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Proton Persona


1 Nov 1996

Proton’s 1995 entry into the Australian market tried to emulate the huge success of Daewoo’s with the Wira, but fewer people cared about the Malaysian built ex-Mitsubishi cast-offs.

That car was rebadged and re-specified as the laughably named Persona, but it was still all CC Lancer-era car underneath, save for the five-door extension (called Aeroback) that Proton performed on the Persona four-door sedan.

Space, surprising value and sound quality were the Persona’s calling cards.

Initially the base GLi featured a (Mitsubishi-sourced) 66kW/126Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine offered in either five-speed manual or three-speed automatic guises, while a larger 1.6 version in the XLi boasted 83kW/137Nm tied to a four-speed auto.

From September ’99 an entry-level 55kW/108Nm 1.3-litre Persona GLi Aeroback arrived – it didn’t even have power steering.

In late ’00 a number of revisions saw the introduction of a 64kW/120Nm 1.5 engine in the Persona Aeroback GLi and XLi models.

The sedan and 1.6 had disappeared by then, and by mid-’02 so had the 1.3 and XLi models, to make room for the capable but overpriced Waja small car.

The all-new Proton-developed GEN.2 from late ‘04 augmented the sole Persona Aeroback 1.5 – still available in five-speed manual or three-speed auto guises.

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