Proton pitted this new prototype around its demonstration track against the Proton Persona. The Proton P3-21A (P321A) out-braked the Persona due to it having Electronic Brake Distribution and out-accelerated the Persona due to it having Proton's latest turbocharged 1.6liter engine (which will be used for the higher specced variants) that we've seen inside the Proton Exora Bold MPV. It also outperformed the Persona during the slalom course. Some could say that this was all a show put up by the Malaysian manufacturer, but in this case it was simple to see otherwise as the driver in the P321A was easily the more relaxed driver. The Persona driver looked like he had to work harder to keep up with the newer car.
The P321A is Proton's latest totally “home” grown effort since the Proton Saga BLM and the Proton Exora. The latest Proton prior to this was the rebadged Mitsibishi Lancer – the Inspira. I'd say “home” grown because the person who headed the development team is Dr. Wolfgang Karl Epple, a German chap who was with BMW. The design is a collaboration with Italian styling house Giugiaro and other components come from Korea, Japan and even Australia. As such, it would seem that Proton has decided to go the way of the Koreans in some ways. It is like a Korean manufacturer these days as they are now sourcing styling from the Italians and key engineering personnel from the best in the business.
Proton The P321A is scheduled to be launched in April and Proton expects sales of the new car to be around 4,000 units a month.