November 10th marked a day where Proton officially launched their Waja replacement model called the Inspira.
As mentioned earlier
,the Inspira is a badge engineered version of the Mitsubishi Lancer EX. It comes in 1.8liter manual and CVT models as well as a range topping 2.0 CVT premium version with cruise control, rain sensing wipers and automatic light sensors.
Now having seen one, actually two units (a 1.8 manual & the 2.0CVT Premium) in the flesh at a Proton Showroom in Kuala Lumpur, I have to report that the Inspira is indeed a Mitsubishi Lancer with a slightly different dress. It has new bumpers front and rear (the front bumper slightly aping the BMW 3series' bumper), a new engine/inlet manifold cover with a Proton badge, a steering with a Proton badge and Proton badging at the rear in place of the Mitsubishi diamonds. The interior of the 2.0CVT also has Nappa leather. The same kind you find in the GT version of the Lancer. The 2.0 variant comes with a body kit to differentiate it from the base 1.8manual and CVT versions. The wheels are 16inches running 205/60series tires with Proton specific dampers and spring rates.
The cars have good build quality. The shut lines as well as fittings are sound and even the door panels feel slightly better made than the Lancer was when it was first launched. Actually the quality shouldn't even be suspect as upon closer inspection, lots of items still had the Mistubishi logo on it. I suppose the first batch of the Inspira was assembled in Japan and partly knocked down for transport over to Malaysia. The only non-Mitsubishi parts that is in the engine bay is the battery and maybe the engine/manifold cover.
This is as I would say good badge engineering for a competitive and over taxed (and therefore over priced) Malaysian market. Even though some Malaysians are disappointed that Proton has basically gone full circle by running back to Mitsubishi for a new model (like the original Proton Saga and Wira models), it is actually the most profitable way to sell cars. It is a no brainer actually. If you benched marked business practices of Proton's local rival, Perodua, you'd know that slightly re-engineering a Japanese model is a good thing. Take a look at the Perodua Myvi. Toyota sells a one called the Passo, Daihatsu sells it as the Sirion and the Boon and Subaru sells it as the Justy. Everyone buys one as decent transport. So what's a Mitsubishi Lancer dressed up as a Proton then? Normal industry stuff I guess.
Anyway, the high specced 2.0P costs only RM91,999. The base 1.8 manual costs RM78,999. Compare this with the Lancer 2.0GT which costs in the region of RM120,000 and it is sure to be a best seller over in Malaysia. And what about those that bought the Lancer? Worried about losing some individuality? I suppose you could upgrade to the Lancer Sportback then. Unless, Proton decides to come up with a 'Aeroback' version like they did with the Wira some time ago that is!
badge engineering, malaysia and 6 more...
-the red car above is the 2.0CVT and the one in silver below is the 1.8manual, note the different steering wheel (without cruise control switches on the right side of the steering and the difference in trim (cloth seats, silver carbon look trim instead of dark 'wood'-
-and now for the original recipe..in case you've forgotten how it looks like-
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