
Dr Badrul remained tight-lipped when pressed to detail Proton’s wider future
product plans, but he did confirm the Suprima S would get a beefier 2.0-litre
turbocharged engine in the first quarter of 2015.
Proton executives gave little away about the new engine as it is still under
development, but it will be more powerful than the 103kW/205Nm 1.6-litre
turbocharged four-cylinder unit that currently powers the Suprima S.
This would give Proton something of a hero car that would hark back to the
much-loved Satria GTi hot-hatch that became a cult favourite when it sold in
Australia between 1999 and 2004.
Before the hotter version arrives, Proton will launch the Suprima S R3, which
essentially adds a sporty body kit, but offers no mechanical alterations.
As GoAuto has reported, the Malaysian brand will also add a turbocharger to its
top-spec Preve GXR small sedan sometime in the New Year, matching the output of
the Suprima S.
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