It comes with Mitsubishi's 4B10 1.8 liter and 4B11 2.0liter engines with a 5 speed manual for the 1.8 and the 6speed CVT for both the 1.8liter and 2.0liter engine. Mitsubishi is supplying these and Proton will use them without any special tuning differences. The first few Proton Inspira badged Lancers will have about 26% local content, and when things get up to full swing, local content should go up to 40% within the next few months and straight up to 65% within a year of the official launch.
We now know that with this slightly cheaper, albeit re-badged Lancer is now on sale in Malaysia soon. The prices have been set from RM79,888otr for the base 1.8 manual, the mid-RM80k for the 1.8 CVT Auto and not more than RM95,000 for the 2.0CVT. This means a big drop in price if you bought a Mitsubishi Lancer GT or GLS (at RM124,000 and RM118,000 respectively) in Malaysia. I suppose the Inspira is indeed an inspired badge engineering exercise that would benefit both Proton and Mitsubishi in the long run.
Why so? Proton saves on development costs while Mitsubishi gets to sell more Lancers, albeit badged otherwise in Malaysia. Proton reports that badge engineering saves at least a few hundred million Ringgit as well as cutting development period from 24 months to around 17months. With target sales of 2,000 units per month, Mitsubishi benefits from selling more Lancers, both the GT and GTS in Malaysia (and maybe some overseas markets too).
At time moment, Lancer sales have basically stagnated, due to the eminent launch of this Proton and the fact that it has been on the market for more than 2 years already. Sales hovering around the hundreds and not thousands like what Honda and Toyota are achieving in Malaysia for the Civic and Corolla Altis respectively. Since Proton estimates to sell 1,600 units of the Inspira per month, Mitsubishi would surely benefit from the royalty and CKD kits it supplies to Proton.
The downside of this is that those that bought the 'original' Lancer would now be reeling in shock if they want to sell their car. The second hand market for the Lancer has collapsed as 5 or 6 months ago, a friend sold his almost 2 year old Lancer GT for close to RM100,000, now used car dealers are taking it for about RM75,000.
Check out the spy photos sent by a friend a few days prior to the launch and the comparison to an actual launch preview photo right above (via Paultan.org) taken recently. There are no official photos as yet as Proton have not officially launched the car and most local journalists have adhered to Proton's request of a photo blackout. Spoilsports. This is only a preview of it as the official launch date has been set for Novermber 10th. Very Lancer isn't it? Regardless of that slightly different nose the Inspira has.
Anyway, my condolences to Malaysian Lancer owners. IF they intend to sell their car now that is.