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Proton Preve to start from $18,990 driveaway

New start: Proton plans to boost sales in Australia with the release of the Preve small sedan that comes with a driveaway price of $18,990

Proton opens orders books for all-new small car, packing in features and incentives

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Proton logo19 Oct 2012

PROTON has kicked off a fresh campaign to gain traction in the Australian marketplace, announcing an $18,990 driveaway price at the entry level for its all-new Prevé small car and a new five-year program that covers warranty, roadside assistance and servicing costs.

Australia is the first country outside Proton’s Malaysian home market to offer the Prevé, which will hit showrooms in January just as the recently signed Australia-Malaysia free-trade agreement takes effect.

The Prevé will be offered at launch in a single GX sedan specification that includes a high level of safety equipment including six airbags, anti-whiplash front head restraints, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

The company says it is working towards meeting the requirements for a maximum five-star rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and, as GoAuto reported exclusively in April, has undertaken tests at Sydney’s Crashlab facility to improve its safety performance.

Standard-issue features on the Prevé GX also run to a trip computer, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, CD/MP3 player with aux/USB ports, multi-function steering wheel, perimeter alarm, reverse parking sensors, remote central locking, electric windows/mirrors, front/rear foglights and 16-inch alloy wheels.

As GoAuto reported earlier this week, the GX will be powered by Proton’s 1.6-litre ‘Campro’ four-cylinder petrol engine producing 80kW at 5750rpm and 160Nm of torque at 4000rpm, driving through a five-speed manual gearbox or CVT automatic transmission (the latter now confirmed to cost an extra $2000).

The GX returns combined-cycle fuel economy of 7.2L/100km (CVT: 8.0) and CO2 emissions of 171g/km (CVT: 191).

A sports GXR model will be introduced in mid-2013, powered by a new 102kW/205Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged engine driving exclusively through a revised version of the CVT auto dubbed the ‘7-speed ProTronic’ (the GX CVT has six ‘shift’ points).

A hatchback body style is also in the pipeline, due for release here early in 2014.

The introduction of the GXR will coincide with the discontinuation of current Gen.2 and Persona.

As well as the turbocharged engine, the sports sedan will add more goodies like steering-mounted paddle shifters, leather trim, satellite navigation, automatic headlights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, cruise control and an engine start/stop button.

The Prevé sedan rides on a 2650mm wheelbase and measures 4543mm long, 1786mm wide and 1524mm high, which puts it slightly above average for the small-car C-segment. The market-leading Mazda3, by comparison, has a 2640mm wheelbase and L/W/H of 4580mm, 1755mm and 1470mm respectively.

Kerb weight is 1305kg for the Prevé GX manual (CVT adds 20kg) while luggage volume is 508 litres (Mazda3 sedan: 430L).

Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is used, along with a front strut and rear multi-link suspension design.

Proton Cars Australia general manager of sales and marketing Billy Falconer told GoAuto that the Prevé was expected to account for 70 per cent of all Proton sales once the full range was up and running by the middle of next year.

The company is targeting 4000 sales for Proton next year, with 200 units a month initially and building that up to 350-400 a month from around June.

So far this year, Proton has managed just 859 sales across its entire line-up, drawing from a mixed collection of small and light passenger cars – Gen.2 (138 units YTD), Persona (203), S16 (303) and Satria (66) – and the Jumbuck compact utility (149).

The Prevé sedan will be available in six colour choices: white, red, brown, grey, silver and black.

The new ‘5+5+5’ five-year/150,000km customer program is only available on the Prevé and the forthcoming Exora people-mover.

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