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Future models - Proton - S16

Proton's new S16 cheapie comes to light

Build up: Proton is preparing for a November launch for its sub-$13,000 S16 - "Australia's lowest-cost sedan".

Proton reveals new name for Saga-based sub-$13,000 sedan and November 1 on-sale date

Proton logo10 Sep 2009

By TERRY MARTIN

PROTON Cars Australia (PCA) has revealed that its forthcoming sub-$13,000 small sedan will be known as the S16 and will now go on sale a little later than expected, from November 1.

Renamed from the less palatable Saga – the nameplate used in Proton’s Malaysian home market – the S16 is still being touted as “Australia’s lowest priced sedan”, although exact pricing is yet to be announced.

All PCA will confirm is that the model will sell for a drive-away price of less than $13,000, so it remains to be seen whether the S16 undercuts the smaller $12,490 Suzuki Alto sub-light hatch to become the cheapest car in Australia.

As GoAuto has reported, the S16 will come to market here with a 1.6-litre version of Proton’s ‘Campro’ petrol engine and a five-speed manual gearbox.

An automatic transmission and a smaller 1.3-litre petrol engine option – the latter presumably with the S13 nameplate and even lower price point – will be available from February 2010.

43 center imageThe S16 will replace the outgoing $13,990 1.2-litre Savvy five-door hatch as the entry point to the Proton brand.

PCA sales and operations general manager Billy Falconer said this week that the S16 would deliver the “best value and economy equation on the Australian car market”.

“We believe the S16 will lead the market on price and economy, with performance that will be head and shoulders above other cars in the sector,” he said.

“We have already had a strong response to the announcement that Proton would be launching Australia’s lowest-priced four-door sedan, and between now and the launch date more details including exact pricing will be revealed.

“All Proton Australia dealers will be taking delivery of a demonstrator S16 during October for test drives and will take orders for the new car ahead of the launch.”

As part of the launch campaign for the new model, PCA has created a website: www.newsedan.com.au. The site will allow prospective customers to register their details and be kept informed of developments such as pricing and specifications.

Standard features on the S16 will include air-conditioning, power front windows, power steering, remote central locking, a CD stereo, driver’s seat height adjustment, a tilt-adjustable steering column and a full-size spare wheel.

A PCA spokesperson has previously confirmed to GoAuto that the S16 will also offer dual airbags and ABS brakes, as is the case with all models in the current range.

The 1.6-litre 16-valve twin-cam ‘Campro’ four-cylinder engine produces 82kW of power and, according to Proton, will return an average fuel consumption figure of 6.3L/100km.

In comparison, the Alto uses a 50kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that consumes just 4.8L/100km. The Alto also has a high level of standard equipment that includes six airbags and ABS brakes with EBD and brake assist.

Electronic stability control is restricted to the higher-spec Alto GLX, which is priced from $14,490.

Proton sorely needs to generate showroom traffic, having sold just 909 cars for the first eight months of 2009, down 33 per cent of last year in an overall market down 14 per cent.

Its traditional best seller, the Jumbuck ute, is in run-out as it is phased out in readniess for an all-new model in the first half of next year.

The new Jumbuck will be part of a new-model wave that will include new entry-level versions of the Persona, Satria Neo and Gen.2, as well as the Exora mini-MPV and two performance versions of the Satria Neo.

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