Proton have come up with so large a display at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show that I believe a short write up is in order on the brand.
As soon as you enter the first exhibition hall you can see that it is basically made up of Perodua and Proton. Perodua had a smaller display with only 2 actual cars – one the Bezza Concept car and the other the Alza MPV with a custom body kit. Proton basically took a good two-thirds of the hall and gave it their all.
First up we get to see their regular line-up with the new Inspira in front as you enter the first exhibition hall at KLIMS 2010. The green tech EV or electric vehicles were also in center stage. Proton had a cut out of the Exora EV and they also brought their EV Saga and Exora vehicles for all to view. Nothing interesting, as they look the same as the normal stuff with the exception of a lack of a petrol engine under the hood.
I also managed to get a close look at one expensive Proton Satria Neo R3. This one claims to have 200bhp and 250Nm of torque from a very highly tuned Normally Aspirated engine. I suppose if Proton were to build it, it would cost more than the limited edition RM115,000 Satria Neo Lotus edition that went on sale sometime after the Malaysian Grand Prix months ago.
Beside that car was the Lekir concept. This is the Lotus Europa badged as a Proton. It looks like Proton has dreams to move up in the world by having its own sports car. It could be a reality as we all have heard that Lotus is going upscale and will charge more for their cars. A vacuum for more affordable sports car could be filled in-house.
The Satria Neo S2000 WRC car was also shown. This is the ultimate Satria and you just got to love that tall sequential gearshift and that tall hand brake lever. Best of all I managed to catch up with its driver, Alister McRae for a handshake and a photograph. I should have shaved that day.
The other important concept car that Proton has on display is their proposed Persona replacement. This is a Kia Forte cum Chevy Cruze cum a whole lot of design cues mixed into it. So while it looks good, the car isn't at all unique. Since it is still a clay mock-up, I suppose Proton can still make changes to it.
Next up is the facelifted Saga. Proton however calls it the Kasturi Concept car for now. I like the front end facelift. It actually makes the car a whole lot more pleasing to look at. It makes the car look much wider and therefore less dumpy looking. From the front that is, as the rear still has the same basic design with some changes to the lower part of the bumper. Maybe it could do with some reflectors to the boot area to stretch out the light/reflector setup.
The Lancer Evolution based Inspira concept car called the Jebat is really some piece of work. Proton's styling team decided that the Evolution X's arches weren't wide enough when then designed the Jebat. It is so much wider than the Evo and the front and rear bumpers have that Audi R8 look to it. The designer must have a really vivid imagination to mix and match designs. But then again, after all the hard work the Jebat gets alloy wheels that would look decent on an unclemobile. Those multi-spoke rims aren't as aggressive as the car!
Proton had also their EMAS hybrid city car on display as well as an SUV concept and a few Lotuses. The Esprit being the star of the show. One could spend a whole lot of time at the Proton booth as it was huge and filled with lots of stuff. It may be only Proton, but this time I believe they've come up shining at this motor show. Of course, if the home team did not perform well, what kind of show would it be?
KLIMS 2010 and 5 more...
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